Counterclaims Fight Back Against Efforts to Deny Georgia Citizens' Rights to Petition Government, Ensure Integrity.
ATLANTA, Georgia – True The Vote filed a countersuit against Fair Fight Action, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, asking the court to stop Fair Fight Action from continuing its effort to intimidate True The Vote and Georgia voters who lawfully submitted elector challenges in their counties prior to the Jan. 5 election.
“Fair Fight Action's legal attack sought to chill the efforts of True The Vote and Georgia voters across the state who petitioned their counties to protect the right to vote for all legal voters in the Jan. 5 runoff election,” said True the Vote Founder and President Catherine Engelbrecht. “This case aims to fight back against a group that took square aim at the constitutional rights of those committed to election integrity. Citizens have the right to petition their government. We will stand against any who would try to stifle that right through intimidation tactics.”
Fair Fight Action sued True The Vote and Georgia voters who submitted written challenges to voter eligibility for the Jan. 5 election based on evidence that the challenged voters no longer live at the address where they are registered. The research relied on recognized data sources, namely the U.S. Postal Service's National Change of Address file. Georgia law explicitly allows for these challenges, according True The Vote's counsel, James Bopp.
“Fair Fight Action's frivolous lawsuit sued citizens not for breaking Georgia law, but for following it,” Bopp said. “Our counterclaims are intended to defend voters' right to free speech and petition and to protect the right to vote by preventing dilution of legal ballots through fraud. The eligibility challenges under Georgia law are examples of petitioning the government in an effort to promote election integrity.”
When a registered voter's eligibility is challenged, it triggers a review by the county to find probable cause about the challenged voter's right to vote in a particular election. The challenged voter is asked to prove his or her eligibility, in this case by showing proof of residency. If residency is unverifiable, the voter will not be permitted to cast a vote in that particular election, but they are not removed from the voter rolls.
“Fair Fight Action sought to stop patriotic Americans from exercising their rights, to bully them into withdrawing their challenges and to prevent True The Vote from assisting in future such efforts in Georgia,” Engelbrecht said. “That's voter intimidation and illegal under the Voting Rights Act. Today's countersuit asks the court to safeguard Georgia citizens' rights and True the Vote from Fair Fight Action's strong-arm tactics. We will not stand by and watch while our rights are taken. For over a decade True the Vote has worked to preserve voters' rights and election integrity. We're not stopping now.”
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True the Vote (TTV) is an IRS-designated 501(c)3 voters' rights organization, founded to inspire and equip volunteers for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. TTV empowers organizations and individuals across the nation to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation. For more information, please visit www.truethevote.org.