True the Vote, the Texas tea party-founded group whose main goal is to suppress and intimidate voters (especially voters of color), was barred from sending its poll monitors to polling places in Franklin County, Ohio, the AFL-CIO voter protection team and The Columbus Dispatch report.
True the Vote was denied status as official observers by the Franklin County Board of Elections yesterday after questions were raised about the veracity of the documents the group submitted. In Ohio, if a group of at least five candidates (local, state or federal) request it, the group is allowed to have poll monitors on Election Day. The Dispatch reports:
There were charges yesterday that the candidates' names had either been falsified or merely copied on forms requesting observer status for the True the Vote at several Franklin County polling places. Many are in predominantly African American neighborhoods.
Elections Director William A. Anthony Jr. said True the Vote may be investigated for possibly falsifying documents after today's election. According to the paper:
One person told the elections board that she attended True the Vote training sessions and the observers were instructed to use cameras to intimidate voters when they enter the polling place, record their names on tablet computers and send them to a central location and attempt to stop questionably qualified voters before they could get to a voting machine.
True the Vote claims its goal is to combat voter fraud but a story today at ABC News Univision reports:
Study after study has shown that voter fraud is extremely rare. An investigation by News21 found that in the past dozen years, there have only been 10 cases of in-person voter fraud that could have been avoided by requiring a photo ID. That's one case for every 15 million voters.
A True the Vote training video was obtained by Univision.
The video, supposedly designed to teach poll watchers how to spot potential election fraud, implies that voter fraud is widespread, and offers several suggestions that actually contradict electoral laws.
Read more from The New Yorker about the True the Vote, the voter fraud myth and Republican efforts to keep the myth alive.
Today, when you get to your polling place, if you are challenged or you have problems, ask a poll worker first. If he or she can't help you, ask to speak with a chief election official. And if that fails, call the AFL-CIO’s voter protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) and our rapid response legal team will go into action to address and solve the problems.
You also can text REPORT to 235246 (standard data and messaging rates may apply) and someone from the rapid response team will get back to you for details.