The Left seems to have realized that the majority of Americans aren’t buying their claims that Voter ID laws will lead to voter suppression of minorities, seniors and young people at the ballot box. Unwilling to let the whole issue go, however, liberals are now attacking anti-voter fraud training organizations like True the Vote.
True the Vote (TTV) is a non-partisan organization based out of Texas that includes among its initiatives “mobilizing and training volunteers who are willing to work as election monitors” and “aggressively pursuing fraud reports to ensure prosecution when appropriate.”
Last night on Current TV, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm used her show The War Room to help spread misinformation about TTV and Republican led efforts to reduce voter fraud in a segment with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, in which she claimed the Romney campaign had an orchestrated strategy to “suppress the vote on the Left” that includes groups like TTV that train citizens to become poll watchers.
“There was a report yesterday issued by Common Cause saying that voter supression is happening not just with Voter IDs but on the day of the election there’s a lot of voter monitors. Do you think that’s going to have an impact?” she asked the mayor.
First and foremost, why is having voter monitors at the polls inherently a bad thing? Based on the look on Granholm’s face as the words come out of her mouth, one would think these ‘voter monitors’ were thugs or criminals sent straight from the streets of Detroit down to the ballot boxes across America to rough Americans up, which, of course, is not the case. Poll watchers and election day volunteers are just average, patriotic Americans who seek to ensure our nation’s laws and being followed.
Secondly, Common Cause, the organization which produced the “Bullies at the Ballot Box” report Granholm is referring to is funded by the Open Society Foundations (formally known as the Open Society Institute.) The study was bought and paid for by enemy of the Right, George Soros, who also funds left-wing media watchdog group Media Matters so he can help “hold Fox News accountable for the false and misleading information they so often broadcast.” That information alone should discredit the hyper-partisan report.
The executive summary of the report attacks voter protection group True the Vote for it’s goal of training and putting one million poll watchers at voting stations this Nov
ember to help oversee election day operations, which are typically ran by city and state volunteers with little training in how to spot and report voter fraud. However, Common Cause claims that the purpose of True the Vote’s volunteers is to “challenge and confront” Americans rather than help them by making sure their vote is protected. The Common Cause statement dings True the Vote for saying that voting in a location with poll watchers is “like driving and seeing the police following you.”
“There is a real danger
that voters will face overzealous volunteers who take the law into their own hands to target voters they deem suspect. But there is no place for bullies at the ballot box,” Common Cause’s report says.
So now following the law is a form of bullying? The majority of states – 39 to be exact – allow private citizens to challenge votes at the ballot box on Election Day. True the Vote is not only acting within the law, but it is acting to ensure that the law is upheld, by helping aid the federal government in ensuring that only U.S. citizens vote in our elections.
In the segment with Granholm, Brown takes the groundless accusation even further, claiming that in California, he’s seen election monitors walking around dressed a
s customs agents.
Laws differ from locality to locality and state to state, but in Texas for instance, where True the Vote’s headquarters are, you can’t even be in a polling place unless it is your polling place. You also have to authorized by a candidate to be there as the campaign’s official poll watcher. In many places, poll watchers can’t even talk to voters.
Not to mention, impersonating a US customs agent is against the law in any time, place or manor, let alone at the ballot box. That’s a totally separate issue outside of
concerns about allowing poll watchers to moniter elections. Also, Brown admits that those imposters were arrested, tried and prosecuted. Not to mention, Brown presents zero evidence that these men were poll watchers, claimed to be poll watchers or were affiliated with a poll watching group like TTV.
Yet, he still insists on tying the vote to TTV, which he does not mention directly by name, repeating Common Cause’s bogus claims that TTV is calling on “Tea Party types” “to do what they can to push voters away from the polls”
The report - and Brown – also accuses True the Vote of being a Tea Party affiliated organization, which is quite simply false. More accurate is that the Tea Party - which seeks for increased government accountability – supports True the Vote’s efforts to maintain the integrity of our nation’s voting processes.
But it’s not just conservatives, Republicans and Tea Partiers who are coming to True the Vote for training for their poll watchers. Ahead of the Texas primary this summer, TTV held a training for would be poll watchers from all campaigns and parties to come to True the Vote to get their poll watching training. The organization sent invitations to both the state and local Democratic and Republican parties – something it tries to do every time it holds a training.
Why? Because TTV is truly a non-
partisan organization because voter fraud is truly a non-partisan issue – it is commited by persons of both parties. Furthermore, this is certainly not a version of the argument that will ultimately be popular among mainstream Democrats, who also employ poll watchers not only to make sure the voting process is carried out fairly and legally, but to stand by and report on who off their list of supporters has voted, and who has not. Successfully launching a campaign against states’ poll watching laws wouldn’t be of benefit to either major political party.
So why has the Left has chosen to target TTV and make the existence of citizen election monitors a partisan issue?
“You would think in America we would be about trying to get everyone in the world to vote, hopefully standing in line for hours if they have to. But that’s not the way some of these people want to play the game,” Brown says in the Granholm segment, throwing his hands up in the air with emphasis.
Elections in our democracy are not a “game.” This year, voters will not only decide who will manage their state and local governments, they will also decide who becomes the next President of the United States. Everyone in the world does not have the right to vote in US elections – only US citizens who have not committed felonies do. Organizations like True the Vote that stop people who shouldn’t legally be voting from voting.
This is why progressives like Granholm and Brown and Common Cause, want to reduce the number of election monitors. They don’t care what the law says, only what their politics call for. Hopefully Americans will continue to see through these ridiculous attacks on organizations that seek to protect the fabric of our democracy.