© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO – A view of a Coconino County Drop Box, which is used to receive early voting ballots outside of the Coconino County Recorder’s office. The building has been improved with boulders and other security measures. Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.
By Moira Warburton
WASHINGTON (Stocksak), – Two U.S. voter rights organizations asked a federal judge temporarily to stop a grassroots group monitoring Arizona’s voter drop boxes for alleged voter fraud. This comes a week after Arizona officials asked federal prosecutors for an investigation into the group for possible voter intimidation.
Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans filed a lawsuit against Clean Elections USA and Vote Latino claiming that Clean Elections USA and its founder Melody Jennings tried to intimidate lawful Arizona voters by casting early votes in midterm elections.
Clean Elections USA describes themselves as a “grassroots organisation committed to electoral integrity.” It supports Donald Trump’s false claims about his defeat in 2020 as a result of widespread fraud.
It has been recruiting volunteers to help with drop box tailgate parties. Followers monitor the locations of ballot drop offs for fraud for months.
Jennings could no longer be reached for comment immediately.
The lawsuit was filed Monday night at the U.S. District Court of Arizona.
Arizona’s secretary of states asked the U.S. Department of Justice for an investigation into possible voter intimidation. Clean Elections members followed and filmed a voter dropping a ballot.
The lawsuit cites that case as well as an Oct. 22, post from Jennings on Trump’s Truth Social media platform. In it, she refers to two people who are described as being armed and wearing tactical gear while viewing a dropbox as “our people”.
Clean Elections USA is accused of running a coordinated campaign to intimidate voters. This violates the Voting Right Act and the Klu Klux Klan Act.
Saundra Cole (president of the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans) stated in a statement, “We will make all necessary steps to stop harassment of seniors and all Arizonans that exercise their precious right of vote.”
The lawsuit requests that U.S. District Judge Michael Liburdi (a Trump appointee) impose a temporary restraining or to block Clean Elections’s ballot-monitoring activities.
Falsely claiming that election fraud is a major problem in the United States, groups have been encouraging their members to register to be poll watchers or election workers. This builds on a campaign to harass election workers that began in advance of the 2020 election.