True The Vote, a Tea party-linked organization accused by some of voter intimidation, has been banned from monitoring voters in key Ohio voting jurisdictions today after allegations the group had fraudulently applied to monitor polls surfaced.
True The Vote, which is called the “Voter Integrity Project” in Ohio, lost support from all five backing politicians required to grant them the right to monitor polls in Ohio Tuesday, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Ohio Board of Elections spokesman Ben Piscatelli made a statement in regards to the efforts of True The Vote that were thwarted, confirming that the organization did not properly file the paperwork necessary to carry out their planned poll monitoring, in what may be viewed as falling upon their own sword:
“The Franklin County Board of Elections did not allow Election Day polling location observer appointments filed by the True the Vote group … The appointments were not properly filed and our voting location managers were instructed not to honor any appointment on behalf of the True the Vote group.”
The Dispatch reports that not only has True The Vote been denied permission, but that Elections Director William A. Anthony Jr. says the group may be investigated for falsifying documents after the election, a fifth-degree felony.
True The Vote has responded to the allegations, and resident Catherine Engelbrecht said in a statement:
“These allegations by the Ohio Democratic Party are dangerous and offensive … The facts are simple: no citizen volunteer — including … anyone else trained by True the Vote — took any action that was either illegal or unethical, particularly as it pertains to the placement of poll watchers.”
“This is a final, desperate attempt to deny citizens their right to observe elections. The Ohio Democratic Party has projected paranoia on an international scale by promoting the idea that concerned citizens would dare observe elections to ensure a fair process. If the Ohio Democratic Party thinks True the Vote-trained poll watchers are legion, wait until it meets our lawyers.”
The paper reports that the group had plans to prevent voters they felt may not be qualified from reaching voting machines in Ohio, per True The Vote training.