Citizen watchdog group True the Vote's mission is to help maintain free and fair elections by protecting "the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation." Guarding against voter fraud, rooting our voter registration scams, ensuring that polling stations not break rules, and making sure dead people don't vote hardly seem controversial.
"It is not about party or politics; it is about principle,” said True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht.
It's the kind of good government initiative one would think liberals who tout equality and fairness would support and find laudable.
Not so, apparently.
Today, singer Cher called True the Vote volunteers "animals." MSNBC host Rachel Madow cheered an Ohio county's decision to bar True the Vote poll watchers on grounds of "filing violations." And the NY Times says that while voter rolls are riddled with registration issues, Ms. Engelbrecht--a Texas soccer mom who also founded a Tea Party Group named the King Street Patriots--and her group are hunting for phantom irregularities:
The Pew Center on the States issued a report in February finding that more than 1.8 million dead people remained on voter rolls and that about 2.8 million people were registered in more than one state. Another 12 million registrations contained flawed addresses, it said.
Even so, there have been few cases of widespread fraud, according to the Justice Department.
Indeed, the battle over poll watchers has sparked partisan clashes today at the polls. In Philadelphia, the Romney campaign says 75 GOP poll watchers were booted from precinct polling places in Philadelphia:
In some cases by Democrats saying, “No Republicans will be allowed in the polling place.” The GOP has gone to court and obtained an order from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas requiring the Republicans to be admitted to the polls and seated per their legal authority. However, there is no telling what mischief, in the form of voter fraud, the Democrats have committed in the meantime.
And in Detroit, "a legally credentialed poll watcher was threatened with a gun at a polling precinct in Detroit — an incident that state Republican leaders are calling an act of 'outlandish' intimidation."
Democrats seem to have few problems with United Nations poll watchers. And Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department dropped charges against baton-wielding members of the New Black Panther Party standing in front of a voting precinct. But now, somehow a citizen group led by a Texas soccer mom represents an existential threat to the Republic?
Maintaining fraud-free elections should be the goal of all citizens, regardless of party. Lawful efforts to protect the U.S. voting system aren't "animalistic," they're patriotic.