Voter Suppression

Voter Suppression 

2016 Was Different. “This was the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.  The GOP’s Attack on Voting Rights Was the Most Under-Covered Story of 2016 The Nation  

The New York University Brennan Center For Justice portal to all things electoral.  “In 2016, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election. Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.” NYU Law Brennan

Five Truths About Voter Suppression The Nation

The Trump Administration has defunded and eliminated the agency, the Election Assistance Commission, responsible for securing our voting systems and machines from hacking. The Department of Homeland Security has not looked into the hacking of our voting machines and has no plans to.

Citizens United 2010

Libertarian “Destroy the Administrative State” Megadonors Mercers and Kochs, Steve Bannon and David Bossie succeed in destroying the separation between corporation and individual as it pertains to campaign finance and government influence.

2011

The latest installment of Brave New Foundation’s documentary series “Koch Brothers Exposed” reveals the Kochs’ assault on public education.    AlterNet  August 14, 2011

2012

2014

2014: The Year of Koch   Mother Jones  ‘[Karl] Rove’s groups—American Crossroads, a super-PAC; and Crossroads GPS, its dark-money-funded sibling—spent heavily in 10 Senate races. The Republican won in at least six of those elections. If Republican Dan Sullivan defeats Sen. Mark Begich in Alaska (Sullivan was leading the vote count the day after the election) and GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy ousts Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana’s runoff next month, Rove will end up 8 for 10. The Sunlight Foundation calculates Crossroads GPS’s return on investment—that is, the success rate of GPS’s spending to elect or defeat candidates—at an impressive 96 percent.

The Koch brothers’ flagship organization, Americans for Prosperity, had an equally stellar Election Day. At least five of the nine AFP-backed Senate candidates won. The Kochs’ Freedom Partners Action Fund recorded an 85 percent ROI, according to the Sunlight Foundation.” Mother Jones

Voter Suppression 2016

Voter ID Laws, Closed Polling Places, Felony Restriction in 20 Republican States including Koch/Mercer controlled Wisconsin.

As of November 3, 2016: “In Texas, voters are wrongly being asked to show strict photo ID to cast a ballot. In North Carolina, voters are being purged from the rolls and early-voting locations have been cut. In Wisconsin, voters are being turned away from the DMV without getting voter IDsand polling places have been denied on college campuses. In Ohio, thousands of ballots could be thrown out because of minor technical errors.

On top of all this, Donald Trump is working his supporters into a frenzy by claiming the election is rigged and recruiting poll watchers to “Stop Crooked Hillary From Rigging This Election!” His white-nationalist allies, including neo-Nazis and Klan members, say they’re planning to deploy thousands of poll watchers to urban areas. And Trump adviser Roger Stone is sending volunteers to nine Democratic cities with large minority populations, like Cleveland and Las Vegas.” The Nation

Voter Data 2017

May 11, 2017: Presidential Advisory (“Voter Fraud”) Commission on Election Integrity  Complete National Voter Database Requesting Unlawful Private Information to Target Everything from Redistricting to Disinformation to be stored in White House under PENCE.

The Trump Administration’s Voter-Suppression Plans Are Backfiring Badly In an unprecedented show of bipartisan resistance, 48 states are refusing to hand over private voter data to Kris Kobach.  The Nation July 5, 2017

Voter Suppression comes in many forms, including:

  • Gerrymandering or Redistricting to weaken minority votes and consolidate GOP power Restoring Voter Choice: How Citizen-Led Redistricting Can End the Manipulation of Our Elections   Report October 2016
  • Strict Voter ID Laws disenfranchise elderly, minority, disabled and poor voters unnecessarily. In 2016, “Overall, 20 states have new restrictions in effect since then —
    • 10 states have new restrictive voter ID laws (and
    • 6 states have strict photo ID requirements
    • 7 have laws making it harder for citizens to register
  • Closing Polling Places in minority or undesirable districts thereby limiting access.  The Great Poll Closure, November 2016, The Leadership Conference Education Fund   “in states with histories of voting discrimination—those that had formerly been covered by the Voting Rights Act—there were 868 fewer polling places operating on Election Day” Center for American Progress
    • 6 have less early voting
    • Reduced Early Voting Access: “There were 158 fewer early polling places in 40 counties with large black communities, and African American voter participation was down 16 percent.” The Nation  
  • Felony Disenfranchisement: “One in every 13 African Americans has lost their right to vote on account of these laws” American Progress  The Sentencing Project
    • 3 restrict voters with past criminal convictions.

Trump has stated that Voter Fraud is an issue, but there are very few cases of double voting or impersonation fraud.

Kris Kobach pioneered the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, called Interstate CrosscheckIt established National voter rolls and because of its policies for verifying  validity (returned postcard) and issues with identical names, it has been seen as a way to purge voter rolls. In 2005, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri participated. In 2012, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Colorado, and Arizona gave information to Interstate Crosscheck. In 2013, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia and Florida joined. In 2010, a total of 7 double votes found, in 2012, 10 double voting cases discovered.

May 11, 2017, Presidential Executive Order on the Establishment of Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity

Instead, Trump has founded the “Voter Fraud Commission” led by Kris Kobach, who cannot legally comply with the demands made by the Commission in his own state of Kansas. The White House wants detailed data and voting history on every voter in the US, which of course it can then use to further manipulate us via Big Data (Mercer/Bannon owned & operated Cambridge Analytica, Trump-affiliated The Data Trust), and also continue its efforts to gerrymander and restrict the Democratic vote. The Mercer & Koch-funded Heritage Foundation is one of ten listed members. Rebekah A. Mercer has been a Heritage Trustee Since 2014 and the Heritage Foundation is 1 of 10 Commission Members. The Mercers and Koch Brothers created Citizens United, blurring the lines between corporations and individuals, legalizing billionaire campaign financing, swaying elections and influencing legislation in 2010. These billionaire donors are employed themselves alongside their proxies in the White House and Cabinet and used to have to hide their influence. Now they are brazenly, officially, and legally involved in our elections.

“The Data Trust serves to continually develop a Republican and conservative data ecosystem through voter file collection, development, and enhancement while lowering the cost and barriers to access the data.” www.thedatatrust.com  The Trump Campaign’s Digital Director, Brad Parscale, joined the Data Trust board in May 2017. AXIOS

“The chair of President Trump’s Election Integrity Commission has penned a letter to all 50 states requesting their full voter-roll data, including the name, address, date of birth, party affiliation, last four Social Security number digits and voting history back to 2006 of potentially every voter in the state.

In the letter, a copy of which was made public by the Connecticut secretary of state, the commission head Kris Kobach said that “any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public.”

On Wednesday, the office of Vice President Pence released a statement saying “a letter will be sent today to the 50 states and District of Columbia on behalf of the Commission requesting publicly available data from state voter rolls and feedback on how to improve election integrity.” Washington Post June 29, 2017

“Just three states — Colorado, Missouri and Tennessee — commended Kobach’s attempt to investigate voter fraud in their respective statements.” CNN

“Records obtained by The Progressive from the Kansas Secretary of State office showed that Schedler turned over nearly three million voter files to Kobach earlier this year, including voter birthdates and Social Security information. Sixteen Republican-controlled states, the majority of those allegedly “resisting” Kobach’s demand, have already shared detailed voter files with Kobach. In Mississippi, Hosemann turned over the state’s entire voter rolls to Kobach, some 2,092,886 files. Each file includes voter names, last four digits of their social security numbers, voting address, and voting history. Kobach, who has recently announced his candidacy for Governor of Kansas, has indicated the lists will be used to remove illegal voters. But voting rights advocates say the goal is actually to allow fewer people to vote. Twenty-one states listed by CNN as refusing Kobach his demands for voter files have already turned over voter files to Kobach’s office.

“The lists will almost certainly be used to…suppress the vote of citizens of color,” says Dee Hunter of the newly formed Civil Rights Center. Hunter’s group is part of a coalition including the ACLU, Common Cause, the NAACP of Georgia, Rev. Jesse Jackson of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, and other organizations calling for a halt to the expansion of Kobach’s Crosscheck system.

Voter lists from Mississippi, and twenty-seven other states, were turned over to Kobach beginning years ago as part of a voter-list purge program called ”  Interstate Crosscheck,” Hunter explains. The list aims to identify Americans registered in more than one state and intending to vote twice in one election, which is a crime. Any names identified as potential double-voters receives a postcard which, if unanswered, could lead to removal from the rolls.

According to a Rolling Stone analysis of data obtained from states participating in Interstate Crosscheck, as many as 1.1 million names were purged from voter rolls before the 2016 election.”  The Progressive

Why we should be very afraid of Trump’s vote suppression commission WASHINGTON POST JUNE 30, 2017

Trump voter commission to store data on White House computers under Pence staff direction

“President Trump signed an executive order on May 11, initiating an investigation into voter suppression and election fraud. Led by chairman Pence, Kobach on Thursday confirmed in a court filing that the panel’s other members are Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson (R); New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner (D); Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (D); former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell (R); Christy McCormick (R), commissioner with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission; former Arkansas state representative David Dunn (D); Mark Rhodes, clerk of Wood County, W.Va. (D); and Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow of the Heritage Foundation (R).”  The Washington Post July 6, 2017
 TACTIC: Prove widespread voter fraud to motivate additional restrictive Voter ID laws. Jeff Sessions unsuccessfully prosecuted people in 1985 who had issues and that has intimidated elderly voters in Perry County, AL, from voting since.

The president lays the groundwork for a nationwide voter intimidation program, Washington Post February 14, 2017, Sherilynn Ifill, Director & Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Stephen Miller,  repeated on a News program that 3 million illegal votes had been cast, which supported Trump’s numerous claims.

NC and TX deliberately created their voter ID laws to discriminate against minority votes.

How the Oil & Gas Industry Turned Colorado From Blue to Red EcoWatch, 2015