A federal judge on Friday blocked an effort by Stacey Abrams’s group, Fair Fight, to obtain a temporary restraining order against election monitoring activities in Georgia by True The Vote, an organization that exists to stop voter fraud nationwide.
The judge’s order marks a rare defeat for Abrams, as well as for Democratic Party lawyer Marc Alias, who led many of the party’s election lawsuits in 2020 and helped fund the fraudulent “Russia dossier” in 2016 that led to the “collusion” hoax.
True The Vote challenged the eligibility of 364,000 voters to participate in the upcoming runoffs for two U.S. Senate seats from Georgia because their names have appeared on the change-of-address database maintained by the U.S. Postal Service.
Fair Fight filed a lawsuit on behalf of itself and two unnamed defendants, “John Doe” and “Jane Doe,” alleging that True The Vote was engaged in a campaign of “voter suppression and intimidation” through its eligibility challenge and other activities.
In a hearing on Dec. 31, Fair Fight told Judge Steve C. Jones that True The Vote specifically wanted to disenfranchise “black and brown voters” who simply changed their address during the coronavirus pandemic, and that voters on the list feared their names would be published.
Fair Fight also described True The Vote’s poll-watching activities as a form of intimidation.
True The Vote pushed back, noting that it had no intent of intimidating anyone and had never done so, and that it was simply seeking “First Amendment redress” of grievances due to the dilution of legitimate votes by fraud. It also pointed out that its poll-watching activities were legal and conducted in compliance with local authorities.
Judge Jones wrote that he had “grave concerns” about True The Vote’s activities in seeking to disqualify the voters who had changed their addresses, saying they could run afoul of the National Voter Registration Act and could affect eligible voters. He also found in favor of Fair Fight on the question of standing, ruling that the anonymous defendants could bring their case.
However, he said that Fair Fight had failed to demonstrate it was likely to succeed on the merits of the case: ” Most critically,
the evidence provided to date does not show that Defendants have harassed or intimidated voters,” he wrote.
True The Vote issued a statement on Saturday:
“These rulings affirm the truth that citizens play an important role in preserving election integrity by asking questions and challenging inaccuracies,” said Catherine Engelbrecht, founder and president of True the Vote. “Georgians owe a debt of gratitude to the registrars in Muscogee and Ben Hill counties who bravely told the court they’d discovered voters who had in fact moved out of state and were attempting to vote in this election – and would have if citizens had not submitted these challenges. And the Georgia citizens sued by Fair Fight were spending time with their families on Christmas Eve when they were served with court papers. They stood strong against these intimidation tactics and harassment.”
True the Vote’s counsel James Bopp represented the defendants in the Fair Fight case.
“These courageous citizens were targeted because they dared to stand up for their rights,” Bopp said. “Like true patriots, they stood strongly by the Constitution and the laws of their state and they effected positive change. This is what citizen engagement looks like: There are forces that will try to stop us, but we’ll never stop fighting to defend our democracy.”
“Let the voters be heard. Let every legal, eligible voter have their vote counted,” Engelbrecht said. “For this to happen, it is critical that those not eligible to vote are prevented from doing so. True the Vote – a completely citizen-led organization – exists for the purpose of championing voting rights, ensuring all law-abiding Americans have the tools they need to cast their ballot, and we are committed to that important work in Georgia and beyond.
The case will continue, and the judge has said Fair Fight will have the opportunity to present further evidence of its claims against True The Vote.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.