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Colorado Voting Rights Advocates File Lawsuit Against Voter Intimidation

Press Release / Last Updated:

 

Denver & Washington, DC — Today, the League of Women Voters of Colorado and other civil rights groups filed a federal lawsuit against election conspiracy group US Election Integrity Plan (USEIP) for voter intimidation activities in Colorado. The lawsuit alleges members of USEIP are leading an organized intimidation campaign, dispatching volunteers — who are sometimes armed — to go door-to-door in diverse communities, interrogating Colorado voters on how they voted. 

"The League of Women Voters of Colorado strongly opposes any and all efforts at voter intimidation, including undermining voter confidence by spreading disinformation about the security of Colorado's elections,” said Beth Hendrix, Executive Director for the League of Women Voters of Colorado. “We're proud to stand with our partners in halting this illegal and anti-democratic activity." 

“No voter should ever feel threatened in the safety of their own home. The nefarious actions of the USEIP are a blatant form of voter intimidation used to target and silence Colorado voters of color, which is in clear violation of the Voting Rights Act,” said Celina Stewart, League of Women Voters Chief Counsel and Senior Director of Advocacy and Litigation. “The League will continue to fight against any attempts at voter intimidation and suppression in Colorado and anywhere else around the country.”

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against USEIP under Section 11b of the Voting Rights Act and under the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 to prevent the group from engaging in voter intimidation activities. The group has reportedly organized its members to go door-to-door, while sometimes armed, to intimidate and threaten voters. During these door-to-door interactions, USEIP agents have asked residents about their participation in the 2020 election, taken photos of voters’ residences, and maintained a database of photos of voters’ residences.  

The case is brought by the Colorado-Montana-Wyoming State Area Conference of the NAACP,  Mi Familia Vota, and the League of Women Voters of Colorado. Plaintiffs are represented by Free Speech for People and Lathrop GPM LLP.

"Voting is essential to our freedoms and way of life in this country," said Derrick Johnson, NAACP president and CEO. "Any suppression of our constitutional right must be fought against with every tool at our disposal. We cannot allow the course of our nation to be reversed by those looking to gain power through ill-gotten means. Protecting our voting rights is a number one priority."

 “Sadly, efforts to intimidate voters are nothing new,” said NAACP General Counsel Janette McCarthy Wallace. “The NAACP has a long and proud history of opposing those who would seek to thwart democracy. We could not sit idly by and allow voters to potentially be bullied out of exercising their rights.”

“We joined this lawsuit in Colorado against the United States Election Integrity Plan (USEIP), an extremist organization with ties to QAnon and the January 6th Capitol Insurrection, because voter intimidation is particularly threatening to the population that MFV serves, many of whom are new citizens or new voters,” said Héctor Sánchez Barba, Executive Director and CEO of Mi Familia Vota. “As an organization, MFV is worried about protecting voters and making sure that voting is safe for them, and that voters feel safe while voting. USEIP also is purposefully acting like government agents. This can make USEIP’s visits particularly intimidating. These acts of intimidation are awful, and we will fight them. No one should feel fear when they are exercising their right to vote. We are working every day to build a stronger and more inclusive democracy.”

“No one should have to be afraid to go to the polls or fear that doing so will mean being threatened in their own homes,” said Courtney Hostetler, Senior Counsel at Free Speech For People, which serves as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in this case. “Free and fair elections can only occur when people know that they are able to safely vote without reprisal or intimidation.”

“Voting is a fundamental right of every American citizen. The firm is proud to co-lead this action, which is intended to ensure that every voter feels safe and unintimidated when exercising their right to vote,” said Amy Erickson, attorney at Lathrop GPM LLP.

Click to read the full complaint and the memorandum in support .

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Founded in 1920, the League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan grassroots organization working to protect and expand voting rights We empower voters and defend democracy through advocacy, education, and litigation, the local, state, and national levels. 

PRESS CONTACT: Shannon Augustus | 202-768-9578 | [email protected] 

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