If Secretary of State Jon Husted becomes aware of voter intimidation in this year’s election, he will act swifty to investigate and seek prosecution of any offenders, spokesman Matt McClellan said today. His comments came in response to a warning to Husted from the 10 Democratic Ohio senators about the activities of a Houston-based group, True The Vote. The tea party group “insists that voter fraud is a pervasive problem and has taken it upon itself to employ questionable, and possibly illegal, methods to combat the ‘problem’. These methods have turned up no fraud and have posed a serious threat of intimidation of entirely eligible voters,” the senators said in a letter today to Husted. “Working through an affiliated group, the Ohio Voter Integrity Project, True the Vote has challenged hundreds of voters in Hamilton (380 challenges) and Franklin (308 challenges) counties. The overwhelming majority of these challenges were rejected, but not before the voters involved were frightened by the prospect of being denied the opportunity to vote.”
Ohio law makes it a crime to “attempt by intimidation, coercion, or other unlawful means to induce such delegate or elector to register or refrain from registering or to vote or refrain from voting” or to “in any manner hinder or delay an elector in reaching or leaving the place fixed for casting the elector’s ballot (including) loiter(ing) in or about a registration or polling place during registration or the casting and counting of ballots so as to hinder, delay, or interfere with the conduct of the registration or election,” the senators pointed out.
“True the Vote’s very program, and the specific activities in which it has engaged to date, present serious questions of illegal—indeed criminal—interference with the right to vote,” they concluded. True The Vote, which says it is “equipping citizens to take a stand for free and fair elections,” is recruiting “poll watchers” for all states. On its website, the group says one of its initiatives is “aggressively pursuing fraud reports to ensure prosecution when appropriate” and “efforts to validate existing registration lists, including the use of pattern recognition software to detect problem areas.”
Full Article: Husted will probe any voter intimidation | Dispatch Politics.