Citing a report from one of her “Nerds,” MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry said the real goal of the allegedly non-partisan voter observation group True The Vote is to tie up this year’s elections in the court system.
In a first-hand account of poll watcher training posted on the show’s blog Sunday, Sara Kugler, the coordinator for the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South at Tulane University, headed by Harris-Perry, said her training included a picture of a man dressed as a woman having his vote challenged by a black observer, which she called “a calculated presentation” of how obvious voter fraud is.
“While voter suppression is clearly a key in True the Vote’s strategy, its real endgame is likely being able to challenge the results of the election, if it’s not a favored outcome on Nov. 7,” Kugler said. “If the president wins re-election, that will not be what is ‘true.’ Rather, True the Vote has poised itself to ‘true’ the election results by compiling what may be hundreds of thousands of voter challenges and incident reports.”
Though the group purports not to be aligned with any particular party, Kugler said, its website’s news section is composed of posts from the Republican-leaning blog Election News Center, and a forum devoted to “Important News” features articles from Fox News. The Republican Secretary of State for Ohio, Jon Husted, was also scheduled to speak at the group’s summit in August but cancelled after another MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow, contacted him asking about it.
When Republican strategist Katon Dawson pushed back on Harris-Perry’s assertion that True The Vote intended to “build a case” based on voter challenges this year, saying that True The Vote’s activities have not broken any laws, civil rights attorney Barbara Arnwine pointed out that another problematic aspect of the group is poor training.
“They were actually going into a community where there were Somalians, naturalized Somalians, voting, and telling them that they couldn’t vote because they didn’t speak proper English, and not knowing that, of course, under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, you’ve got Section 203, [that covers] bilingual provisions.” Arnwine said, referencing trumped-up voter fraud allegations in Ohio earlier this week. “We have to stop that. Even their own people were embarrassed.”
Watch the discussion of True The Vote’s intentions and Kugler’s piece, aired Sunday on MSNBC, below.