Tennessee Wants to Ban the U.N. From Monitoring Its Elections

It’s payback for 2012.

Flags fly over United Nations headquarters August 14, 2003 in New York City.
National Journal
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Emma Roller
April 9, 2014, 8:26 a.m.

When you think of the type of coun­tries the United Na­tions might want to keep an eye on, you prob­ably think of, say, Libya, whose cit­izens voted for the first time in over 40 years in 2012.

But newly demo­crat­ized coun­tries aren’t the only sub­jects of U.N. elec­tion over­sight. In 2012, civil-rights groups voiced their con­cern to the U.N. that state voter-ID laws would lead to voter sup­pres­sion. The U.N. sent 44 of its elec­tion mon­it­ors to states — in­clud­ing Ten­ness­ee — and drew much ire from con­ser­vat­ive groups in the pro­cess.

Now, the Re­pub­lic­an-con­trolled Le­gis­lature in Ten­ness­ee is fight­ing back against the in­ter­na­tion­al gov­ern­ing body. On Tues­day, the state Sen­ate passed a bill ban­ning U.N. elec­tions mon­it­ors from over­see­ing state elec­tions — un­less they have ex­press per­mis­sion from the U.S. Sen­ate to be there.

The le­gis­la­tion now sits on Re­pub­lic­an Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk, wait­ing to be signed. “The gov­ernor will re­view the bill in its fi­nal form, like he does all bills, be­fore tak­ing any ac­tion on it,” a spokes­man for Haslam said.

From Knox News:

House spon­sor Rep. Micah Van Huss char­ac­ter­ized the meas­ure as an as­ser­tion of the state and na­tion’s sov­er­eignty. Van Huss said he was up­set that a United Na­tions af­fil­i­ate or­gan­iz­a­tion sent two rep­res­ent­at­ives — one from France and one from Ar­menia — to mon­it­or Ten­ness­ee elec­tions in 2012 be­cause the state had en­acted a law re­quir­ing a photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion for vot­ing.

The bill, which is one sen­tence long, reads: “Any rep­res­ent­at­ive of the United Na­tions ap­pear­ing without a treaty rat­i­fied by the United States Sen­ate stat­ing that the United Na­tions can mon­it­or elec­tions in this state, shall not mon­it­or elec­tions in this state.”

In Ten­ness­ee, you can use a hand­gun carry per­mit to vote, but not a col­lege stu­dent ID. And no nosy French­man is go­ing to change that.


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