Fake Voter Fraud Commission Gets Real Pushback

Paris  On the eve of Independence Day in the United States, President Trump and his Kansas pistolero, Kris Kobach, who is ramrodding his fake voting commission, are getting a course in good old, American civics. Part of the lesson is about voting rights and the scrutiny of the ballot box, but the other part is that politics is not a zero-sum game: if Trump and Kobach win, then hundreds of local elected officials who administered voting lose.

States throughout the country have been pooh-poohing the Trump gang claim that there is voting fraud of any kind on their watch, much less that millions upon millions of undocumented folks swarmed the polls and skewed the results. One after another when contacted by authorities, reporters, and researchers have flatly stated, no, way.

The Commission acting from the bully pulpit, sent out a request for all the election officials for a ton of information, including social security numbers and other very private and privileged information. In ironic resistance, almost half of the states simply ignored the request and refused to send the information along. Some didn’t just ignore the letter, but scoffed at it in open rebellion, and this wasn’t just the usual bi-coastal suspects either. Arkansas and Louisiana haven’t figured out how they are going to handle what everyone sees as an overreach, but Mississippi was even more forthright. The top election official there said the commission could jump “into the Gulf of Mexico,” and furthermore that his state, lying along the Gulf, was a perfect place to jump from.

Of course rather than President Trump keeping quiet about the fact that he and Kobach’s snipe hunt has been exposed as just that, instead unleashes some of his terrible tweets, even in the midst of a media war with some morning show hosts for some inexplicable reason, conjuring up the charges of misogyny that roiled his campaign regularly. His tweets, predictably asked the resisters, “what did they have to hide.”

Earlier I mentioned that this was a good civics lesson about how politics really works when you are the ox trying to gore smaller oxen on the local field. I should clarify that saying this is a lesson, does not mean that Trump and Kobach will learn anything or pass the test, but as all of us who made it through public school know, just being taught the lesson does not guarantee a passing grade. Sometimes we ace it. Sometimes we flunk.

There is a last bit of irony here though. Kris Kobach, serving as Secretary of State in Kansas, and promulgating this mischief as clerk of the works for this Commission, is also not providing the records requested for voters from Kansas either. State law in Kansas forbids sending this kind of personal information to anyone. Other states do as well.

Pay attention in class, Donald and Kris, this is going to be a question on the test.

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Voter Fraud Tactic is Just Another Voter Suppression Tactic

mapofshame2015New Orleans  Score setting is boring. It’s almost Trumpian. Who cares about all of this inside baseball back and forth? No one but the players in all likelihood. But, vindication, now that’s different. Recognition of a reality where someone has being crying to be heard in the wilderness, oh, yes, that’s worth taking note, I think.

And, so we will!

Finally, there’s starting to be a drumbeat of deeper understanding starting to rise among the cognoscenti in the media and political class that might eventually be heard over the din of the spin machines down to the grassroots that recognizes that these claims of voter fraud are nothing more than election tactics designed to confuse voters, rile up the hater-base, inspire racists, and suppress minority votes. Trump’s total lack of any credibility whatsoever has finally forced some mainstream reporters out of their deep slumber because the antipathy to Trump is so great by so many that they see his claims of a “rigged” election as a threat to democracy, rather than the standard operating procedure for election cycles at least throughout the 21st century in the United States.

I don’t want to suffer from “premature certainty,” but first the Washington Post pointed out that this rigged election malarkey was also a feature of the 2008 election thanks to John McCain’s fallacious accusations that ACORN was about to carry out the biggest voter fraud in history. The story was run nationally on the Tribune wire. Now the Huffington Post has jumped in and, more weightily, the New York Times finally got off the duff and realized that this “crying wolf” about so-called “voter fraud” has been going on cycle to cycle since at least 2000. Hello, welcome aboard the reality train! They of course cite the fact that ACORN was targeted, wrongly, in 2008, though they could as easily with a little more work and research have also made the same case back several cycles before 2008 as well.

The facts rarely disrupt tactics that are working even if they are essentially little more than media-manipulation and campaign dirty tricks. They do throw some fuel into the fire of truth though, and we can hope the sparks spread. Here are some:

…a study by Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles…uncovered only 31 credible claims of voter impersonation between 2000 and 2014, out of one billion ballots that were cast. An Arizona State University journalism project reviewed 2068 allegations of election fraud between 2000 and 2012 and concluded that only 10 had involved misrepresentation.

Many of the allegations have been directed at efforts to register minority voters, so it’s hard to avoid the race mongering inherent in these claims and the intentional voter suppression, tragically backed up by targeted legislation largely in red-Republican states. Efforts to charge immigrants with illegal registration and voting, especially in 2012, but certainly in 2008, as well have all been pretty clearly unsubstantiated and at worse attributed to errors and confusion.

The Times concluded with an assessment from Lorraine Minnite from Rutgers, a voting expert, that,

“The frame is being controlled by those who are promoting the idea that fraud is a problem. If we shifted the framework to people who are trying to vote but don’t get their vote counted, we’d be having a different discussion.”

Been there, done that, said it often, so big whoop and amen to that!

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