There was an interesting item in Politico yesterday about “the coming war over voting rights” in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act. It was generally unremarkable, though the final paragraphs were important, in an unsettling sort of way (via Zach Roth).
Election integrity advocates also expect incremental changes.
“We expect to see sweeping reforms after federal election cycles. There will be more bureaucratic procedural reforms between now and November 2014,” said Catherine Engelbrecht, founder and president of True The Vote, a nonprofit that trains poll watchers and supports election integrity efforts across the country.
“Expect hard-fought battles over determining the perfect blend of early voting days, polling locations and volunteers with the aim of reducing long lines,” she said, along with voter ID, removing ineligible voters from the rolls and absentee ballot changes.
Now, a typical person might read this and assume that True The Vote is just a regular ol’ group interested in the “integrity” of elections. After all, Politico, in a news article, described the group that way – twice – while presenting True The Vote as independent and neutral.
What Politico neglected to mention is, well, the truth about True the Vote.
As my colleague Laura Conaway reported last year, “True the Vote is a project of the King Street Patriots, a Tea Party chapter in Houston, Texas. One True the Vote leader tells volunteers their goal is to give voters a feeling ‘like driving and seeing the police following you.’”
True the Vote’s efforts became so controversial that Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), a longtime champion of voting rights, called for an investigation of the group’s alleged voter-suppression techniques. ”At some point, an effort to challenge voter registrations by the thousands without any legitimate basis may be evidence of illegal voter suppression…. If these efforts [from True the Vote] are intentional, politically motivated and widespread across multiple states, they could amount to a criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their constitutional rights.”
A simple nonprofit that “supports election integrity efforts” this isn’t.