A non-partisan movement helps citizens take a stand for free and fair elections.
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Catherine Engelbrecht, the founder and president of True the Vote, a non-partisan movement to help citizens take a stand for free and fair elections.
FP: Catherine Engelbrecht, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Let us begin with who True the Vote is.
Engelbrecht: Thanks Jamie.
True the Vote is a nonpartisan citizen-led initiative to protect the right to vote and the integrity of our election process.
FP: What does True the Vote do?
Engelbrecht: We educate fellow voters, review incoming voter registrations, research the veracity of existing voter registries, recruit and train election observers, and fully document our observations along the way so that findings can be used to constructively reform election code legislation in future election cycles.
We have for too long believed that the processes of our elections are up to the government. Like so many other things, we relinquished our responsibility to protect and defend our vote. The consequences of our civic siesta? Inaccurate voter registries, polling places without volunteers, a weakened process, and little political will to prosecute the perpetrators of election fraud. Rules matter. Our process matters. Belief that the results of our election reflect the will of the people is the underpinning of our entire republic.
FP: Why should people care?
Engelbrecht: The only way we will ever ensure free and fair elections is if citizens care enough to get involved and help support systems that protect the interests of every American voter.The Washington Post recently came out with a survey that showed more than 80% of Americans were concerned about election fraud. People know something isn't right.
According to Pew Research, 1 in 8 voter registration records are incorrect, yet our Federal Government sues states who attempt to maintain their rolls. 70+% of our population support photo voter identification, yet our Federal Government fights tooth and nail to stop it at every turn.
In the last 18 months alone there have been prosecutions of voter fraud cases in 31 states, just in the past few months we've seen election integrity compromised in Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, to name a few. Our election process is vulnerable to corruption from beginning to end.
These vulnerabilities can be readily exploited by groups who subvert our systems to serve their purposes - and it will not stop until we stand up.
FP: What have you accomplished?
Engelbrecht: True the Vote now has an exportable program of training, technology, and support to equip citizens so that they can help review the accuracy of voter rolls and registration applications, serve at the polls as election workers or observers, recognize and report problems in their local electoral processes and support common-sense solutions. We have programs up and running in 35 states and support hundreds of citizen-led election integrity efforts using the True the Vote model.
As a result of our program, millions of voter registrations have been reviewed. We've identified dead voters, voters with more than one registration, those voting in more than one state in the same election, and counties with more than 100% of their eligible populations registered to vote. We verified millions of signatures on petition recalls and have publicized our findings, to the dismay of the unions and many elected officials. We've trained and mobilized thousands of poll watchers. But, most importantly, we've reminded our fellow Americans that our election processes should be treated as a priority; that just voting is no longer enough. We must now work to support the integrity of our vote - if we don't, who will?
FP: What is the state of elections in our country?
Engelbrecht: Every eligible American citizen should have the opportunity to participate in a fair and legal election, where one person equals one vote. Yet,we have industrial voter registration machines turning in hundreds of thousands of bogus registrations, 1.8 million deceased people on the voter rolls, 2.75 million people registered to vote in more than one state, our Federal government is suing states to prevent them from maintaining their rolls, and no one can have a reasonable discussion about election code reforms without being labeled a racist, a vote suppressor, or some such slur. We are on a downward spiral.
FP: How does our process compare to others around the world?
Engelbrecht: Not so great. America has the lowest voter turnout of any industrialized nation. We are also one of the few that doesn't have a common requirement for some form of photo voter identification. In fact, in many states here in the U.S., an election worker can't even ask a voter to provide identification. That is madness. We've become a culture paralyzed by political correctness; so concerned with the thought that someone might be offended or inconvenienced that we're willing to debase the validity of our entire nation's vote.
Maybe it's best told this way - Former President Jimmy Carter, after his presidency, went on to develop an organization that oversaw international election monitoring standards. It is reported that once after he'd delivered a speech and was entertaining questions, he was asked about the Bush v. Gore debacle in 2000. "Would your organization come and monitor elections in America?" To which Carter replied, “Absolutely not. Elections in the United States do not meet the minimum standards.”
FP: Why is there such a battle over photo voter identification?
Engelbrecht: We live in a society that requires identification for any number of things. If you want to drive, you must have photo ID. If you want to cash a check, you show photo ID. If you want to apply for food stamps or Medicaid, you are asked for photo ID. It’s not a huge leap to suggest that our vote is important enough to ask that photo ID be shown at the polls. Over 70% of all Americans want it and states will provide it at no charge.
Voter turnout has been proven time and again to actually increase in states that implement photo voter ID legislation, with the highest percentage increases coming from minority communities. Further, studies have shown that voters are more inclined to vote once photo voter ID legislation is in place because voters feel more confident in the legitimacy of the electoral process.
So, to your question, why would certain groups be so adamantly against it? To rally their base, to further a radical agenda, to perpetuate the theme of victimization, to allow for the continued subversion of our election process, and to disenfranchise legitimate votes by diluting them with those fraudulently cast.
FP: What role has the DOJ played in administering justice in US elections?
Engelbrecht: Our current administration has adopted a warped view of election integrity; charges against the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation are dropped and the case is quietly closed, states that try to improve their processes and maintain their voter rolls are sued, and common sense improvements like photo voter ID are vilified as scandalous attempts to stop minority voters. nder Eric Holder, our US Department of Justice does not protect our election processes, it perverts them, using the very types of suppression and intimidation tactics it purports to protect against.
FP: Why do so many progressive organizations and elected politicians attack you and your organization?
Engelbrecht: Ah yes, the radical elements, the extremists; who have no sense of fair play, no respect for the rule of law, and are so blinded by their irrational crusades that the prospect of an honorable election is little more than a nuisance. Make no mistake, there are very organized, methodical, strategies out there to exploit our system. ACORN, the Unions, George Soros and Open Society, who are more than willing to sidestep legality if it means they can stay in seats of power. Why do they attack us? Because we are a threat. When citizens become more engaged, when we conduct ourselves and our processes with integrity, when we vote based on our values and not on trumped up rhetoric, we begin to see the truth - Americans are a lot more alike than we are different, irrespective of party. When that happens (and it is happening) these groups that derive their power from self-incited battles, become irrelevant and powerless. And they know it.
They are not trying to protect the vote, they are using the vote to protect themselves.
FP: How can people get involved?
Engelbrecht: They can go to truethevote.org right now and volunteer to serve. We provide online, state specific training and support to help citizens get prepared to work at the polls. Elections were always meant to be overseen by the citizenry, but somewhere along the line we forgot that. We have come far too close to giving our government absolute power. Not just in elections, but in everything. We must re-engage. Observation, engagement, holding people accountable - that changes things. And that’s what True the Vote is here to do. Now is the time to take our process back and to educate ourselves in the ways we can preserve the sanctity of our electoral process, before it is too late.
FP: Catherine Engelbrecht, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview. And thank you so much for your valiant effort to help citizens take a stand for free and fair elections.
We encourage all of our readers to go to truethevote.org and help make a difference.
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