Is it legal to challenge the eligibility of voters because of illegal addresses and other reasons or is that "voter intimidation"? That is what a Georgia Court is trying to Determine as True the Vote fights for Voter Integrity in our Elections.
by Natalia Mittelstadt, Just the News.com, October 25, 2023
On Thursday, the trial of Fair Fight v. True the Vote began, with the plaintiff arguing that the defendants' challenging the eligibility of more than 364,000 voters in the 2020 presidential election amounts to "voter intimidation."
Fair Fight is a voting rights PAC founded by twice-defeated Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, and funded by left-wing fundraiser "ActBlue." Fair Fight first filed the lawsuit in December 2020, in the weeks leading up to the Senate runoff election in the state.
Abrams herself is considered by many to be the left-wing's version of an "election denier." The Washington Post reported that at various times Abrams said gubernatorial election was “stolen” from her, and in a New York Times interview, that “I won.” She suggested that election laws were “rigged” and that it was “not a free or fair election.” She also claimed that voter suppression was to blame for her loss, even though she admitted she could not “empirically” prove that. According to The Post, while she eventually acknowledged Kemp was the governor, she refused to say he was the “legitimate” governor.
The lawsuit alleges that Texas-based True the Vote violated a section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that prohibits voter intimidation. This violation allegedly occurred by True the Vote challenging the 364,000 voters based on the U.S. Postal Service National Change of Address registry; recruiting “volunteers to monitor voters as they return their ballots and encouraged ‘citizen watchdogs’ to report suspected instances of illegal voting”; and creating “a $1 million reward fund to ‘incentivize’ individuals to report instances of 'election malfeasance,’” the lawsuit states.
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The Fair Fight also argued, “While several counties rejected True the Vote’s mass challenges, and multiple courts have already thrown out their supporters’ frivolous claims of voter fraud, these repeated attempts at voter suppression have lasting effects on of the electorate: lawful voters will be deterred and intimidated from participating in the political process out of fear that they will be accused by Defendants and their supporters of voting illegally."
The lawsuit additionally asks the Georgia court to adopt the reasoning of a case in Montana, where “one court explained in considering a similar mass challenge effort by the Montana Republican Party to voters based on change of address data, ‘[o]ne can imagine the mischief an immature political operative could inject into an election cycle were he to use the [challenge] statutes, not for their intended purpose of protecting the integrity of the people’s democracy, but rather to execute a tawdry partisan ploy.’”
Fair Fight is asking the court to find that True the Vote violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act and to prevent the organization from operating in Georgia, including submitting challenges to voters’ eligibility or participating in activities related to poll watching.
Fair Fight’s attorneys said that if the court rules against True the Vote, then it could deter similar mass challenges of voter eligibility in Georgia and other states.
True the Vote argues that they were exercising their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association and not intimidating voters. The defendants’ trial brief also argues that “it’s reasonable” for someone to confirm that a person hasn’t permanently moved to a different address since the person notifies the USPS and election officials when they move.
The U.S. Department of Justice joined the case, asserting that the voter intimidation section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act does not violate the First Amendment in this instance.
The trial is estimated to take 10 days.
Full Disclosure: The We the People Convention Donates to support True the Vote and Gave Catherine Engelbrecht our "Spirit of Freedom" Award at our 2019 Convention.