Not only are Americans divided over the presidential candidates, they appear to be divided over how people should vote for those candidates. Texas tea partyers have launched an election-monitoring effort designed to weed out voter fraud. Civil rights groups call it an elaborate intimidation scheme targeting minority voters.
“They’re trying to put in place a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist,” said Judith Browne-Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project, adding that voter fraud is uncommon.
Still, the tea party poll watchers point to errors in voter-registration rolls as proof that the system is broken. By monitoring the elections, they seek to prevent double voting, voter impersonation and ballots cast by illegal residents.
“Our goal is to bring focus to a national call for election integrity,” said Catherine Engelbrecht, president of the King Street Patriots, the group behind the poll-watching effort.
The group has raised $140,000 and has already provided election-monitoring training to tea party groups in 30 states through its “True the Vote” project. Engelbrecht said she has a lofty goal to train 1 million people by next year’s elections.