Georgia Voter Intimidation Challenge
Fair Fight v. True the Vote
Lawsuit filed on behalf of Fair Fight and two voters challenging True the Vote’s alleged voter intimidation tactics in Georgia. The amended complaint argues that the defendants (True the Vote, True the Vote’s executive director and individuals who have acted in concert with True the Vote) violated Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) by intimidating voters. The plaintiffs allege that the organization’s actions — which include challenging voters’ registration “on the basis of unreliable information,” “recruiting ‘citizen watchdogs’ to watch voters return their ballots” and “offering a $1 million reward to incentivize its supporters to find evidence of ‘illegal voting”’ — likely violate the VRA. The plaintiffs request that the court declare that the defendants violated Section 11(b) of the VRA, cancel True the Vote’s pending voter challenges, prevent True the Vote from submitting voter challenges in Georgia, prevent True the Vote from contacting voters, prevent True the Vote from participating in “in any poll-watching, poll-monitoring, or election observing activities; recruiting and training individuals for these activities; or advertising these activities,” prevent True the Vote from taking photos or videos of voters or election workers and order True the Vote to cease operations in Georgia.
In response to these allegations, True the Vote filed counterclaims against Fair Fight alleging the Fair Fight and its founder Stacey Abrams violated Section 11 (B) by intimidating True the Vote’s members. These counterclaims were dismissed on Aug. 17, 2021. The case then proceeded to the summary judgment stage. In the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, they allege that True the Vote recruited “former Navy SEALs to patrol polling stations,” amplified false claims, “expressed support for threatening rhetoric on social media” and that True the Vote’s mass challenge scheme intimidated voters. In response, the defendants suggest in their own summary judgment motion that: Section 11(b) requires “a direct connection between the person claiming to be intimidated and the alleged perpetrator,” a connection they argue doesn’t exist in the case. They also argue that applying Section 11(b) to their voter challenges would prohibit them from protecting their vote from vote dilution and assert that their actions are protected under the First Amendment so Section 11(b) is unconstitutional. In January 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice accepted an invitation from the court to participate in the lawsuit given that the defendants questioned the constitutionality of Section 11(b). Litigation is ongoing.