The right-wing group True The Vote has been prohibited from monitoring elections in voting stations around Columbus, Ohio, and may soon find itself under investigation for fraud, the Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday.
The Houston-based group, which is dedicated to challenging the legitimacy of voters it considers suspect, had its status as an official vote monitor denied in Franklin County, after the necessary number of candidates to assign poll observers withdrew their support for the group, according to the Dispatch.
Elections officials in Franklin County told the paper that some of application forms requesting observer status for the group's Ohio branch, the Voter Integrity Project, appeared to have supporting names that were falsified or forged.
True The Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht denied the charges in a strongly worded statement and warned the group would be taking legal action.
"This is a final, desperate attempt to deny citizens their right to observe elections," said Engelbrecht. "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.”
True The Vote has come under fire lately for appearing to focus its energies largely on minority voters. Last week, ABC News reported that True The Vote had been taking minority voters in Cincinnati to court to force them to prove the validity of their registration, and had plans to send observers to minority-heavy polling areas to confront voters on Election Day.
As far back as 2010, the group faced accusations -- and even a Department of Justice investigation -- into reports that its hunt for voter fraud is tantamount to organized voter intimidation.
In Ohio, activist poll watchers from the group have been reported for aggressively scrutinizing the identification and registration documents of prospective voters, following them with cameras and standing right next to them as they fill out paperwork.
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