Five myths about voter fraud and voter protection training organization True the Vote

The Left’s obsession with voter fraud and training organization True the Vote reached new heights this month when Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) demanded that the organization turn over a number of documents related to its activities to uncover voter fraud ahead of the 2012 election.

In a letter to True the Vote (TTV) Founder and President Catherine Englebrecht on Oct. 5, Cummings suggested that TTV was engaging in “a criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their constitutional rights.”

Liberal organizations and publications, such as “The Nation” were quick to jump on Cummings’ letter as proof that True the Vote is engaging in illegal behavior by identifying possible instances of voter fraud across the country.

Although attacks by liberal organizations like the Brennan Center date back to 2011, it was not until after Color of Change President and former Obama administration green energy czar Van Jones snuffed out the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) grassroots efforts, which included work to pass Voter I.D. laws at the state level, that the Left truly began targeting True the Vote.

At a conference for progressive students I attended in June, The Nation’s Ari Berman specifically called out True the Vote by name as the “new ALEC” in response to a question from a an attendee about which organization he would identify as the latest greatest threat to voting rights now that ALEC is out of the picture on that front.

Soon after The Nation and its allies at Colorlines took aim at True the Vote, Common Cause and Demos began coming after TTV in full force as well.

Ironically, most Americans – including those who are political active – had never heard of True the Vote until this summer despite the fact that Englebrect founded it in 2009. I had not personally heard of the Houston-based organization until this spring.

By attacking True the Vote, the Left did more to raise the organization’s profile than it could have ever done by itself. TTV would have never reached its goal of training 1 million election volunteers had it not been for the Left’s obsession with their quest to decrease voter fraud.

Likewise, in its attempts to discredit the conservative-leaning training organization, the Left has made several key mistakes.

First, True the Vote could never have the impact on voter protection laws like ALEC because it is not a lobbying organization. It is simply a poll-watcher training organization.

“That also just shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what True the Vote does. We’re not in a position where we can lobby for legislation,” TTV spokesman Logan Churchwell told me in a phone interview.

Second, the majority of Americans do not believe that Voter ID laws are discriminatory. They understand the need for basic protections, including some states’ requirement to show a government issued photo ID, to prevent identity theft at the ballot box.

“Your vote is completely at risk of being stolen,” Englrebecht told me over the phone. “People when they’re allowed to cheat, cheat. Not everybody, but enough to make a difference. Enough to make you lock your door. Enough for DOJ to have a whole wing to investigate identity theft.”

Faced with the reality that Americans are not going to change their minds about Voter ID laws and their attacks on True the Vote weren’t working, the Left and “voter fraud deniers” (as Englebrecht refers to them) began claiming that TTV’s volunteers could go rogue and wrongfully target citizens at the ballot box based on their race.

That is also untrue.

As I explained in a previous piece, True the Vote is not legally authorized to place any of its trainees inside polling places. Instead, state approved candidates and their campaigns must approach TTV requesting poll watchers, at which time TTV can give them a list of names of people whom have taken their training and TTV believes are qualified to poll watch. That’s it.

“It makes no sense,” Englebrecht said. “It begs the question, what must the Left have to hide that they are so willing to divide our country along racial lines just because they think we shouldn’t know whose voting?”

At base the threat from Rep. Cummings is just a threat. Cummings has no legal authority to subpoena documents from True the Vote as long as Republicans continue to control the House, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) chairs the House Judiciary committee, not Cummings, and only he has the power to “investigate” people or organizations on behalf of Congress.

“But that didn’t stop him from leaking his letter to the same Los Angeles Times reporter who wrote the original story slandering us,” Englebrech told Breitbart News’ “Big Government.”Then Rep. Cummings went on Soledad O’Brien’s show on CNN and, just as Sen. Boxer had done the previous week all over MSNBC, he used his power of office to assault private citizens.”

Even anti-True the Vote progressive writer Brentin Mock of The Nation and Colorines has admitted the Brennan Center told him,“it is difficult to identify the hard legal line on True the Vote’s activities.” Meaning, it’s hard for the Left to prove that True the Vote has broken the law because it hasn’t.

Regardless of whether Cummings’ letter holds teeth or not, progressives’ repeated attempts to discredit TTV do matter. TTV fills a necessary gap in the electoral system by training poll watchers to spot and prevent voter fraud. Despite what ‘voter fraud deniers’ may claim, voter fraud can and does occur on Election Day in a number of forms.

“Who among them doesn’t lock their door,” Englebrecht said of voter fraud deniers. “It’s the same principle.”

 

Full Disclosure: TTV communications director Logan Churchwell previously contributed to Red Alert Politics while serving as the communications director of DC-based Accuracy in Media. He has not contributed to or been affiliated with Red Alert in any way since moving to Houston and accepting his current position at True the Vote. It is simply coincidental that he is now the communications director of the organization that is the subject of this article.

 

 

Comments

Polititainment

Obama channels Chris Rock again

At rallies for Democrats in Maryland and Illinois on Sunday, Obama dropped the name "Cousin Pookie" -- a character that he used frequently to energize black voters during his 2008 campaign -- during his speeches.

Oliver beats Supreme Court's camera ban
Comedian John Oliver is sick of the Supreme Court ban on cameras in the court room and the ridiculous ways it makes television news stations have to cover those cases. But all hope is not lost. “What happens at the Supreme Court is way too important not to pay attention to and yet the ban […]
Stewart and Colbert go after 'Fangate'

Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a field day with “Fangate” Thursday night.

O'Reilly v Stewart on 'white privilege'

Jon Stewart had one goal in bringing Bill O’Reilly on his show Tuesday evening: "I want you to admit that there is such a thing as white privilege."

Galifianakis gives Obama a nickname
Zach Galifianakis once came up with a very special nickname for President Obama, he recounted on “The Daily Show” Tuesday night. It all started when Galifianakis came to the White House to film the Emmy-winning “Between Two Ferns” episode to promote Obamacare. “Before we went to interview the president, I ate in the White House […]

White House

President Obama, unpaid bills and the curious editing of the White House transcript
President Obama, some unpaid bills and a curiously “inaudible” section of the White House recording of a speech — that’s how all good stories start, right? While at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago, Obama cracked a joke about the “unpaid bills” at his home. The joke was reported by the White House Press […]
Secrecy shrouds how the Obamas cook their chicken wings

Now it seems the Obamas are tight-lipped even about their eating habits.

Obama delivers devastating blow to red state Democrats, calls them ‘all folks who vote with me’
President Obama can’t seem to stay out of the 2014 midterm elections, no matter how much his fellow Democrats want him to. Obama spoke on Al Sharpton’s radio show Monday, which was later replayed on MSNBC, insisting that red state Democrats are still his “strong allies.” “A lot of the states that are contested this time […]
Obama reveals his favorite Supreme Court decision

President Obama dished on his favorite Supreme Court decision during his presidency, and it wasn’t either of his interviewer’s top guesses.

Poll: Obama less ‘effective’ at ‘managing basic functions’ of government than George W. Bush
Since his popularity and approval ratings began to slide during his second term, former President George W. Bush has served as a scapegoat for Democrats and current President Obama. Bush’s name has been invoked with almost every negative event that has come America’s way. But it seems that the “blame Bush” strategy hasn’t made the […]

Congress

Dems target Republicans as extremists on ed issues

Democrats this election cycle are working hard to paint their Republican opponents as wild extremists who would slash all funding for student loans.

Udall struggles to think of his favorite books

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) seemed a bit rattled in his recent interview with ABC 7 News.

Rand Paul: W.H. hasn’t accurately described Ebola
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Bloomberg politics he believes that the White House has been inaccurately depicting the risks of contracting Ebola. “I think from the very beginning they haven’t been completely forthright with us,” said Paul. “They’ve so wanted to downplay this that they really I don’t think have been very accurate in their […]
Rand Paul doesn't want to 'turnip for what'
Sorry Michelle. It doesn’t look like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants to “turnip for what.” Paul let the first lady know about his first stop in New Hampshire Thursday on Twitter. The likely presidential hopeful went from the plane to the Dunkin’ Donuts and snapped a photo. Just arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire. First stop: @DunkinDonuts cc: […]
Americans could face $15B in new internet taxes
If Senate Democrats don’t take up the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act before the end of the year, American internet users could be looking at nearly $15 billion in additional taxes, a new study found. The Internet Tax Freedom Act, passed during the 1990s, prevents state and local governments from taxing people for access to the […]