The following is a message from Grassroots America’s Executive Director JoAnn Fleming:
In the middle of a very busy day, if there’s anything I hate – it’s getting a call for a “cleanup on aisle 9” when folks are out spreading misinformation. So, if you are given to drama, exaggeration, or telling half the story, stop it right now. The commandment – “Thou shalt not bear false witness” – is not a mere suggestion, so if you are guilty of sharing anything but the facts, stop it. If you’ve received any text, email, or social media message misquoting Grassroots America, or me personally, I need to see it. Send it to Becky@gawtp.com. I’ll handle it.
To help everyone inject some personal responsibility into their actions, here’s how it is:
- Grassroots America has NOT told anybody to ask for a paper ballot to vote. That’s just dumb. You must use the voting system put in place in your county. There are conversations – at the state level – to return to paper ballots (some counties still use paper ballots), but a county that is using electronic voting machines is NOT going to give you a paper ballot to vote. They can’t. Only folks voting my mail get to use paper.
- Grassroots America has NEVER said the Smith County Elections office is aiding and abetting voter fraud. Because there are counties with countywide polling locations that have received Secretary of State waivers for paper trail backups for electronic voting machines, we said we were checking to find out if Smith County was one of those counties that had received a waiver. Getting the facts is what we do. Asking questions should never be interpreted as a suspicion of fraud, guilt, or criminal intent! Smith County election officials stated Smith County has not received any waiver, and they never asked for one. They also stated they have not changed any of their procedures to verify the voters checking in at each location to cast votes match the machine counts. There are paper trail backups for the Smith County voting process, and the paper trail backups for early voting are not printed until Election Day for security and confidentiality. Grassroots America is satisfied with the responses we got from the Smith County Elections Administrator. Period.
- Grassroots America does care about free, fair, and accurate elections. People and machines are not perfect. That’s just a fact, but when you sprinkle in rampant rumors of fraud, vote switching, and election rigging, people get nervous. At Grassroots America, we aren’t going to follow up on any accusation of voter fraud or ballot tampering if the person doing the accusing is not willing to sign an affidavit (statement of the facts) and have their signature notarized. Anything less falls into the worthless category of
“hearsay” because we aren’t “rent a mob,” and I’m not a caped crusader. If you are willing to state facts and attest to them in a method admissible in a court of law, I’m happy to help.
How to Responsibly Handle Voting Problems at the Polls (bring a pen & paper with you)
- Before you confirm your vote and walk away from the voting machine, review each race to make sure the vote you intended has registered correctly. This is especially important if you’re checking the “straight party” voting option.
- If there’s a problem, remain at your machine. Call the election judge to come over. Do not walk away to get help!
- Write down the machine number, date, time, polling location, the name of the elections official with whom you spoke, and the actions taken. You will need this information for steps 4 – 7.
- Fill out the TX Secretary of State’s complaint form, click here to download it. Call their office at 800-252-8683 or 512-463-5650 to report the issue(s) cited on the form you’re sending in.
- Call your County Elections Office. For Smith County, call 903-590-4777 to inform them of your complaint and send a copy of your completed Secretary of State complaint form to your County elections office.
- Call the Texas Attorney General’s Office and follow their instructions (512) 475-4413. Prepare a signed, notarized affidavit of your experience. Send the affidavit to Texas Attorney General’s Office to PO Box 12548, Austin, TX 78711-2548.
E-mail a copy of your complaint document and affidavit to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to Urgent Voter Complaint C/O Grassroots America PO Box 130012, Tyler, TX 75713.