Trump administration aims for national legislation to bring about voter suppression
Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. | 7/4/2017, midnight
While the president’s Twitter attacks on Mika Brzezinski – the accomplished journalist and co-host of “Morning Joe” – are indeed unseemly, sexist and inexcusable, they are also a distraction from a profound threat to our democracy that is not getting nearly the attention it deserves – a plot to nationalize voter suppression.
In the name of “voter fraud” – a virtually nonexistent problem in the United States - the Trump administration is intending to use the so-called Voter Fraud Commission to build a case that there is massive voter fraud in the country; therefore, what is needed is national legislation such as voter ID, a cutback in early voting and same-day on-site registration and more, in order to curb the “fraud” that such legislation will actually result in “voter suppression,” especially among African Americans and other
people of color.
It wasn’t enough for President Donald Trump to appoint Jefferson Beauregard Sessions Attorney General, a person who strongly opposes the 1965 Voting Rights Act as an unnecessary law intruding on state voting authority and who has reversed the Justice Department’s policy of supporting voter discrimination lawsuits involving people of color.
And it wasn’t enough that in the name of voter fraud President Trump also appointed Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State, who is the nation’s leading advocate of voter suppression techniques, to head his Commission, but who has filed only one case of voter fraud in Kansas. As a result of his policies one in seven voters in Kansas has been blocked from voting.
Now Kobach is trying to take his policies of making it harder and harder to vote nationwide. He is demanding that all states send to the Trump Voter Fraud Commission the full table of all voter registration information in the country with full name, birthday, political party, Social Security
number (which is not publicly available), full address, voting record back to 2006, criminal history and more.
But a growing number of Secretaries of State – Republican and Democrat – are rightfully resisting Kobach and refusing to send the information. The Secretary of State of Indiana, the home state of Vice President Mike Pence, said she wouldn’t send such information – and she’s a member of the commission.
Kobach has a long history of widely traveling the country and guiding states in various ways to suppress the votes of minorities, women, workers, youth and the disabled – in other words disproportionately Democratic voters – with such mistake prone techniques as “crosscheck” and “roll purges.”
Crosscheck is a method of matching first and last names and birthdays and eliminating “duplicates” across states. The technique has a history of eliminating voters by ignoring “Jr.” or “Sr.” or “III” and other things that could distinguish between different legitimate voters with the same first and last names and birthdays.
Kobach has claimed that there may be as many as 108 million dead people still on the rolls, many of whom he claims are still voting.
This Trump ruse of a “commission” is designed to prove the president’s preposterous claim that 3-to-5 million illegal voters voted in the 2016 presidential campaign - which he claims is the only reason he lost the popular vote by 3 million votes – and it must be resisted at every turn. It’s nothing more than a frontal attack on legal and legitimate voters with the end goal of eliminating legal voters, making voting more difficult - instead of making voting more inclusive and easier - and enacting national legislation that is full of ways to suppress the vote.