Liberal groups have intimidated Franklin County candidates into blocking True The Vote (TTV) poll observers from Columbus precincts, and are working to pin the decision on fraud allegedly committed by a TTV volunteer. In a November 5 Ohio Democratic Party (ODP) press release, the party suggested local citizen Jan Loar committed a fifth-degree felony by forging at least one signature on a poll observer form submitted to the Franklin County Board of Elections (BOE).
Ohio election law dictates that “observers serving for any five or more candidates shall have their certificates signed by those candidates.” As the ODP version of the story would have it, TTV observers – who targeted Franklin County precincts based on race – were not granted access to polling places on election day because Loar forged a candidate’s signature.
Evidence presented by TTV suggests otherwise.
In a statement responding to ODP’s allegations, TTV President Catherine Engelbrecht explained that Franklin County BOE officials instructed Loar to photocopy a blank form signed by five candidates instead of gathering signatures for every sheet of observers.
“The sequence of events is as follows: Franklin County resident Jan Loar collected signatures from five candidates on a blank form provided by the County to process election observer placements. Ms. Loar followed instructions by Franklin County to make copies of candidate signatures for subsequent forms.”
As proof, TTV uploaded a copy of the “master” form which purportedly contained six candidates’ signatures.
Additionally, TTV shared a link to a voicemail which the group claimed Daphne Hawk, Republican candidate for Franklin County Recorder, left for Loar.
In the recording posted by TTV, a woman who identified herself as Ms. Hawk said, “we were basically all told that we were gonna be part of a lawsuit, and we were gonna be named.” The caller then apologized to Loar for not providing notification that support for TTV’s poll watchers had been officially withdrawn.
TTV asserted that its observers were not permitted in Columbus precincts for the November 6 election because Hawk and other signatories to the poll observer form were pressured to rescind their support for the group’s volunteers.
Media Trackers Ohio has previously reported on the coordinated left-wing campaign against TTV in Ohio, as labor unions, ODP, and other liberal groups seek to block the Houston-based election integrity group’s efforts and fire up the liberal base with rhetoric about “voter suppression.”
Brandon Darby at Breitbart News reported on November 6 that ODP’s November 5 press release – and the allegation that TTV had been blocked in Franklin County because a TTV volunteer committed fraud – was simply copied and pasted from an entry at progressive blog Plunderbund.
Plunderbund often serves as a mouthpiece for controversial stories which ODP then promotes through official channels.
“During the BOE meeting Candidate Terri Jamison spoke up to say her name was ‘forged’ on the latest round of forms,” Plunderbund wrote.
Jamison, a Democrat, appears to have signed the blank poll observer form which, according to TTV, Loar was instructed to photocopy for use with multiple lists of volunteers.
Franklin County BOE officials “say they barred a conservative group from monitoring polling places because applications to do so weren’t filed properly,” an Associated Press writer reported on November 6.
An extended transcript of the voicemail which TTV asserts was left by Republican candidate Daphne Hawk for TTV volunteer Jan Loar follows.
Hi Jan, this is Daphne Hawk. I want to first clarify something – number one, I apologize that you were not notified until yesterday because – and that really does upset me, because the withdrawal letters were done, like, the week after I met you. And they were done because we were basically all told that we were gonna be part of a lawsuit, and we were gonna be named, and all of this, and so that was the reasoning behind, you know, from the county party, that they didn’t want us on that.
I assumed that you would’ve received copies of those letters or notification about it immediately. I did not realize that they weren’t intending to let you know that those letters had been submitted. I apologize on behalf of my party for having done it that way, but I was not aware that that’s how they were doing it.
So, I apologize, I know I’m getting hate mail from your poll observers this morning already, and I feel for them, but it was never my intention for you to find out at the last minute like this. In retrospect, I should’ve called you, but I thought that they were going to send you a copy of the letter, or that you would be notified by the Board of Elections. In any case, you’re welcome to call me – again, I apologize, I feel terrible that you were not notified before now.