While people have been rightfully focused on the voter suppression skullduggery taking place in states like Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, another effort at stealing the vote has been pretty much flying under the radar - until now. Rachel recently did a segment on it and now Steven Rosenfeld of Alternet is shining a light on it as well.
The effort is entitled "True the Vote," a well-funded and well-organized "voting vigilante" group that Rosenfeld infiltrated a few weeks back. And what are its tactics? I'll let Rosenfeld explain:
True the Vote has three main focuses: policing new voter registrations and winnowing existing voter rolls; training polling place watchers to spot and protest all kinds of slights that undermine voting; and filing suits to prompt states and counties to purge voter rolls.I really want to emphasize the highlighted part because that's where True the Vote distinguishes itself from other voter-suppression efforts. They essentially want to make the voting process so challenging and personally uncomfortable for certain (i.e. Democratic-leaning) voters that said voters will either stay away from the polls entirely or leave before getting the chance to cast their ballots. The group began in Texas, but it is expanding into Swing States big time this election season.
Here are some more of their tactics:
It claims to have thousands of volunteers using its web-based software who are identifying thousands of questionable voter registrations or possibly illegal voters in battleground states. It is trying to partner with Republican election officials to detect and investigate suspicious names, and then stop those people from voting this November unless they prove their eligibility.
I bold-faced the above section just in case you were under the illusion that they were truly interested in voter fraud per se, without regard to party affiliation or electoral outcome.
On Election Day, it says it wants to deploy one-million people at polling places to watch who shows up, how people are checked for ID, how they are given ballots, and ensure that people who ask poll workers for help fill out their own ballots. All of this is to prevent illegal voting, presumably for Democrats.And the group appears to be getting some much needed support from Republican officials.
They’re being encouraged by Republicans in high office—such as Florida’s governor, secretaries of state in Colorado, Kansas and Ohio, attorneys general in Texas and Colorado.Most of the rest of the article deals with Rosenfeld's experiences going undercover at one of their summits in Colorado recently, what he saw and what he learned there.
It's obvious to most of us that if what the conservatives and Republicans were serving up in the way of policy were not so unpalatable to the majority of Americans, they would not have to resort to such despicable measures to keep their fellow citizens from exercising their Constitutionally-guaranteed right to vote. Let's be equally vigilant and show them that we won't be intimidated by their tactics.