True the Vote: New Form of Voter Intimidation Seen in Early Voting

Friday, 02 Nov 2012 05:30 PM

By Henry J. Reske and Kathleen Walter

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“Self-appointed helpers” are seeping into polling stations across the country intent on intimidating voters, Catherine Engelbrecht, the founder and President of ‘True the Vote,’ an organization dedicated to strengthening laws against vote fraud, tells Newsmax TV.

Engelbrecht said the tactic, first noticed during early voting, is a new wrinkle in the old game of intimidating voters to ensure a result. She said her organization is filtering through the information and passing it on to state officials.

“We’re seeing a very curious development and that is that there are groups that are forming to become self-appointed helpers, if you will, self-appointed assistors who are showing up in polls all over claiming to be there to represent voters to stop voter suppression completely unrequested by voters,” she said. “This is a somewhat concerning development because by their very presence they are causing voter intimidation. So we don’t know quite what to expect on Tuesday, but it could be pretty disturbing.”

She added the helpers are “part of an intentional strategy to continue to try to make people very, very aware that there are powerful forces out there that are going to fight tooth and nail to see this election go the way they want it to go. It’s troubling, it’s just troubling.”

She said the groups behind this new effort are unions.

“In fact, we received a letter yesterday from 21 organizations including every major union, most of your better-known leftist radical groups who have all banded together in opposition of True the Vote,” she said. “Here, again, True the Vote was and always will be about following the laws inside of the polls. But to the extent that they are standing against us, then the only thing they could be in support of is lawlessness and that creates a troubling paradigm on Tuesday.”

A key facet of True the Vote’s mission is the enactment of voter ID laws, a move that opponents claim suppresses the vote, particularly among minority voters. However, Engelbrecht said the opposite is true.

“What we see in states that have adopted photo voter identification is that voter turnout increases, including in minority communities,” she said. “So, as a general statement, you can anticipate that overall we would see an improvement in voter turnout. And that’s important because our country has the lowest voter turnout of any industrialized nation in the world. Why is that? Because somewhere along the line, people have begun to believe that their vote does not count.

“And when you look at the system that we’ve put together, we have a very lax process that’s been developed to support a very apathetic electorate. Photo voter identification is not the solution to all of our process woes, but it does signal that integrity is important and that our vote does have value and it’s the beginning of heading things in the right direction that will benefit every American voter.”

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