Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The New York Times finally caught up to the Tea Party voter suppression efforts by "True the Vote" in a lengthy report on Sunday. Looking, Very Closely, for Voter Fraud:
It might as well be Harry Potter’s invisible Knight Bus, because no one can prove it exists.
The bus has been repeatedly cited by True the Vote, a national group focused on voter fraud. Catherine Engelbrecht, the group’s leader, told a gathering in July about buses carrying dozens of voters showing up at polling places during the recent Wisconsin recall election.
“Magically, all of them needed to register and vote at the same time,” Ms. Engelbrecht said. “Do you think maybe they registered falsely under false pretenses? Probably so.”
Weeks later, another True the Vote representative told a meeting of conservative women about a bus seen at a San Diego polling place in 2010 offloading people “who did not appear to be from this country.”
Officials in both San Diego and Wisconsin said they had no evidence that the buses were real. “It’s so stealthy that no one is ever able to get a picture and no one is able to get a license plate,” said Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Wisconsin agency that oversees elections. In some versions the bus is from an Indian reservation; in others it is full of voters from Chicago or Detroit. “Pick your minority group,” he said.
[In 2010, Tea Party candidate Jesse Kelly's Claims That Mexicans Are Being Bused In To Vote Were Dismissed By AZ Secretary Of State - the claims “are without merit.” Matthew Benson, then communications director for the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, called it an “urban legend” and pointed out that “in terms of specific instances, we haven’t seen it.”]
The buses are part of the election fraud gospel according to True the Vote, which is mobilizing a small army of volunteers to combat what it sees as a force out to subvert elections. Ms. Engelbrecht’s July speech in Montana was titled “Voter Fraud: The Plot to Undermine American Democracy.”
True the Vote’s plan is to scrutinize the validity of voter registration rolls and voters who appear at the polls. Among those in their cross hairs: noncitizens who are registered to vote, those without proper identification, others who may be registered twice, and dead people. In Ohio and Indiana, True the Vote recently filed lawsuits to force officials to clean up voter rolls.
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In a report this month, the liberal-leaning organizations Common Cause and Demos cited True the Vote as the central player in this effort, which it called a threat to the fundamental right to vote.
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While [Ms. Englebrecht] portrays True the Vote as nonpartisan, it grew out of a Tea Party group, King Street Patriots, that she founded in Texas. An examination shows that it has worked closely with a variety of well-financed organizations, many unabashed in their desire to defeat President Obama.
A polished and provocative video, circulating among Tea Party activists, seeks to raise a “cavalry” to march on swing states and identifies True the Vote as a participant in the effort, called Code Red USA.
In the past year, Americans for Prosperity, an organization founded by the billionaire Koch brothers, and other Republican-leaning independent groups have sponsored meetings featuring Ms. Engelbrecht and other True the Vote speakers.
The Rachel Maddow Show has done an exceptional job of reporting on the Tea Party voter suppression efforts by "True the Vote." This organization is active in Arizona.
The Election Protection Coalition includes a number of organizations who provide poll observers to protect the right to vote against such voter suppression efforts. Election Protection · You Have the Right to Vote. You may be familiar with their voter protection hot-line: 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
The Democratic Party also provides poll observers for Voter Protection - Democrats.org - Democratic National Committee. There is also the Voting Rights Institute - Democratic National Committee.
The Arizona Democratic Party will be recruiting poll observers for election day. A training course will be provided. Check with your local county party headquarters.