Judge Grills True The Vote On Motives Behind Mississippi Lawsuit

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Texas judge hearing True the Vote’s lawsuit over access to poll books from the U.S. Senate runoff primary in Mississippi questioned the group’s motives for suing Mississippi officials, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

True the Vote, a Tea-Party aligned group focused on voter fraud, says it was denied access to records in nine counties, prompting the organization to sue the Mississippi secretary of State and state Republican Party.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas quizzed True the Vote president Catherine Engelbrecht about the group’s motives for the lawsuit.

“Isn’t there more going on here that you want all the information about voters?” Atlas asked, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

Atlas said she doesn’t believe the case is about voter fraud, but what documents can be viewed — pointing out that True the Vote is trying to get access to voters’ personal information like full names, dates of birth, and addresses. True the Vote also initially asked for Social Security numbers, but later dropped that request.

“This is not a case of voter fraud,” she said. “It’s whether the National Voter Registration Act was complied with and whether it preempts state statute. This case is about transparency of the voter process with the counter issue of voter privacy.”

The judge said it would be simpler and cheaper for True the Vote to only look at crossover votes from people who voted in the June 3 Democratic primary and then the June 24 Republican primary runoff, rather than review voters’ full spectrum of private information.

State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) and his supporters claim that Sen. Thad Cochran only won the runoff with crossover votes from Democrats and African-Americans. McDaniel has not yet filed a formal election challenge, but has been looking for voting irregularities.

A Mississippi judge also expressed skepticism over True the Vote’s lawsuit last week. The judge ordered the group to clarify why they filed the suit in the northern district of Mississippi, not the southern district.

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