Election denier Melody Jennings — a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory — has been organizing a national effort harass and intimidate voters by recruiting fellow conspiracy theorists to “monitor” ballot drop boxes, which they falsely claim are susceptible to voter fraud. Jennings has acknowledged that QAnon influencers, who she has partnered with, have been instrumental in her efforts.
Jennings founded the organization behind the effort to monitor drop boxes, Clean Elections USA. According to Jennings, she was inspired by 2000 Mules, conservative figure Dinesh D’Souza’s widely debunked movie claiming the 2020 presidential election was stolen via ballot stuffing at drop boxes by so-called “mules.” Jennings said that “teasers about 2000 Mules … stuck with me and I said, ‘You know, why can’t we just go put 10 people around a box, you know, in shifts around boxes?’”
Since then, Jennings has taken credit for people monitoring an Arizona drop box during the state’s primaries — which she called a “dry run” for the midterm general elections — and members of her organization have recently been reported staking out a drop box in Maricopa County, including targeting a supposed “mule” and photographing voters’ license plates. Her efforts have since been promoted by former President Donald Trump on Truth Social.
The Arizona secretary of state’s office has already received multiple complaints of alleged voter intimidation at drop boxes in Arizona, including incidents connected to Clean Elections USA. In one case, armed men in camouflage have reportedly staked out a drop box in Maricopa County wearing tactical gear, which Jennings has defended. As Jennings’ organization continues encouraging people to monitor drop boxes, a temporary restraining order has been sought against the organization.
Jennings’ support of the QAnon conspiracy theory
While she was creating Clean Elections USA, Jennings was also getting involved in the QAnon conspiracy theory. Jennins has claimed that in April, around when she first started forming the group, she “wasn’t completely aware of the significance of 17 at the time” — referring to “Q,” the 17th letter of the alphabet — and was “really getting into the Truth Social space.” By May, Jennings apparently came to embrace QAnon, repeatedly posting the QAnon slogan on Truth Social — “where we go one, we go all,” or “WWG1WGA” for short — along with amplifying explicit QAnon content.
Jennings’ embrace of QAnon has extended beyond the conspiracy theory itself: She has also embraced QAnon influencers, using them to amplify her drop box monitoring efforts. While forming what became Clean Elections USA in April, Jenning tagged the account of We The Media, a QAnon influencer collective, on Truth Social, asking for “thoughts” and “suggestions” on what to do “if ‘they’ mess with our election again in November.” Over the spring and summer, she also tagged QAnon influencers Jeffrey Pedersen (known online as “intheMatrixxx”) and Shannon Townsend (known online as “ShadyGrooove”), asking them to promote Clean Elections USA and its activity.
In September, Jennings was photographed at a video shoot with We The Media members, some of whom wore Q and We The Media clothing.
Jennings has collaborated with QAnon influencers for her drop box targeting
In mid-August, Jennings attended “The Pit,” an event set up by True the Vote, the election denial organization behind 2000 Mules which has also extensively collaborated with QAnon influencers. During the event, Jennings met and connected with multiple QAnon influencers, some of whom are also We The Media members, including Pedersen and Townsend.
After meeting Pedersen and Townsend, Jennings has appeared at least four times on their QAnon-supporting program, MatrixxxGrooove Show (or MG Show), where she has promoted her group and asked for financial support. Multiple viewers of the show have since donated to Clean Elections USA.
On October 18, Jennings explicitly credited the hosts for Clean Elections USA’s organizing, telling them, “Our organization and people around drop boxes wouldn’t be happening today without you guys.” She also credited the show explicitly for making connections in Michigan, and the hosts said one of its moderators was getting involved with Jennings’ efforts in the state. Pedersen also told Jennings that other followers of the show also planned to or wanted to get involved with Jennings’ effort, which Jennings said she was “grateful” for.
On Steve Bannon’s War Room, Jennings praised MatrixxxGrooove Show by name, saying, “Without the MG Show I would not be in Michigan right now,” and hyping “the people and the connections I’ve made because of the MG Show.”
Jennings has relied on others in the QAnon community and asked for help from other QAnon influencers, particularly other members of We The Media, which she has called her “team.” During the War Room interview, Jennings also gave a shout out to The Authority and Kanekoa, QAnon influencers who are also both We The Media members. (Bannon, who has a history of featuring QAnon-connected figures on his show, praised Kanekoa in response as well.) Appearing on MatrixxxGrooove Show again days later, Jennings gave a shout out to more We The Media members.
Jennings has partnered with other election deniers
Alongside QAnon influencers, Jennings has also partnered with election denial organization True the Vote after apparently connecting with one of its leaders, Gregg Phillips, via Truth Social. (Jennings and True the Vote have partnered with many of the same QAnon influencers and We The Media members.)
The following month, Jennings revealed that she is “working with Sheriff [Mark] Lamb and some of the other constitutional sheriffs,” referring to the Pinal County, Arizona, sheriff who is also collaborating with True the Vote.
And in September, Phillips confirmed that his group is “going to work with Melody to coordinate with sheriff's offices in the local jurisdictions where she has people [who] are getting eyes on this process,” likely referring to True the Vote’s announced partnerships with right-wing sheriffs groups.
In addition to True the Vote, Jennings has suggested she is collaborating with fellow election denial conspiracy theorist Jovan Pulitzer, and she has also said that some of the people involved in Clean Elections USA are affiliated with right-wing student group Turning Point USA.
Jennings’ efforts are yet another link in the growing connection between the QAnon and election denial movements. In addition, major election denial funder Patrick Byrne is significantly tied to the QAnon community, an “election integrity” group connected to Conservative Partnership Institute’s Cleta Mitchell sent materials from QAnon influencers to a county elections board, and a QAnon influencer helped co-found a coalition recruiting election deniers to run as secretary of state candidates.