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November 5, 2012
Secretary Chapman Says Only Qualified Electors in Polling Places

Secretary of State Beth Chapman responded today regarding the visitors who are in Alabama with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe/Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR).   In recent reports, OSCE representatives say they will be “watching everything and everyone” on Election Day.   Chapman says that they better watch it from afar because even she, as the state’s chief election official is not allowed inside the polling places other than to vote.

Secretary Chapman says that Alabama citizens should know that only qualified electors in Alabama can be appointed as poll watchers and workers and no other watchers are to be inside the polling place on Election Day.  “The visitors will definitely not be allowed inside polling locations on Election Day and will have absolutely no direct involvement with the voting process,” Secretary Chapman stated.

Even though OSCE says they are not directly affiliated with the United Nations, Secretary Chapman says that Alabama elections are never a place for UN involvement.

“They may believe that they are going to be watching ‘everything and everyone’ on Tuesday, but the truth of the matter is, they will be watching what they can from at least 30 feet behind the doors of a polling place.  Anyone who sees otherwise should call our office immediately,” Secretary Chapman said.

Anyone in any polling place being approached by or observing anyone from the OSCE is asked to call the Secretary of State’s hotline at 1-800-274-VOTE.


For more information, visit Secretary of State John H. Merrill’s Web Site: