TTV proposal contributes towards the solution to decades-long voting issue

HOUSTON, TX. September 26, 2013 ― True the Vote (TTV), the nation's leading voters’ rights and election integrity organization, today announced its support for a new agreement to finally return central campus voting to Prairie View A&M University, an historically black college or university (HBCU). The relocation effort had been ongoing for over a decade.

“Waller County has set a fantastic example of how Texans working together can manage their elections in the post-preclearance era,” True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said. “It is my hope this matter helps set a new tone for the advancement of voters’ rights across the country. Our nation needs to place precedence on solutions over struggle.

True the Vote submitted a proposal to Precinct 3 Commissioner Jeron Barnett and other members of the Waller County Commissioners Court and Election Administrator Robyn German on September 4, proposing that the County should designate the PVAMU Memorial Student Center as a precinct location for Election Day by November 2013. The university sits within Commissioner Barnett’s Precinct.

“This experience demonstrates the power of voters’ rights in action,” Engelbrecht added. “Not only do we have a right to register and vote, we can also ask direct questions and seek better services from local election officials. It was our pleasure to work with Student Government Association (SGA) President Priscilla Barbour and a broad coalition of alumni, students and public officials, assembled together to solve a decades-old problem.”

“Tackling this issue not only helped heal old wounds, but opened the door to increasing the number of polling locations all across Waller County,” Commissioner Barnett said. “I appreciate the support given to the plan by my colleagues on the Court and I applaud the work done to by our election administrator Robyn German in getting us ready for the November election.”

True the Vote was initially made aware of the issue of central campus polling access by a number of Prairie View A&M University alumni, state lawmakers and current students in the late summer of 2013. The organization learned that PVAMU had been a central campus voting location throughout the 1980s and was temporarily moved to allow construction for a new student union building. Until late 2013 the campus remained without a central campus voting location for Election Day.

To read the complete proposal submitted by True the Vote on the matter, click here.

 

9.4.13 PVAMU Voting Location Proposal by True The Vote

 

True the Vote (TTV) is a nonpartisan, voters’ rights and election integrity 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.

###

HOUSTON, TX. September 25, 2013True the Vote (TTV), the nation's leading voters’ rights and election integrity organization, today filed a Motion to Intervene and Answers to the Holder Justice Department’s complaint against Texas’ voter identification law (United States, et. al v. Texas, et. al (2:13-cv-00263)).

TTV will argue that the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit is misguided based on constitutional, empirical and Supreme Court precedence matters.

“The Holder Justice Department has made clear its litigation against Texas will serve as a warning that other states should not pursue election integrity measures – True the Vote stands ready to fight their effort to dilute voters’ rights,” True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said. “Over 80 percent of Americans favor laws changing to require photo voter identification at the polls[1]. When the DOJ makes baseless claims to obscure the integrity of the voting process, we will not stand idly by.  If Texas is to be labeled a political prize by the Plaintiffs and their Interveners, attacking election integrity will not be an acceptable strategy.”

True the Vote establishes its standing to intervene based on a number of factors. During a previous federal lawsuit regarding Texas’ voter ID requirement (SB 14), DOJ attorneys and NAACP-LDF interveners repeatedly probed Texas lawmakers and election officials during depositions about TTV principals’ involvement in the legislative process for the law.

“We’re confident that our client’s Petition to Intervene will be granted and will make a real impact on how the case is litigated,” attorney Joe Nixon of the Houston-based Beirne, Maynard & Parsons said. “We will argue that the DOJ simply cannot attack Texas’ voter ID requirement in the absence of an aggrieved individual.”

True the Vote engaged legal representation from Houston-based Joe Nixon and Trey Trainor of Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, L.L.P. and J. Christian Adams of the Election Law Center. TTV’s Motion to Intervene and Answers were filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division.

Click here to read True the Vote’s filing.

 

True the Vote (TTV) is a nonpartisan, voters’ rights and election integrity 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.

###

 

[1] Marist Poll for McClatchy on Voting Rights – Page 5, 7/25/2013 (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/07/25/197687/marist-poll-for-mcclatchy-on-voting.html)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- September 23, 2013 - Attorneys from the Department of Justice (DOJ) advised the federal court in Washington, DC late Friday that the IRS has determined to “grant True the Vote (TTV)’s tax exempt status” with the concurrence of the DOJ.

“We are pleased and relieved that the IRS and the DOJ are finally doing what should have been done three years ago, which is to recognize TTV as a charitable and educational organization, which we have always been and will continue to be,” said True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht.

TTV, the nation's leading voters’ rights organization, filed with the IRS for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in July 2010 and has been awaiting a decision on its application for more than three years.  After discovering in May, 2013, that its application was part of a much larger scheme targeting perceived ‘tea party’ organizations for heightened scrutiny and years of delay in processing their applications, TTV filed suit in federal district court in Washington, D.C. requesting that the Court order that its tax-exempt status be granted. ActRight Legal Foundation, a 501(c)(3) a fundamental rights public interest law firm, represents True the Vote in the lawsuit (True the Vote v. United States of America (Civil Action No. 1:13-cv-00734-RBW)).

In addition, DOJ is arguing to the Court that since the IRS is now willing to grant TTV’s tax exempt status, the lawsuit should be dismissed as ‘moot’.  

Cleta Mitchell, lead counsel in the litigation, and a partner at Foley & Lardner, LLP in Washington, DC, responded to the DOJ filings by noting, “While we are glad the IRS has realized TTV’s tax exempt status should be granted and is now moving to rectify its failure to do sooner, this case is far from moot.  There are still many questions to be answered, such as: 

When is the IRS going to actually issue its letter granting tax exempt status to True the Vote?

What about the costs and damages incurred by True the Vote for the past three years while the IRS unlawfully delayed issuing the letter of recognition?

What about all of the confidential and proprietary information sought and demanded from True the Vote that the Treasury Inspector General has stated was not necessary for determining True the Vote’s eligibility for exempt status, and which is now apparently going to be made public?

What about the violation of True the Vote’s constitutional rights by the IRS and its agents and employees during the course of these last 3 years?

“This lawsuit is about getting to the truth and we are not going to stop until we find out the answers to these and many other questions,” added Ms. Mitchell.

“If the IRS is right in its arguments that the IRS can violate the citizens’ constitutional rights and there is no ‘check’ on its power to do so, then the American people need to know that.  I cannot believe, as an American citizen, that the IRS is above the law and I refuse to accept that a citizen has no remedy against the IRS for the kinds of things it has done to our group these past three years.  This case is just getting started,” concluded Ms. Engelbrecht.

 

True the Vote (TTV) is 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.

###

How You Can Help

Roll Up Your Sleeves and Get Involved.

Join the movement and sign up for our Knowledge Network to get educated on the issues and opportunities to serve and connect with other citizen activists in your community.

 

Support True the Vote’s efforts to keep our elections free and fair.

Stay in touch

You can support True the Vote and get current information, insights and updates on various social media platforms.