The court effort against True the Vote follows more than a year of attempts by the State Election Board to find out whether the organization’s allegations are true.
The State Election Board previously dismissed a case against voters who were accused of illegally returning multiple absentee ballots, finding that in each case that the ballots belonged to family members in the same household. But True the Vote’s claim of a broad voter fraud conspiracy is still pending.
“Allegations of election irregularities need to be accompanied by evidence,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “I encourage anyone with such evidence to turn it over and it will be fully investigated. But if you don’t have the evidence, don’t come into Georgia and make far-fetched and hyperbolic claims. It’s long past time to put up or shut up.”
The practice of collecting multiple absentee ballots, sometimes called ballot harvesting, is illegal in Georgia, with exceptions for family members and caregivers of disabled voters. Ballot harvesting, if it occurred, wouldn’t invalidate legitimate ballots turned in by unauthorized individuals.
True the Vote repeatedly fought the State Election Board’s subpoena over the past three months, saying it didn’t retain contact information of its anonymous source, can’t verify his identity and has an obligation to protect him.
“True the Vote insists it has an obligation not to disclose the identity of confidential sources, out of concern for their physical safety,” attorney Michael Wynne wrote in a June 30 letter to Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Vaughan.
The GBI previously found that True the Vote hadn’t provided enough evidence to pursue a law enforcement investigation of ballot harvesting in the 2020 elections. Approximate locations of alleged ballot traffickers based on cellphone signals were insufficient without the names of witnesses or perpetrators.
GBI Director Vic Reynolds said in September 2021 that “an investigation is not justified” because there was no other evidence tying cellphone signals to ballot harvesting.
The State Election Board subpoenaed True the Vote in April 2022, but pursuit of evidence has moved slowly since then.
The subpoenas sought documents, recordings, and names of people and organizations allegedly connected to ballot harvesting.
Once the State Election Board’s lawsuit is resolved and it finishes gathering evidence, the board will decide how to resolve True the Vote’s claims. The board has the power to issue fines, seek prosecution of election violations or dismiss allegations.