HOUSTON, TX. May 21, 2013 ― True the Vote (TTV), the nation's leading voters’ rights organization, filed suit in federal court in Washington today against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), asking the Court to grant its long-awaited tax exempt status and seeking damages for the unlawful actions by the IRS in the processing of its application for exempt status.  ActRight Legal Foundation, a 501(c)3 fundamental rights and public interest law firm represents True the Vote in the lawsuit.

“We’ve been waiting for three years to receive a decision from the IRS about our tax exempt status,” True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said. “After answering hundreds of questions and producing thousands of documents, we’re done waiting. The IRS does not have the power to pocket veto our application. Federal law empowers groups like True the Vote to force a decision in court – which is precisely what we aim to do.”

True the Vote is dedicated solely to promoting election integrity in our Republic,” Engelbrecht said.  “Our mission is to educate Americans on all of the rights they enjoy as voters. We do not pick winners and losers, but instead fortify the voting process so that it is fair and free. If this goal is deserving of such scrutiny, then we have serious questions that we, as a nation, must face,” she added.

Cleta Mitchell, counsel to True the Vote and of counsel to ActRight Legal Foundation, stated, “We are not going to allow the IRS to claim, as it has been doing in the past week, that the targeting of conservative groups is over and ‘everything has been fixed.’   It is not yet fixed and this litigation is a vital step both to resolve True the Vote’s status and to learn exactly what happened inside the IRS.”

True the Vote’s lawsuit consists of three counts:

Count One:  Seeks recognition of True the Vote as a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization pursuant to  26 USC § 7428.

Count Two:  Seeks damages and injunctive relief from the IRS and IRS employees and agents, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), for violation of True the Vote's constitutional rights by virtue of the actions of the government in unlawfully targeting and delaying recognition of True the Vote's exempt status.

Count Three:   Seeks damages and injunctive relief against the IRS and IRS employees, pursuant to 26 USC § 7431, for their unlawful intrusions into True the Vote’s activities by requiring the filing of voluminous materials with the IRS, then unlawfully inspecting and potentially disseminating the information.

“This is just the first of several cases ActRight Legal Foundation plans to file against the IRS and those within the agency who have violated the constitutional rights of these citizens’ organizations,” said Dr. John Eastman, Chairman of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and of Counsel to ActRight Legal Foundation. 

To read the complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, click here.

 

True the Vote (TTV) a nonpartisan, voters’ rights and election integrity organization focused on preserving election integrity and is operated by citizens for citizens, 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.

ActRight Legal Foundation protects the fundamental rights of individuals and charities to pursue their callings. To learn more, visit www.actrightlegal.org.

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Access to all ballots and registration information has been granted to True the Vote for citizen-led audit of the 2012 contest for Florida’s 18th Congressional District

HOUSTON, TX. May 7, 2013 ― True the Vote (TTV), the nation's leading voters’ rights organization, today announced its settlement with the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections regarding records inspection rights under federal law and the Florida Constitution. The agreement provides True the Vote access to all ballots, registrations, and other election related data necessary to conduct an audit of a federal election in Florida's 18th congressional district. The audit will be led not by government entities or political parties, but by concerned citizens.

True the Vote  can now begin reconstruction and review of the 18th Congressional District election race between Colonel Allen West and Patrick Murphy,” True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said. “We must stop this scandalous cycle of ignoring failures in our electoral process when the campaigns and cameras go home. Understanding how failures in administration can effect elections, as we saw in St. Lucie County, will help prevent them from occurring in the future. We cannot allow slipshod standards to become pandemic across our country's election processes – citizens can and will stand up in defense of election integrity.”

“This settlement grants True the Vote all of the records we originally requested, without any adverse impacts to St. Lucie County taxpayers. The real work toward understanding exactly what happened before, during and after the 2012 18th Congressional District race can finally begin.”

A key component to the settlement agreement was to permit access to information dating back to January of 2009. Such information will help evaluate efforts to maintain voter rolls, both before and after federal election cycles.

“Since 2009 to present, Washington has made clear that it doesn’t have any interest in seeing that voter rolls are maintained – we must fully study how that can affect a close congressional race,” True the Vote attorney J. Christian Adams said. “This case is unique because it was directly impacted by the Holder Justice Department’s attempt to block the State of Florida’s efforts to remove ineligible persons from the voter rolls ahead of the 2012 General Election. This settlement will lead my client to answers, finally.”

The agreement between True the Vote and St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker allows for sharing of records that pertain directly to the 2012 contest, in addition to election administration files dating back to January 2009. An abbreviated list of records includes:

  • 2012 voter credit documents;
  • completed voter registration forms;
  • copies of all regular and provisional ballots cast (including provisional notices);
  • documents pertaining to federal list maintenance requirements since 2009 (including felon and non-citizen records);
  • all documentation for those trained as poll and tabulation workers for the 2012 contest.

The settlement came as a result of a lawsuit after requests to inspect election records were not immediately addressed (True the Vote, Inc. v. Gertrude Walker in her official capacity as St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, Civil Action (No 2:13cv14046.)). TTV chose to perform a comprehensive audit of the 2012 election and subsequent recount between incumbent Allen West and Patrick Murphy after reports of errors and inaccurate tabulations were admitted to. 

True the Vote originally filed its complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida – Fort Pierce Division.

To read the complete settlement agreement between True the Vote and St. Lucie County, click here.

 

True the Vote (TTV) a nonpartisan, voters’ rights and election integrity organization focused on preserving election integrity and is operated by citizens for citizens, 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.

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