Right wing group aims to purge Colorado voter rolls

Pic by samantha celera, via Flickr

A right-wing group has announced it will “pressure states and localities” through lawsuits, if necessary, “to clean up voter registration rolls pursuant to Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).” The group claims that several states, including Colorado, have voters on their registration rolls that are ineligible to vote.

Judicial Watch, a group that describes itself as a “conservative, non-partisan educational foundation [that] promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law,” has announced it is setting its sights on voter registration rolls with help from a group called True the Vote.

True the Vote is a voter integrity initiative launched by the Houston tea party group King Street Patriots. The group held a national summit last year featuring some of the right’s most incendiary speakers, such as Andrew Breitbart, The Texas Independent reported. According to the Independent, “representatives from more than 25 states attended the two-day national summit in Houston to receive training and information about the conservative organization’s efforts to combat voter fraud.”

Catherine Engelbrecht, the president of King Street Patriots, said during the group’s summit that she is hoping to mobilize teams of three people to watch over every voting precinct in the country. That would add up to roughly 1 million right-wing tea party volunteers nationwide by the 2012 general election, the Independent reported.

Judicial Watch’s recent announcement, which is being circulated by at least one Florida tea party group, says the organizations are launching an “Election Integrity Project” spurred from an “ investigation based upon publicly available data indicates voter rolls.”

According to Judicial Watch, “the following states appear to contain the names of individuals who are ineligible to vote: Mississippi, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, Alabama, California, and Colorado.”

The group reports that it sent “initial warning letters on February 7, 2012, to election officials in Indiana and Ohio, as well as letters of inquiry to Florida and California officials, investigating problematic voting lists in those states.” The groups says they are launching this project because “election fraud was a significant concern during the 2008 and 2010 election seasons,” and states are currently poised to see rampant voter fraud in this year’s elections.

“President Obama and the Holder Justice Department evidently have no interest in clean elections this year, so this responsibility has now fallen to Judicial Watch,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. ”And given the rampant election fraud that occurred during the last two election cycles, this is a matter of the highest priority as we head into the 2012 election season. It is simply impossible to have any faith in the integrity of an election where dead people remain on the voting rolls. This is a recipe for voter fraud and stolen elections.”

Tea party and other right-wing groups have already been decrying looming voter fraud as the 2012 election approaches. In Florida, groups are preparing to get right-wing activists to man polling locations on election day.

In Colorado, Secretary of State Scott Gessler is known for his claims that voter fraud is a large problem in the state.