<center><h2><a href=http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=politicsNews&storyID=5916368>Foreign Monitors to Report on U.S. Presidential Vote</a></h2></center> <blockquote>Mon Aug 9, 2004 07:43 PM ET By Saul Hudson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Major international monitors will issue an unprecedented report on the handling of this year's U.S. presidential election, after the 2000 vote raised concerns of disenfranchisement, U.S. officials said on Monday. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will a send a team to observe the vote in a move applauded by Democrats who had sought monitors because they felt ballots were unfairly left uncounted last time, particularly in Florida. In 2000, voters split down the middle in Florida, which was ridiculed worldwide as it spawned court battles over whether and how to count imperfect ballots. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled George W. Bush was the winner by 537 votes, which put him in the White House. With polls showing this year's election between Bush and Democrat John Kerry will also be tight, civil rights groups have raised concern over a repeat of the 2000 debacle. The OSCE, which groups 55 countries, does not have a mandate to judge the fairness of this year's vote. Still, while some OSCE representatives have observed U.S. presidential votes before, this year will be the first time they will report publicly afterward on any shortcomings it finds, according to State Department officials.</blockquote> It should come as no surprise, really. With well documented cases of voter disenfranchisement not only in Florida, but across the country, in 2000, an independent body observing the 2004 election is a necessity. And you thought it could only happen in a third world banana republic...But then, MonkeyBoy Bush is our president.