Private Citizens Fight Voter Fraud
Upholding the law when government won't.
January 25, 2011 - 12:00 am
This past weekend, citizens from across Texas held a summit in Houston to help protect the future integrity of the electoral process. Called “True the Vote,” this amalgam of tea party groups and interested citizens met to learn about how they can fight voter fraud when their governments won’t. True the Vote is going nationwide in March with a summit for the rest of the country. Citizens who care about honest elections can, at last, do something about it.
At PJM, I’ve covered the corrupt abdication of law enforcement obligations when it comes to fighting voter fraud. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes instructed the Department of Justice Voting Section that federal laws requiring voter rolls to be free of ineligible voters won’t be enforced. Former Voting Section Chief Christopher Coates testified that Fernandes and other Obama appointees spiked at least eight investigations into states with voter roll problems.
The Obama DOJ hasn’t brought a single case to require a state to remove dead and ineligible felon voters from the rolls. Fernandes spiked these investigations because she is ideologically opposed to enforcing laws protecting election integrity — and she relishes the partisan benefits of inaction.
When governments fail to do their job, citizens must rush into the breach. Various federal laws provide citizens the right to act like a privatized attorney general. Section 8 of the Motor Voter law requires states to have only eligible and legal voters on the rolls. Citizens have the legal power to review, and even demand, voter registration data to detect fraud.
Yet almost 20 years after Motor Voter was enacted, only left-wing activist groups have utilized the provisions of the law. Neither political parties nor private citizens have used the law to fight voter fraud.
Enter True the Vote, formed in Houston, Texas, by citizen activists energized by the rise of the tea party movement.
Together, they sought a task where they could make a difference. Issue-driven battles in the 1990s saw Ross Perot’s forces assemble and then disperse when the issues like term limits or insider dealing withered. Instead, True the Vote adopted a process-driven agenda — secure the integrity of American elections and fight voter fraud.
It was a good choice. Although millions poured into operations like ACORN and others dedicated to high-volume ballot access regardless of eligibility, hardly anyone representing the silent millions of law-abiding Americans stood watch on Election Day. Never before had the voter fraudsters been challenged by a well-organized and brilliant foe.
Before the 2010 election, True the Vote reviewed thousands of pages of voter data in Houston. They found non-citizens registered to vote, citizens registered at vacant lots, forgeries in registrations, and multiple registrations of the same individuals. These violations of federal and Texas law were forwarded to the Department of Justice as well as Texas authorities.
Hopefully, both agencies will take advantage of the hard work of True the Vote and enforce the laws they are charged to enforce. Thus far, nothing has happened.