President Biden’s recent nominee to serve on the Federal Election Commission represented a Stacey Abrams-backed nonprofit in a lawsuit that made several unproven allegations of voter suppression. Nominee Dara Lindenbaum also signed on to court papers alleging voting machines “switched” votes during the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race.
The Senate Rules and Administration Committee held a confirmation hearing for Lindenbaum, a lawyer with the Washington firm of Sandler, Reiff, Lamb, Rosenstein & Birkenstock, to be a commissioner on the FEC. Days later, the Georgia trial for Fair Fight Action and Care in Action v. Raffensperger began in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.
Lindenbaum’s name appears as the third signature on the original complaint in the lawsuit alleging voter suppression in the race that saw then-Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp defeat Abrams by 55,000 votes statewide in the governor’s race.
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“One troubling problem — encountered by several voters — is that voting machines switched their votes from Leader Stacey Abrams to Secretary Kemp,” the 66-page complaint filed Nov. 27, 2018, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia alleges.
Stacey Abrams, Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Georgia, during a "One Georgia Tour" campaign event in Atlanta, March 14, 2022.
(Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The lawsuit named two voters who said they had to vote for Abrams on the voting machine four times because the first three times it identified Kemp. In one case, it said, only after a voter’s “fourth attempt was she able to cast a ballot for Leader Abrams.” The complaint says another voter is said to have “kept pressing Abrams and, by the fourth time, the machine finally corrected.”
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The plaintiffs narrowed the case in an amended complaint filed Dec. 3, 2020, to focus on allegations of poor training of poll workers and the data on voter registration lists. The amended complaint omitted the prior allegations about voting machines.
President Biden gives remarks at a Black History Month celebration event in the East Room of the White House Feb. 28, 2022, in Washington.
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“The U.S. Senate must reject this nominee,” Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, a Republican, said of Lindenbaum.
“The FEC is supposed to be a neutral body that instills confidence in our elections,” Carr told Fox News. “She has spent the last four years making fake claims of voter suppression and pushing conspiracy theories. This has been a four-year fundraising effort for Fair Fight Action assisted by Ms. Lindenbaum.”
Carr wrote a letter to Senate leaders urging them to reject the nomination.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asked about the matter during the confirmation hearing April 6.
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“Do you think criticizing an election as stolen or otherwise invalid undermines the public faith in the democratic process?” Cruz asked.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr speaks during a campaign event for Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., who is running for reelection, at J.D.s on the Lake in Canton, Ga., October 31, 2020.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
“These matters, the election security matters, are outside the purview of the Federal Election Commission, which is solely focused on campaign finance issues and not the issues of election administration machines,” Lindenbaum responded.
Cruz asked again if claiming an election is stolen undermines faith in democracy.
“It can, I think it depends on the context involved,” Lindenbaum replied.
She said that Kemp won the 2018 governor’s race and that Abrams acknowledged Kemp’s victory nine days after the election. Cruz noted the lawsuit Lindenbaum represented sought to permanently enjoin the secretary of state and the Georgia state Board of Elections and declare Georgia’s election process unconstitutional.
“The complaint you filed argued that the machines in 2018 actually switched votes for Abrams to votes for Kemp. Is that correct?” Cruz asked.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, questions Nina Morrison, nominee to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District Of New York, during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Dirksen Building Feb. 16, 2022.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
“The complaint, I believe, had those allegations in it,” Lindenbaum responded. “Those allegations were all based on affidavits and other stories from voters.”
She went on to tell Cruz “that case is in very active litigation” and “I am very much limited in what I can say about it.”
“As an officer of the court, you were willing to put your name on a legal pleading alleging that the machines used in Georgia in 2018 were switching votes illegally from one candidate to another. Is that correct?” Cruz asked.
“Yes,” Lindenbaum replied.
Lindenbaum did note that she was representing Fair Fight Action and not Abrams as an individual. Abrams launched Fair Fight Action, a nonprofit advocacy group, after losing the 2018 governor’s race. She is running again for governor this year. Kemp is in a Republican primary against former GOP senator David Purdue.
Lindenbaum did not respond to phone and email inquiries for this story.
Biden nominated Lindenbaum to the FEC in January, weeks after he delivered remarks on the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot. In that speech, Biden excoriated predecessor Donald Trump for casting doubt on the integrity of the electoral process.
At her current job, Lindenbaum counsels clients on complying with state and federal campaign finance and election laws and represents clients in federal and state courts, as well as before the FEC and state and local election boards. Previously, Lindenbaum was an associate counsel in the Voting Rights Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a left-leaning legal nonprofit.
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“This [Lindenbaum] appointment shows the hypocrisy of the left,” said Carr, the Georgia attorney general. “When some Trump supporters claimed machines switched votes from Trump to Biden in 2020, Democrats went bananas. But Democrats made the same claims in 2018.”