True the Vote promoting false information, possible intimidation, says Common Cause
Calls to a True the Vote public relations director were not returned. However, we did reach Jeff Kelly, the founder of Colorado Voter Protection, which Common Cause also mentions in its letter. Kelly tells us he founded that nonprofit group in June to help fight fraud in the election and has been using True the Vote tools in its trainings with hundreds of poll watchers who will be dispatched throughout the state.
Kelly insists that his organization and the tools provided by True the Vote are dedicated to promoting laws at the polls. He says he is an unaffiliated voter and that his group is a civic nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to ensuring fair and legal elections.
Sam Levin Democrats in Colorado voting early.
"Our plans are to train as many citizens that want to be involved in ensuring we have an accurate election," says Kelly, 52, of Longmont.
He adds, "It's pretty basic stuff.... It's just a matter of making sure that the election is conducted according to law."
He says that he wants everyone to feel good about the election at the end of the day.
"The high level goal of the organization is to have enough people involved in the election that we feel really confident...that there were no problems and that everyone conducted the election according to law," he says. "So that when we're done, we have very high confidence in the results."
When we reached him by phone yesterday, Kelly had not yet seen this letter from Common Cause. After we forwarded the letter to him, he responded with the following via e-mail:
I am glad to have received the information from Common Cause and am forwarding that e-mail to my volunteers as corrections/additions to their earlier training.Kelly says he thinks the Secretary of State's office has discussed issues with True the Vote and the Denver Elections Commission has reviewed and commented on the training document, indicating places in the "generic" section that don't apply to Colorado.
I'm not thrilled with the hostile tone in the letter, but I guess that's how some people feel they have to operate. If Common Cause is truly interested in free and fair elections, then they should join this civic effort rather than fight it.
(Rich Coolidge, a spokesman from Gessler's office tells us that they have seen the letter, but adds, "We can't weigh into every disagreement between third-party groups. We're working to put the election together.")
Nuñez says she is not sure what to expect from True the Vote and its poll watchers on election day, but wants to remind everyone that they should not be afraid to go to the polls.
"This is an important election and Colorado is getting a lot of attention -- good and bad," she says. "Voters should be energized by that and take action to participate and not let the possibility of suppression activities keep them back.... The best way to fight back is to vote."
Continue for the full training guide and for Common Cause's list of corrections.