Attacks on the True the Vote movement in Ohio reveal the disingenuous nature of the leftists’ “voter integrity” efforts. The attacks originate from predominantly Democratic Party aligned groups and they attack real citizen-led attempts to ensure the integrity of our nation’s elections and voter registration processes.
The Ohio Voter Integrity Project, a nonpartisan, Ohio-based voter integrity group aligned with True the Vote, has recently come under fire from Democratic Party Congressional Rep. Elijah Cummings. Catherine Engelbrecht and her True the Vote organization has received direct shots as well.
Engelbrecht’s True the Vote works and partners with local groups from across the nation in an effort to ensure voter registries are up-to-date and other election and voter registration processes operate under the local laws which govern them. True the Vote’s Ohio partner, the Ohio Voter Integrity Project, followed the laws of Ohio and investigated their voter registration rolls.
They put forth challenges to the Ohio Board of Elections when they uncovered people who were registered to vote but are now deceased, people who had duplicate registrations and registration forms with incomplete or incorrect addresses.
Each state has different processes for their election boards to follow, Ohio is unique, in that the law requires a two-step process for their election board to resolve any challenges:
1. If a challenge is received, the election board can summarily accept or deny the challenge before any hearing is held, and
2. If the election board is unable to resolve the challenge due to incomplete evidence, they must send a letter to the challenged registered voter informing them of the challenge and setting up a formal hearing.
Approximately 90% of the challenges the Ohio Voter Integrity Project presented to the election board were resolved in the first step. However, the other 10% remained at issue. Although no substantial differences existed between these two groups of challenges, the Democratic Ohio Election Board members demanded hearings for these registered voters and began to immediately engage in publicity appearances over the “almost marginalized voters.”
It didn’t matter that the challenges could have easily been resolved in step one of the process by the Ohio election boards — the possibility of an anti-voter integrity media stunt proved too tempting an offer to pass up.
By far the biggest Democratic Party mouthpiece to take advantage of the opportunity for a pro-Democratic Party talking point fest was none other than Democratic Rep. and Congressional Black Caucus leader Elijah Cummings.
Cummings immediately sent a letter on House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform letterhead to Catherine Engelbrecht and her True the Vote organization. Without merit he claimed the Ohio issue indicated an effort to “suppress” minority votes.
Cummings’ first letter to True the Vote was issued on October 4, 2012. He claimed the processes True the Vote and their partners use were “flawed” and might “unnecessarily challenge Ohio voters who might have a tendency to vote for Obama.”
It’s interesting to note that Cummings sent his letter late on October 4th, a Thursday, and before True the Vote had an opportunity to respond. Cummings was immediately on Soledad Obrien’s CNN morning show where he falsely claimed True the Vote was “under a congressional investigation” due to concerns the group was attempting to “suppress Democratic votes.”
As the Baltimore Sun immediately noted, not only was there no congressional investigation into True the Vote, but Elijah Cummings had misrepresented his power to investigate anything, much less demand documents for political motives under the false pretense of doing so “for Congress.”
True the Vote responded with a letter to Cummings the following day with an offer to talk and communicate about any misconceptions. Cummings waited until October 18, 2012 to respond — again late on a Thursday, followed by next morning media appearances.
Of course Cummings didn’t mention that True the Vote had offered to talk and engage in dialogue. He further forgot to mention that his late October 18th letter had refused to have any dialogue with True the Vote unless the organization turned over what amounted to any and all documents the group possessed.
True the Vote decided to address the unfounded smears from Cummings by issuing a October 29 2012 demand for him to retract his defamation or face a lawsuit. Cummings has yet to respond.