January 3, 2024

Voter integrity group wins intimidation case in Georgia

Federal Judge Steve Jones, ruled in favor of the conservative group True the Vote, stating that mass challenges of Georgia voters' eligibility by the group did not amount to illegal voter intimidation.

Jones, in a 145-page order, concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove that True the Vote attempted to threaten or coerce voters.

This decision is a loss for Fair Fight Action, a voting rights group founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams, which was the lead plaintiff in the case.

Fair Fight alleged that True the Vote, along with its allies, violated the Voting Rights Act by challenging the eligibility of 250,000 Georgia voters before the runoffs that decided control of the U.S. Senate in early 2021.

County election boards rejected the majority of these challenges. Judge Jones stated that there was no evidence that True the Vote's actions caused voter intimidation, coercion, or threats during voting.

The founder of True the Vote, Catherine Engelbrecht, celebrated the ruling as "a resounding vindication," emphasizing that it sends a clear message that attempts to control the nation through lawfare and intimidation will not silence American citizens.

Jones criticized True the Vote's methods, particularly its reliance on large spreadsheets listing voters who submitted change-of-address forms. Fair Fight argued that these challenges targeted eligible voters who wanted their mail forwarded but remained Georgia residents with full voting rights.

While Jones faulted True the Vote's methods, Georgia law permits residents to file challenges against voter eligibility, and county election boards must hold public hearings to decide on the challenges.

The lawsuit did not address the legality of Georgia's voter challenge law but sought to prevent True the Vote from operating in Georgia and disputing voter eligibility in the future.

Fair Fight expressed disappointment with the ruling, stating that the courts do not consistently provide the vindication and protection sought in the face of voter intimidation efforts.

True the Vote, known for its work on voter challenges, was also behind the election conspiracy movie "2000 Mules," which alleged widespread absentee ballot drop box fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The group has now cleared its name in court as it seeks to continue its work to protect voter integrity in the days ahead.

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