The group had its first test run in its home district of Houston in 2010. ”True the Vote appears to have targeted mostly black precincts, sending white challengers to stare down voting booths filled with black voters,” Maddow said. ”There were so many reports of an intimidating atmosphere in Houston that election that the Federal Justice Department sent observers in on election day.”
True the Vote’s shadowy backers have injected a massive infusion of cash into the organization’s coffers, which will enable them to station “a million” poll watchers at every district they deem questionable in the country. They have held seminars in Colorado, Florida and Ohio, all hotly contested swing states.
In Ohio, the practice has its origins in the 1800s, when precinct captains were charged with the duty of challenging any person who showed up to vote and appeared to have a “distinct and visible admixture of African blood.” The voter would then be subject to a barrage of questions about their heritage and background with the aim of intimidating them to the point that they would leave rather than face this type of harassment.
The same laws are being taken advantage of today by True the Vote to the very same end, silencing the voice of the black electorate. Ohio’s Secretary of State, John Husted was scheduled to speak at True the Vote’s Ohio summit on Saturday, but backed out when Maddow and producers contacted his office about the group. Maddow invited Husted to come on the show and explain his connection to the group, but as of last week, the Secretary’s office stopped answering and returning calls from the “Maddow Show.”
What went on in Houston and Harris County, Texas in 2010 will now be repeated across the country in 2012.
The conservative group alleges that there's massive voter fraud in Harris County, and the poll watchers they've trained have been accused of intimidating voters. But at Moody Park, Republican candidate Fernando Herrara, the challenger to Democratic state Rep. Jessica Farrar, said he knows of instances in which election officials have only shown voters how to vote the straight Democratic ticket. He believes that in certain polling areas, he's losing 5 percent daily due to illegal voting practices that favor Democrats. Only a few minutes after he voiced his concerns that voters were getting manipulated, a Harris County investigator arrived to serve him with papers. It turned out Herrera had been accused of voter intimidation.
Before this election it was rare to hear of even one complaint from a voter. So far this cycle, there have been more than 55 in Harris County—many of which allege voter intimidation. True the Vote has promised it will have over 1000 poll watchers out on election day to ensure the process is fair, but so many poll watchers also heightens concerns about intimidation.
Groups of True the Vote "patriots" will be in minority districts across the country intimidating, harassing, and accusing minority voters of not voting Republican enough (it must be ILLEGAL!) in order to try to tarnish and delegitimize any Democratic wins, particularly an Obama reelection victory. These jackasses screaming about "millions of fraudulent votes and we have proof!" will be the catalyst for House investigations, national Voter ID legislation, and hey, even impeachment proceedings probably.
It's not like the GOP is interested in truth, remember? Voting Democratic while black is a crime, folks.