Court Dismisses Right-Wing Group’s Counterclaims in Georgia Voter Intimidation Suit

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia dismissed counterclaims brought by right-wing group True the Vote against Fair Fight, a voting rights organization based in Georgia. Fair Fight filed suit against True the Vote in December 2020 to challenge True the Vote’s voter intimidation tactics in Georgia. The complaint alleges that these actions — which include challenging eligible Georgia voters’ registrations, recruiting partisan poll watchers and offering a monetary award to anyone who finds evidence of “illegal voting” — are likely to intimidate voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The district court denied the plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief but noted “grave concerns” about True the Vote’s practices.

In response, True the Vote filed five counterclaims against Fair Fight. Both sides agreed that the first four counterclaims were defenses to the initial suit brought by Fair Fight, and not affirmative claims asserted against Fair Fight. True the Vote will file an amended answer that includes these claims, per the district court’s order today. The last counterclaim alleged that Fair Fight itself was engaged in voter intimidation by accusing True the Vote of engaging in voter suppression and filing this lawsuit. The district court held that such an accusation did not qualify as voter intimidation under the VRA, writing that the examples of “intimidation” that True the Vote provided are “not plausibly intimidating or threatening.” The court agreed with Fair Fight’s argument that the VRA “does not protect an individual who challenges another person’s eligibility to vote or attempts to disqualify another person from voting.” None of True the Vote’s counterclaims remain in the case, which will now move forward to address Fair Fight’s initial claims of voter intimidation by True the Vote.

Read the order here.