While we’ve always been led to believe everything about our voting process is on the up-and-up, there are occasions where the deck may be stacked in favor of a certain candidate or issue, or someone associated with them takes matters into their own hands. Last week I added a piece to the Patriot Post about an incident in Racine, Wisconsin, for example.
Those who volunteered their time to help True the Vote and their partner organizations (like Election Integrity Maryland) have one final Election Day message: be aware and alert.
If you want to make a difference on November 6th, True the Vote has a job for you,” True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said. “Election integrity captured the American conscience with a rough cell phone video of New Black Panthers intimidating voters in Pennsylvania in 2008. Intimidation and electioneering is illegal inside and outside of polls. You have the power to be America’s eyes and ears.”
Concerned citizens are encouraged to report any incidents outside of polling locations with True the Vote’s official Election Integrity Hotline. Citizens may submit incidents over the phone by dialing 855-444-6100. Descriptions and photos should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. True the Vote will verify credible reports and submit those appropriate local authorities.
True the Vote produced a brief training video explaining best practices and procedures encouraging citizens to film any wrongdoing, available on YouTube.
I’m not crazy about the way the video was put together, but the point remains the same.
I have to disagree with one aspect of the law which pertains in Maryland, though: if there is some sort of issue inside the polling place, I think it would be advantageous to make a record of it. Obviously if nothing is amiss there’s no need to be walking around with the cel phone doing your own impersonation of James O’Keefe and Project Veritas, but have it at the ready just in case something is worth noting. (Bear in mind also that Maryland is a two-party state, so you can’t record someone else without their consent. In those cases, you may want to make sure you have witnesses to verify what you’ve stated, such as poll watchers.) So good judgment is key; hopefully there’s no issues to deal with anyway.
Yet some years ago I was witness to an incident where a City Council candidate in my hometown brought a number of coffee mugs bearing his name to the poll workers. The only two who objected were the Republicans (who also happened to be my neighbors.) But it has to be asked how many other polling places he visited in the district where no one objected? That’s why we all need to be vigilant.
I’ll see you at the polls. I’m not sure which one just yet, but rest assured I will find a way to do my campaigning. For me, today is the Super Bowl and I’m ready to claim victory tonight!
In what has become an escalating war of words between a longtime Democratic Congressman and a good-government advocacy group, True The Vote (TTV) on Monday accused Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings of “defamation per se” based on remarks Cummings made on MSNBC; a presentation where he accused TTV of “illegal activities” and having “very strong evidence” TTV was coordinating efforts with the Republican Party. Cummings did not elaborate on his accusations or evidence in his brief segment, though.
Cummings’ witch hunt began last month when he wrote to TTV head Catherine Engelbrecht demanding an accounting of voter registration actions the group has embarked upon in Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and here in Maryland. In response, Engelbrecht offered to meet with Cummings to explain the actions but apparently was rebuffed – instead, Cummings chose to go on MSNBC with his wild, unverified claims. That television appearance led to the newest communication with Cummings from TTV attorney Brock Akers demanding a retraction of his MSNBC comments.
It’s interesting that Cummings, who according to his mouthpiece is “extensively involved in the presidential re-election efforts…and for Senator Cardin” had time to make up these accusations. But he doesn’t have time to meet with TTV – or, for that matter, debate GOP opponent Frank Mirabile either. Yet Cummings is trying to engage TTV with the sort of intimidation tactics that the voter integrity group is fighting against. His missive demanded a large amount of information at a time when TTV is most busy with training poll watchers and working to clear voter rolls of those who don’t belong there. Far from being an inconvenience, the idea behind having voters who were challenged on the rolls provide the proof they should be there is more like something which should be standard procedure – each time I’ve moved I’ve made sure to update my voter registration in a timely manner, so why can’t other people?
While those of us who are citizens of this great land have the right to vote (provided we are of age and not restricted by felony or other similar prohibition) we also have the right to not have our voice drowned out by fraudsters who exercise these rights but shouldn’t. The Democratic nominee for Congress here resigned her nomination for the crime of voting twice (once each in Maryland and Florida) while others who shouldn’t get to vote once because they’re not citizens are handed voter registration cards when they receive their driver’s license.
Yet using Maryland as an example, Election Integrity Maryland has simply looked for duplicate or non-existent addresses and those who they have verified have died. Just that cursory check has provided over 9,000 names which have been flagged. They’re also training additional eyes and ears at the ballot box, which obviously Cummings is afraid of.
But why? The answer to that may be self-evident.