Organizers describe themselves as a citizen-led effort to restore faith and integrity to the electoral process. What is the purpose of this True the Vote and who is behind it?
The Houston-based True the Vote initiative is dedicated to stopping voter fraud and has a “horrendous record of filing inaccurate voter registration challenges.” The organization has a reputation for suppressing the vote and pushing a right-wing agenda to promote a new administration.
What is True the Vote Organization?
True the Vote (TTV) is a conservative vote-monitoring organization located in Houston, Texas, to prevent voting fraud. The organization advocates voter ID laws and trains volunteers to be election monitors, as well as to recognize and report suspect voter registrations that its volunteers feel undermine voter eligibility.
It teaches citizens to be poll watchers and campaign for standardized voter ID legislation and more technologically advanced election equipment.
Since its inception in 2020, True the Vote has been recognized for advocating the hypothesis that Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 United States presidential election resulted from fraud. Following the election, the group regularly claimed evidence of widespread voter fraud and solicited millions of dollars in donations but never presented any evidence.
Some Democrats have charged the group with “voter suppression.” The organization looks to be one of the conservative groups that the IRS allegedly targeted under the Obama administration.
True the Vote Mission
True the Vote says that the “process is crucial” and concentrates on elections rather than public policy problems because “your ability as a citizen to have a say in our democracy” is more important than other matters.
True the Vote believes that “politicians and powerbrokers” want average voters to trust them to “have entire control over the election process, including what happens at the polls, who counts the ballots, and who watches them tally.” “You cannot afford to leave this crucial work to others,” the group says.
Preventive intervention is required to ensure election integrity. Election integrity necessitates ongoing participation. It is not sufficient to participate only on election day. It’s not enough to worry if all votes are counted correctly or what transpired at the polling stations. Every facet of American life is predicated on a free and fair election.
It assumes that at some point, everyone has the opportunity to join together and determine who will lead. That is something worth preserving and safeguarding. True to Vote encourages the average American to feel empowered throughout the election process, from voter registration to election law reform. True the Vote assists voters in knowing precisely what to do.
Their official website states that Every step of the electoral process allows you to make your voice known, and we want to show you how. Not only within the voting booth but also far beyond.
True the Vote History
True the Vote is a conservative-leaning non-profit organization established in Houston that teaches citizens to be poll watchers and campaigns for free and fair elections. True the Vote is a branch of the King Street Patriots, a non-profit Tea Party movement created by Engelbrecht that is mainly active in Texas.
Several members of the King Street Patriots, including its president, were dissatisfied with the voting process in Harris County, Texas, during the 2008 election, particularly the lack of poll workers, which they believed “invited fraud and other problems at the polls,” and founded the second group in mid-2009.
The members decided to keep observing polls and tracking election results. After noticing that thousands of addresses appeared to house six or more voters, they looked into the voter registration information for the district represented by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).
The group examined 3,800 voter registrations in the district and discovered 500 incorrect registrations. More than 200 of them were purportedly registered at a vacant site. According to an election official, the building was dismantled, and the residents relocated. Because of True the Vote’s efforts, election officials in the district reportedly requested 400 to 500 voters to provide more information to verify their residences in 2010.
True the Vote collaborated with Code Red USA on election integrity activities in 2012, sending volunteers into battleground states to act as election watchdogs.
“If you observe something at the polls that simply doesn’t look right, videotape it,” the organization’s motto says.
True the Vote Board Members
Catherine Engelbrecht, Founder, and President
True the Vote Board of Directors
- Catherine Engelbrecht
- Dianne Josephs
- Erin Young-Timme
True the Vote Former Board Members
- Gregg Phillips
- Brent Mudd
True the Vote Advocacy
True the Vote is a watchdog organization that advocates against voter fraud in various forms, including voter registration fraud, mail ballot fraud, voting under someone else’s name, vote “harvesting” (in which paid political operatives collect ballots and solicit votes), voting multiple times, and institutionalized fraud, such as when officials willfully disregard federal law on voter roll maintenance and disregard state laws for ID or signature matching.
True the Vote advocates for national standardized voter ID legislation and updated voting equipment that is more technologically advanced.
True the Vote established a web-based software to empower citizens to report voting concerns in their communities.
Also, Read | What Happened in Georgia 2020 Election?
What True the Vote Do?
Engelbrecht claimed that True the Vote faced greater scrutiny while qualifying for tax-exempt status in May 2013, following reports of the Obama administration’s IRS targeting controversy. That year, the group was granted tax-exempt status.
True the Vote announced plans to deploy 10,000 poll observers across the United States ahead of the 2020 election.
True the Vote dropped lawsuits alleging voting fraud in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in November 2020, a week after suing in all four states.
Following the contentious 2020 presidential election, the group filed the cases in crucial swing states.
In December 2020, Trump donor Fred Eshelman sued True the Vote for $2.5 million, which he donated to the organization, saying it did not do enough to reveal election fraud in 2020.
In April, a Texas state court dismissed the claim after determining that Eshelman lacked standing.
According to the organization, true the Vote’s objective is to help clear voting registers of illegitimate and deceased voters and recruit and educate poll watchers who can report irregularities.
The mainstream and progressive media portray a very different picture: a passionate bunch of primarily white Tea Partiers whose goal is to “true” elections in favor of Republicans by targeting poor and nonwhite voters in presidential battleground states.
True the Vote has been accused by Democrats of intimidating voters. In 2012, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), then-chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced an investigation into the organization.
True the Vote Featuring
The organization was the primary source for Dinesh D’Souza’s disproven film 2000 Mules.
Meetings featuring speakers from the group, including Engelbrecht, have been sponsored by Americans for Prosperity and other Republican-leaning independent groups.
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