Can we please stop pretending that Larry Hogan is some sort of goo-goo Republican reformer?
Yesterday, the Maryland GOP sent out a hysterical email railing against – gasp – foreign election observers of American elections:
Do you think foreign nationals should be openly invited into our polling places on election day? Democratic Senators Kagan and Rosapepe think so.
For all the complaints about potential foreign involvement in U.S. elections, Maryland Democrats sure are trying to invite outside influences into our elections…
Now, they have introduced SB 190 that would give an international election observers the same rights as a U.S. citizen to watch over our elections for any polling place in the state that they see fit.
This bill gives foreign nationals the right to:
- Go to polls unsupervised and move from poll-to-poll
- Enter the polling place one-half hour before the polls open
- Enter or be present at the polling pace at any time when the polls are open
- Remain in the polling place until the completion of all tasks associated with the close of the polls
- A police officer who is on duty at a polling place shall protect an international election observer in the discharge of the duties of the international election observe
- The election judge shall designate reasonable times for international election observers to examine polling lists
SIGN AND SHARE the petition if you believe the Maryland Senate should vote AGAINST SB 190!
I don’t know who came up with this unhinged horror at a piece of legislation that should be so uncontroversial as to verge on banal. Foreign election observers are common in elections around the world. The U.S. sends observers to countries around the world as part of observation missions.
Indeed, the American government plays a major role in funding these initiatives through the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute (NDI), Organization of American States (OAS), and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). All but the last are based in Washington.
Beyond the creepy weirdness of attempting to whip voters up over people observing – a word that specifically excludes any participatory role – our elections, this is right out of the Trump playbook because of (1) its xenophobic attack on foreigners as somehow inherently nefarious, and (2) being resistant to any effort to improve the electoral process whatsoever.
Trump is impervious to protecting our elections from proven Russian interference in our elections because it helps Republicans. (Ronald Reagan must be rolling over in his grave.) Under Larry Hogan, the Maryland GOP shows similar hostility to the most mild effort to improve our democracy in their effort to whip up hate about a bunch of foreign election experts who will come here, observe elections, and write a tempered report with a few suggestions for improvement.
The Governor has just lost what little credibility as a reformer he had. He is willing to speak out against redistricting in Maryland, because he thinks it will benefit his party, but totally silent on Republican efforts to protect it north of the Mason-Dixon and south of the Potomac.
Yet he found time to travel to Virginia to support the odious Ed Gillespie in his effort to become governor using hateful rhetoric and scaremongering. Despite Gillespie’s flop, Hogan apparently decided to import Gillespie-type tactics.
If Larry Hogan’s Republicans were remotely reasonable, they would never publish something like this. The Governor needs to repudiate it immediately and replace the people in the Maryland GOP who came up with this piece of tripe.