Carter Center says it won't witness Venezuela vote

(AP) - The Carter Center says it's declining an invitation from Venezuela's National Electoral Council to have a team at the country's Oct. 7 presidential election.

The Atlanta-based Carter Center was among the organizations that sent observer missions to monitor Venezuela's last presidential vote in 2006.

Venezuelan electoral authorities have since stopped inviting international observers and have instead asked some foreign individuals to witness voting in smaller-scale "accompaniment" visits.

The Carter Center says in a Monday statement that the council invited it to send a small group of experts to join in pre-election audits and be present on voting day. But the organization says it received the invitation too late to evaluate and "organize the necessary experts and financing."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.