Oklahoma's top lawyer said he will strictly enforce rules designed to keep observers and pollsters from influencing votes during the coming election.
In a letter to the State Election Board on Thursday, state Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt clarified those rules but said he does not anticipate an international election observation group will be on site Nov. 6 in Oklahoma.
Pruitt joined state officials in Texas and Iowa in threatening legal ramifications — even arrest — of election code violators after complaints swirled online and in some media outlets that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe would be observing the general election.
Comprised of representatives from 56 countries, including the United States, the organization has observed election practices nationally and on the state level since 2002 and was invited to do so again this month.
In his letter, Pruitt wrote that only election officials and others authorized by law are allowed within 50 feet of a ballot box during an election, and no one but these and registered voters are allowed inside the specified enclosure areas at polling sites.
Violators can be found guilty of a misdemeanor under the Oklahoma Election Code, he said, and may be subject to a fine of $10,000, a year in the county jail or both.