Some congressional Democrats are asking the United Nations (search) to monitor the U.S. presidential election, saying they want to prevent a repeat of voting rights violations reported in the 2000 Florida recount.

The group, led by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (search), D-Texas, said they want U.N Secretary-General Kofi Annan (search) to deploy election observers to the state.

"African-Americans, women and other U.S. citizens have fought too hard and too long for us to allow our votes not to be counted. We have to instill some trust and accountability back in the process," Johnson said.

The Florida recount helped President Bush win the 2000 election. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights later found that the ballots of black voters in the state were disproportionately tossed out and the election was plagued by faulty machinery, among other problems.

The United Nations received a letter from members of Congress and has not replied, said U.N. spokeswoman Marie Okabe. She said the United Nations responds to requests from national governments, though.  not specifically from legislative bodies.

All requests for electoral assistance also require approval from the U.N. General Assembly, she said.

Several of the members who signed the letter to Annan belong to the Congressional Black Caucus.

Besides Johnson, the letter also was signed by Reps. Corrine Brown of Florida; Julia Carson of Indiana; William Lacy Clay of Missouri; Joseph Crowley, Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler and Edolphus Towns of New York, Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who is president of the black caucus; Danny Davis of Illinois; Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Michael Honda and Barbara Lee of California.