Melody, Maricopa, and You
By Catherine Engelbrecht – January 30, 2023
Today we bring you the true story of how a private citizen who made a social media post about watching ballot drop boxes found herself in a massive legal battle to protect the First Amendment. We’ve not publicly discussed our involvement in it, until now. Propagandist media will no doubt find a way to twist this into a scandalous headline, so we’re bringing it to you here first. We hope Melody’s story will inspire you as much as it inspires us.
Ballot drop box abuse has been a source of concern since 2020, when the “joint task force” of COVID and CTCL oversaw the installation of thousands of boxes to serve as unmonitored drop points for millions of mail ballots. The stunning lack of ballot security and overt abuse was proven through True the Vote’s research and went on to be featured in the movie ‘2000 Mules’. Citizens wanted to help, but didn’t know where to begin. Then one concerned patriot, Melody Jennings, wrote a social media post suggesting that Americans could have ballot drop box watch parties in their own communities. Her idea caught on … fast.
Melody heard from thousands of willing volunteers across the country who wanted to peacefully monitor ballot drop boxes in the 2022 elections. She set up a website and helped people connect with each other. The effort became known as “Clean Elections USA”. It wasn’t an organization, it wasn’t a formal arrangement, it was a movement.
Soon after 2022 early elections began, a pack of non-profit organizations represented by Marc Elias’ firm and many others, sued Melody and “Clean Elections USA” in Maricopa County, Arizona, arguing that watching drop boxes was unlawful. Their attempts to secure restraining orders and injunctions failed, but the lawsuit didn’t end there. Last Friday, we had a conference hearing in Arizona Supreme Court to begin litigation on the merits of the case. ‘We’ means Melody and True the Vote, as we have backed Melody’s fight since it first began. Our legal team is fully engaged in this case, defending every American’s First Amendment right to peaceably assemble. True the Vote is proud to support Melody and the movement known as “Clean Elections USA” in this critical fight for freedom.
“I’m a mom. I’m a patriot. I love God and country and the rule of law. But in 2019, I really woke up to what was happening in the world. After the 2020 elections and suspicious activities surrounding ballot drop boxes, my very next thought was, ‘My goodness, why are we letting this happen with these drop boxes? Why don’t we have eyes on them?”
“Within five minutes I just threw it out there on Truth Social and said, ‘Hey, why don’t we get out there and watch drop boxes?’ And it just went viral from there. I just started tagging people and posting. I remember over one weekend I went from 200 to 1500 followers and thought, ‘Wow, this must have something to it.”
“There was so much hunger for people to do something, but they didn’t know what to do or how to get started. And they were feeling like they’re just sitting on their hands and watching our country fall apart with not being able to really know even how to begin to help. I feel like it really helped people connect on a grassroots level to say, ‘Hey, I can do that.”
“In Arizona we pushback from the radical left, so I spent a lot of my focus there but also in Michigan and Pennsylvania. In Georgia, we couldn’t watch boxes. They took them all indoors. Each state was very different.”
“The first moment after I found out I was being sued; I was terrified. I’ve never been sued. I’ve never been in court in my life. But it didn’t take long to not be terrified. I just remember Catherine Engelbrecht from True the Vote calling me. She didn’t even ask me how I was feeling. She just knew because she’d been there before. She said, ‘You’re going to make it through this.’”
“The lawsuits literally have not stolen my joy for one second past those first moments. I’ve felt like I am protected. I’m surrounded and I feel like nothing can touch me. I’m aware of my rights. I’m aware of God in this space. I’m aware of the vast army of patriots that surround me. And I also know that we have the truth on our side.”
Melody Jennings’ willingness to stand and speak out is an example to us all.
From now through the 2024 elections, the battles to defend our rights as citizens will only get harder. Smear tactics will only get uglier. Propaganda media will only get worse. But if we continue to stand together, with patriots like Melody, truth will find a way. Never quit.
Ever onward –