As The Dispatch in York, Pennsylvania reports, local police are on alert for activists going door to door as part of a so-called “Election Integrity Project,” approaching voters to question them about how they voted in 2020 and who they voted for:
Various local officials say they have received reports that the group is visiting residents’ homes and questioning how the homeowner voted and who they voted for. The questioning comes as county officials weigh whether to comply with a “forensic audit” of the 2020 election spearheaded by state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin County.
“There is an intimidation factor, and that’s what their intent is,” said Chad Baker, chair of the Democratic Party of York County. “The timing of this doesn’t seem suspect given the recent request of the audit by Sen. Mastriano.”
The individuals claiming to be a part of the committee seem to be targeting Democrats in an attempt to seek out voter fraud, a baseless claim that has cemented itself as a rallying cry for supporters of former President Donald Trump, Baker said.
Despite the thorough process of counting, auditing, and in several swing state recounting the 2020 vote which found no irregularities on a scale that could change the outcome of the election, Republicans continue to pursue baseless theories of election fraud in multiple states. In Arizona, the GOP-controlled State Senate authorized an open-ended fishing expedition by a dubious private contractor which months later has produced nothing but easily-debunked misinformation. Undeterred, other states with dead-ender Trump contingents holding the power to do so are preparing their own so-called audits, because, well, they can.
Going from endlessly recounting the same ballots over and over to accosting Democratic voters in their homes about their vote, however, represents a significant and disturbing escalation–not to mention hypocritical after Republicans lost their minds over misinformation regarding door to door promotion of COVID vaccines. In Pennsylvania, voters targeted were confused, perhaps by design, about whether the “election integrity committee” they claim to work for was in some way official.
The self-proclaimed committee touring southern York County used tactics that were nearly identical to a forensic audit being conducted by a company hired by state Senate Republicans in Arizona. The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, in a May 5 letter obtained by The York Dispatch, accused the firm Cyber Ninjas of voter intimidation because of its door-knocking practice.
You’re probably asking by now–why are we talking about this in Colorado? Unfortunately, there’s a pressing reason. Last weekend, an organization calling itself the U.S. Election Integrity Project with ties to freshman election conspiracy theorist of note GOP Rep. Ron Hanks allegedly began its own door to door “canvass” of voters in the Colorado Springs area:
Sat, Jul 24 – Sun, Jul 25
El Paso County Super Sat/Sunday Canvass – Come All!
Please let Charity M. or Deb Gray know if you can join. Our goal is to knock out at least one full precinct. We made the decision to assign one north end precinct (high VOS) on Saturday morning and a south end precinct (low VOS) on Sunday afternoon/evening.
Saturday 9:30am-2pm – The Windchime Center 401 Windchime Place E Woodmen Rd and Windchime Place Colorado Springs
Sunday 3:30pm-7pm – Fontaine Blvd and MarkSheffel at First Baptist Church of Peaceful Valley 7925 Fontaine Blvd 80925
Please invite any trusted willing parties and please bring affidavits. I’ll have a limited number. I can provide ID badges. If anyone is interested, we should plan to go out for a drink or bite following! Perhaps meet at The ViewHouse at 7114 Campus Drive after 2pm! I will likely have folks mail their affidavits back to me but will try to have a notary on hand at the ViewHouse.
Charity M, USEIP Captain El Paso County Jul 21
We need all the volunteers we can get!!
The north end precinct will be meeting at The Windchime Center at Rockrimmon Blvd and E. Woodmen Rd.
The Sat canvass will be at 930am in the Rockrimmon/Peregrine area. We will meet at The Windchime Center 401 Windchime Place E Woodmen Rd and Windchime Place.
Sunday’s walk will be on the south end of town at 330pm : meeting at First Baptist Church of Peaceful Valley 7925 Fontaine Blvd 80925
Pam P, Pueblo County Captain Jul 21
Question for Charity. Will you be supplying all Walk List forms, affidavits? Will there be enough experienced walkers to pair up with Pueblo volunteers? Is there anything we should bring with us?
Charity M, USEIP Captain El Paso County Jul 21
Also asking that photos of Walk Lists, Affidavits and any Property Photos be uploaded to the Photo Folder in El Paso County Team Docs&Files – Thanks a million!
Ashe, ADMIN – Core Team – Castle Rock Jul 21
Susan can we get the Douglas and Arapahoe folks to swarm in EPC this weekend as well?
Charity M, USEIP Captain El Paso County Jul 23
Thanks so much Pam. That is fantastic!!
And we are attempting to line up security. However, anyone who carries protection might want to let us know so we can offer your cell phone numbers to those who are concerned. [Pols emphasis]
This exchange of messages between members of the “Election Integrity Project” ahead of last weekend’s events is all the intel we’ve received about their activities in Colorado so far. We haven’t seen a follow-up report on what they may have found during last weekend’s door-knocking. Other than the fact that they are using the same organizational name and what appear to be similar tactics, we don’t know anything about the relationship between the “Election Integrity Project” here in Colorado vs. Pennsylvania.
But the evidence we have does indicate a reasonably well-organized campaign to send political activists high on Big Lie confirmation bias to knock on doors and ask Colorado voters questions those voters have absolutely no official obligation to answer.
And…some of them may be armed. So please be appropriately cautious.
One look at this Project’s “trusted news sources” gives a view inside their paranoid little bubble.
I think that what they are doing is against the law. It’s pretty clear voter intimidation, which AG Weiser has said that he will prosecute.
Let’s nail them for it.
I just saw a Facebook post from a Grand Junction friend. Someone holding a clipboard knocked on her door, asked for her by name, and then asked how she voted in the last election. She slammed the door in his face.
I stole this post from her page. Since I didn't ask permission, I won't name names. "So I'm sitting here in my house, minding my own business, scrolling, when a few minutes ago, the doorbell rings. John is sleeping. I usually have him answer the door, but I got it this time. Parked in front of my house is an older white car. It looked like there was someone sitting in the passenger seat and that maybe there was a dog also, but I didn't look that closely. I answered the door. There were two men there. An older man wearing a cap with an American Flag brim, and a somewhat younger guy, about my age. Younger, but not young… Anyway, the old man is holding a clipboard. He introduces himself and his son. I don't remember their names. But he says they're concerned about "cleaning up the voter rolls" and then proceeds to ask if John, I and mom voted in the last election. I slammed the door in their faces. They had a copy of the voter rolls and knew my name, John's name, mom's name. They weren't going to everyone's house. They drove away. I would be interested to know if anyone else in Grand Junction has had a similar experience or knows of something going on around this. ???"
If faced with it, I don't know whether I would slam the door in their face or tell them that they don't have the authority, it's none of their business, and get the fuck off my property before I make you.
Write to her and ask her to contact the Attorney General, please.
How to report acts of voter intimidation
Is this really voter intimidation? Canvassing is perfectly legal. Voter party identification and voter participation are public records. If you suspect someone did not vote, but they show up in the records as having voted, is it illegal to ask them if they voted? Asking them who they voted for may be rude, but should it be illegal?
I am not denying that these schemes are probably designed to intimidate (Democratic) voters, but where do you draw the line if you are going to start threatening people with criminal prosecutions for knocking on doors and asking questions?
Asking someone if they voted in the LAST election may be annoying and harassing but how the hell is that voter intimidation…..
Also read statute
, on Disclosing or Identifying Vote.
It is also a misdemeanor to ask voters to tell for whom they voted. (out of the presence or supervision of a county clerk)
Maga Joe just flat out can’t do it under the law.
I’m by no means claiming certainty here, but I can imagine that under that law there’s a large world of legal difference between “endeavor[ing] to induce any voter to show how he marked his ballot [at the time that ballot is cast]” and querying someone how they voted long after the election has concluded?
I don’t see where that statute prohibits, as you suggest, any such query outside the presence or supervision of a county clerk?
Wouldn’t that same kind of interpretation also make any exit polling a misdemeanor (which it’s clearly not)?
Colorado doesn’t do exit polls anymore, since an exit poll at a polling place on election day makes no sense when 90% or more vote by dropping off mail ballots or voting early. So that comparison doesn’t work.
Paper ballot returns are audited multiple times: by the machines themselves which check signatures, by the county election employees at the county location, and often by additional risk-limiting audits. So, as Secretary Griswold says
What makes this more dangerous and intimidating than an exit poll or casual question about how someone voted are the implied consequences, militarization, the personal nature of the voter visit, and the undermining of Colorado’s free and fair election system.
The implied consequences:
If someone’s answer to the Voter Integrity Project canvasser is different than the voter record shows, this will be seen as evidence of “fraud”. Probably minority and Democratic leaning voters “ High VOS precincts” will be targeted for this “fraudit”. Republican 36 had a good example of how that might work. If they do ask about specific votes, might it be intimidating to answer “Did you vote for Trump?”,
when asked by someone in full camo/MAGA gear, packing heat?
For mixed status households, in which one or more family members might lack legal documents while others are citizen voters, such a visit has the implied consequence of detention or deportation. same applies to ex-felons who have voted after completing their sentences; Texas locked 2 voters up for five years for that “crime”.
The personalization factor: canvassers will show up at the dooors with a voter list of voters in each household. Much different than an anonymous, random exit poll….and much more intimidating, particularly if the canvasser shows up armed. It’s also going to sour voters on legitimate voter opinion canvassing and GOTV efforts.
Undermining Colorado’s election system: this is probably the major goal of the US Election Integrity Project. They have to know they won’t find or be able to prove any actual voter fraud; but the point is to question the validity of the election itself.
That’s why this USEIP project is voter intimidation…and should be stopped in its tracks by AG Weiser.
Get the names of the organizers and report them to the AG.
Thanks for all of that!
I think my point is that what’s being done probably isn’t per se illegal, at least under that statute you cited.
As you, I don’t like it either. And, perhaps there should be a law — but, I don’t see that there is one now?
I was approached by a CBS News rep after voting in the presidential primary one year. Should I have called the cops instead of agreeing to answer their questions?
You agreed to answer. There was no implied consequence of criminal prosecution, deportation , nor jail, and I’m assuming the reporter was not armed. He/she did not show up at your home door with a list of the voters in your household.
It was during an election, immediately after you voted, while you were presumably next to the polling place. It was not 7 months afterwards.
The intent was to get a snapshot of how people had voted, not to undemine Colorado’s election system.
Do you see the differences?
DoJ Civil Rights Division wrote a letter to the Arizona Senate about the possibility of their fraudit including some sort of door to door inquiry. https://www.npr.org/2021/05/06/994246426/justice-department-shares-concerns-with-arizona-senate-audit-recount
Brennan Center sent a letter requesting federal monitors, and included this possible door to door approach: https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/2021-04/AZ%20Letter%20to%20DoJ%20-%2004.29.21.pdf
Thanks, JID, very interesting and helpful.
Oh no, it's the Big Lie Brownshirts!
Meh, . . .
. . . what else has Fluffy got to do on the weekends?
"what else has Fluffy got to do on the weekends"
Plenty. He has a supersized box of Puffs and a new tube of KY.
This is a silly effort by people who have been led astray by Trump’s “Big Lie.” How in the world will any of the information they gather be verifiable? For example, one of these canvassers knocks on someone’s door who is a registered voter but did not vote in 2020. That person is embarrassed to tell someone they did not vote last year, so they tell the canvasser they did vote in 2020. The canvasser checks the records and the clerk’s records show that person did not vote. Do we assume the registered voters vote was not counted by some nefarious conspiracy? Do we assume someone intercepted their ballot so they couldn’t vote?
What if a registered voter forgets whether or not he/she voted in 2020 and tells a canvasser the opposite of what they actually did last year.
There is absolutely zero evidence of vote fraud in Colorado or anywhere else in the United States last year.
The canvassers need to refresh their memories about Trump.
In 2012, when President Obama was reelected, Trump tweeted that Obama won reelection by fraudulent votes. To this day, Trump has presented no evidence – none – to backup that tweet.
In 2016, Trump did not win any national convention delegates to the Republican National Convention from Colorado because he failed to campaign here. Ted Cruz on the other hand spent a year organizing at the precinct level and won the delegates. In July 2016, Trump sent Sarah Palin to Denver and he followed a week later. Both said Cruz won by fraud and Colorado’s system was rigged. To this day, Trump has failed to present any evidence – none – that our caucus assembly system is rigged.
In 2016, when Trump won the electoral college but lost the popular vote by 3 million, he claimed he lost the popular vote because of fraudulent voting by illegal aliens. To this day, Trump has failed to present any evidence – none – to backup his claim.
In 2020, Trump lost both the popular vote and the electoral college and, like clockwork, immediately claimed Biden won the election through fraud. To this day, he has failed to present any evidence – none – that the 2020 election was fraudulent.
Trump’s people need to recognize the pattern here. He is a liar.
I have done lots and lots of door-to-door canvassing.
But, we never ask WHO they voted for. We usually ask if they are supporting candidate X. Many people say "undecided" or "not information I wish to share." I reply "totally understand." But I don't ask who they voted for, even if they share they have already voted.
The whole idea of canvassers coming to the door armed creeps me out.
"creeps me out."
Better get used to it. Maybe not so much here, but in other states. It's the way of the future for the far right wing, Bolshevik, Republicans.
Please don't call them Bolsheviks. That is offense …… to left-wing totalitarians. Call them Nazi brown shirts.
It is just as ideologically inaccurate as when Marjorie Taylor Green and Q-bert call Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and basically anyone to the left of Joe Manchin "a Nazi."
If the point is to cast them as the ultimate extremist, then use the correct ideological pole. If they're left-wing extremists, call them Communists or Bolsheviks. If they're right-wing extremists, Fascist or Nazi is appropriate.