Religious right activists are inserting themselves into the election process by gearing up to challenge votes cast by mail and watch for suspected fraud at polling stations.
Right-wing Christians and conservatives are training thousands of volunteers to challenge the validity of some votes cast in key battlegrounds states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, reported The Guardian.
“I’m particularly concerned about mail-in voting fraud,” said Catherine Engelbrecht, co-founder of the Texas-based group True the Vote.
There’s no evidence that mail-in voting has caused widespread problems in U.S. elections, but Engelbrecht’s group has already trained about 10,000 volunteers to sniff out alleged fraud in targeted counties through handwriting analysis and other methods.
Engelbrecht became especially concerned about the potential for fraud after some NBA teams offered their arenas for in-person voting to ensure Black Americans had access to the polls as the Trump administration imposed new limits on the U.S. Postal Service.
True the Vote, which has roots in the Tea Party movement, has offered training sessions with religious and conservative groups such as Intercessors for America, the Thomas More Law Center and Eagle Forum.
Engelbrecht and her allies described their work as a “spiritual battle” for “control of the world,” according to Right Wing Watch, and Intercessors president Dave Kubal says she’s been “anointed” by God to oversee the election.
But election law experts say True the Vote’s work usually involves efforts to limit minority voting through voter ID laws and voter-roll purges, and organized election observers have previously been charged with intimidation.
“True the Vote is a misnomer,” said Gerry Hebert, a voting-rights lawyer for 21 years at the Department of Justice. “They should be called Suppress the Vote.”