Weekly Update Campaign (copy 03)
May 3, 2021
Last week we spoke at great length with a reporter from CNN. She was writing a piece about Stacey Abrams, Marc Elias, and their campaign to convince America that Georgia's newly-passed Election Integrity Act, SB-202, will lead to electoral apocalypse.
The reporter wanted to know what we thought about a video in which Abrams took aim at elector challenges (quick sidebar: we helped Georgia citizens file over 364,000 elector challenges in Dec. 2020; Abrams' group Fair Fight' attorney Marc Elias sued us and threatened to sue any county in Georgia that reviewed the challenges; we countersued Fair Fight and offered to defend any county in Georgia that was sued over the challenges...I tell ya' there's never a dull moment around here...but, back to the story) Abrams' comments made great clickbait, but she isn't telling the truth.
All the histrionics over SB-202, the claims of suppression, the corporate boycotts, the bazillion lawsuits (cha-ching! $150m and counting, right Marc?) ... it's all strategically conjured for political and mega financial gain. So, what's really in SB-202?
Let's break down the Abrams video.... and set the record straight.
THE TRUTH ABOUT ELECTOR CHALLENGES
What's this really about? Abrams doesn't want ineligible voter records to be removed from voter rolls. So, to raise a woke ruckus she equates challenges to caging. A challenge is when a voter in a county submits a letter to the county election board providing probable cause to question the accuracy of a voter record, specifically if the voter is known to have moved. According to Ballotpedia, caging refers to a practice in which a political party or another partisan organization sends registered mail to addresses of registered voters whom they have identified as likely to be unfriendly to their candidate. All mail that is returned as undeliverable is placed on what is called a caging list. They are not the same thing. Geesh.
The fact is that the state of Georgia hasn't cleaned its rolls in years. Why? Well, one reason is that Abrams keeps suing the state to prevent it. Why would a politico want errant records, knowing that every time an ineligible vote is cast it dilutes accuracy? Hmmm...
BUT, when voters file their own challenges that's something more difficult to stop. That's 'we the people' taking action to support election integrity. And that's not the way Abrams wants it to work. In her video, Abrams gives the example of a “conspiracy theory guy who doesn’t think his neighbors should be eligible to vote and now this means he can file a complaint on as many people as he likes, and that voter is then forced to defend his/herself. Regardless of how frivolous the complaint is, county boards are now forced to sit and listen to every challenge.”
If voter rolls are maintained as required by the National Voter Registration Act, then Georgia voters won’t have to be concerned that their legal vote is going to be diluted by an illegal vote — and fewer elector challenges will be necessary. So, let's get those rolls cleaned, Georgia!
THE TRUTH ABOUT ... WATER (?)
What's this really about? Political activists were handing out food and water less than 150 feet from polling places. That's electioneering. It's well established that candidates can't campaign within 150 feet. Activists plying voters with food and water outside the doors of polling places is electioneering and it's intimidating, but it wasn't specifically recognized as illegal so SB-202 clarified it.
This has nothing to do with voter discrimination, nor does it prevent anyone from bringing their own water and food, nor does it prevent a food truck or water station, if they're further than 150 feet away. Additionally, water stations can be set up by election offices to provide water within 150 feet of a polling place. Geesh.
Here's the wording in SB-202:"No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method, nor shall any person distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector, nor shall any person solicit signatures for any petition, nor shall any person, other than election officials discharging their duties, establish or set up any tables or booths on any day in which ballots are being cast (1) Within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established; (2) Within any polling place; or (3) Within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place.”
THE TRUTH ABOUT EARLY VOTING EXPANSION
What's this really all about? Scaring voters, riling up activists, and building power through intimidation. The truth is that voting is not limited to just 8 hours on a single day. It’s 8 hours every single day for at least 17 straight days, including weekends. Counties can also choose to offer expanded hours from 7am to 7pm, so that would be 12 hours, every day, for at least 17 days.
SB-202 actually expands early voting. Geesh.
THE TRUTH ABOUT MOBILE VOTING
What's this really all about? Mobile voting is voting inside buses and RVs. It was banned because it is expensive and unregulable. The elderly and infirm are the least likely voting groups to seek out polling locations that require traversing stairs and voting in a confined area. Geesh.
See the actual wording in SB-202, section 20.
THE TRUTH ABOUT CONTINUED USE OF DROP BOXES
What's this really all about? Per Abrams video "...limits use of drop boxes, now have 300 fewer hours to use a drop box and in Fulton county, reduced from 38 to 8 drop boxes only because Republicans want to make it harder for people of color to vote."
Here's the thing...she's referring to the 'Zuckerberg drop boxes', paid for with millions of Facebook dollars in the run-up to the 2020 General Election, ostensibly because post office regulated mailboxes weren't good enough. (No, it was clearly a much better idea to put in privately funded and largely unregulated drop boxes .... geesh).
In our opinion, they were a disaster and should be eliminated altogether. SB-202 reduces the number of drop boxes and better details security standards, making votes more secure and thereby bolstering election integrity.
See the actual wording in SB-202, section 26.
THE TRUTH ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY
What's this really all about? Look, this is your basic no-brainer. Accountability is a feature, not a bug. Simple.
See the actual wording in SB-202, section 6.
THE TRUTH ABOUT IDENTIFICATION
What's this really all about? Abrams says that SB-202 puts people at risk of identity theft by requesting information to verify their identity. But the truth is, if a voter doesn’t have a driver's license or other government ID, instead they can simply provide the last four digits of their SSN. That’s it.
See the actual wording in SB-202, section 25.
THE TRUTH ABOUT WHO STOPPED WHAT
What's this really about? Ummm... we guess she's referring to the fact that her organization and many others set up shop outside of the Georgia State Capitol during the entire legislative session, denouncing the bill day after day, screaming obscenities, firearms in hand, name-checking Jim Crow, and threatening elected officials. So, according to Abrams their presence made a difference (gotta keep up the funding...) and 'stopped' things from occurring or not occurring, but ... they were just playing for the cameras.
We could go on and on....point for point....replacing fiction with fact. Ms. Abrams has been saying a whole lot that needs correcting. And she's not the only one.
True the Vote's mission is to empower voters with information. We hope this helps.
P.S. Abrams' group Fair Fight uses StopJimCrow2.com as their web address. The home page quotes Abrams as saying "Georgia Republicans’ shameful efforts ... are nothing less than Jim Crow 2.0". Maybe someone should tell her who originally enacted and enforced Jim Crow laws? Hint: It’s not Republicans.
We're excited to be working with so many groups who are ready and willing to help support Election Integrity efforts, specifically those that are playing out right now in states across the country. Case in point - AMAC Action!Since Monday, AMAC Action has been engaging their advocates in Texas in support of House Bill 6, the Election Integrity Protection Act of 2021. So far, over 500 emails have been sent to members of the Texas House by AMAC members to encourage support for the bill. These efforts have now gained three new co-sponsors for H.B. 6! AMAC Action continues to push this great initiative. If you're a Texas resident, check out AMAC Action and join with hundreds of thousands of Texans who are speaking out in defense of fair and accurate elections in Texas! Do it today! Time is of the essence!
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"If our elections aren't truly fair, we aren't truly free."
Catherine Engelbrecht, Founder and President, True the Vote
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