Iowa on Wednesday became the second state to warn international election observers to stay away from its polling sites or face arrest, following Texas.
The 56-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is planning on sending 150 election observers to monitor polls across the country, as it has since 2002. Their presence has become a flashpoint this year, however, as Republicans accuse Democrats of voter fraud while Democrats counter that GOP-inspired voter ID laws aim to disenfranchise minority voters.
“My office met with two delegation representatives last week to discuss Iowa’s election process and it was explained to them that they are not permitted at the polls,” Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, a Republican, said in a statement. “Iowa law is very specific about who is permitted at polling places, and there is no exception for members of this group.”