Voting Rights, Crosscheck and Kris Kobach

Were you aware that in the US Constitution, there really isn’t anything granting each US Citizen a right to vote? The only thing the Constitution provides for under the 15th and 19th Amendments is protecting people from being denied the right to vote specifically because of race or sex. If voting laws are broad enough to impact an entire population then they stand. Voting is left totally to individual states and individual districts. So say a law requires “everyone” to provide ID to vote, it’s constitutional despite the fact some people have easier access to ID than others based on income, which may be based on race or age. Federal Civil Rights’ law granted protections, but those protections were tenuous at best and recently they were overturned by the Supreme Court since as I just mentioned, the US Constitution doesn’t provide a right to vote per se.

Worse yet, if an election is shown to have been compromised via say a cyber-attack or willful removal of people from the voter rolls without legitimate cause, there’s nothing in law or procedure that permits a new election or “re-vote.” So in reality if someone or some organization is successful in throwing an election that election result remains until the next scheduled election. A sad reality for a nation that publicly prides itself as being a free democracy.

It is no secret that the only the Republicans oppose easy access to and the unrestricted right to vote for all citizens of this country. Conservatives Republicans are on record recognizing the fact that the more people who vote, the less likely their party and their agenda is likely to win. See below:

So over the years, Conservative Republicans push for anything they can do to suppress the vote. Voter ID’s, limited polling hours, restricted days for early voting, etc. Voting restrictions are carefully crafted so that on paper, they appear to impact an entire population. However, upon examination of the specifics, looking into the weeds, they disapportionately impact those more likely to vote left of center, which happens to be the majority view of our nation. Republicans know full well that as long as they can successfully keep people from the polls, either by making it too difficult for them to vote, or subversively finding ways to remove them from the voting rolls, they win and there’s no way a new election can be called to correct the voting results.

Recently Donald Trump appointed Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to co-chair with Mike Pence a commission to uncover “voting fraud” in this nation. Voting fraud is always the excuse Republicans use to justify their voting suppression efforts despite the fact study after study after study proves it is nearly nonexistent. Studies show at best, the type of voter fraud Republicans claim is 0.0005%. However, Trump who still claims he had record numbers of people at his inauguration, claims that all if not more of the 3 million more votes Hillary Clinton received over him were all fraudulent. So publicly he created this commission. However, is that the real reason?

Kris Kobach was the author of Arizona’s discriminatory SB1070 law that gave Arizona law enforcement Nazi Germany like authority to demand paperwork from Brown People to prove they were here legally. However, Kobach also heads up a blatant national voter suppression organization known as “Crosscheck”. In theory, crosscheck analyzes voter registration data across voting district and state lines to investigate if people are registered in multiple places and if so, remove their names from the voting rolls. Crosscheck removed well over 1 million voters from the rolls in 2016. 450,000 were removed from Mississippi, 270,000 in Arizona, 590,000 in North Carolina. It is interesting to note that most of these people were of color and/or Latino. Further, these numbers far exceed the number of votes Trump won by in those states. Coincidence?

Trump likes to point out how dead people are still on voter rolls. Well a couple of things there. Each voting jurisdiction has their own rules on removing people from the rolls. Dead people find it difficult to remove their names and family members rarely see it as a priority. Further, having a dead person on a voting roll is one thing, that person actually voting is quite another. No evidence of widespread dead people actually voting has come to light most likely because it didn’t happen. As for people being registered in multiple places, well that has been documented. People like Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, and Ann Coulter have been found to be registered in multiple places but the number is far below the 0.0005% “voter fraud” percentile discussed earlier. It happens but not in the numbers that would impact an election and not likely for any devious purpose other than laziness, forgetfulness or poor record keeping.

Kobach has asked the Secretaries of State of all 50 states to provide him the names, dates of birth, last 4 digits of social security numbers, party affiliation and voting records of their voter registration rolls. Why? Is it in an attempt to expand his own “Crosscheck” scheme to then compel each state to remove “suspect” people from the rolls? Probably.

November 2018 is just over a year away and from their past behavior we know the Republicans want to suppress the vote as best they can to hold on to Congress despite overwhelming national discontent with their governance. Kobach using flimsy at best justification is using the office provided him by Trump to facilitate the removal of millions of lawfully registered voters from the rolls. These people may not realize their names were removed until voting day (like in 2016) and there will be nothing they could do about it. Once the election is complete, there’s no new election to be held regardless of how many people come forward to show they were unjustifiably or even illegally removed from the rolls.  And of course there’s 2020.

The evidence is clear, there is no voter fraud of the kind reported by Trump and Kobach in this country, at least nowhere near the numbers required to have any impact of election results (0.0005%). However, voter suppression to throw an election is at the numbers required to throw an election and voter fraud is the excuse Trump, Kobach and the GOP will use to justify their efforts to orchestrate election fraud.

We must be proactive because once Election Day concludes, there’s no going back, there’s no mechanism in place to hold a new election because millions were denied their lawful right to vote as citizens of the United States. Election law is the mandate of the States and local jurisdictions. Demand from your Secretary of State transparency in maintaining the voter registration rolls. Demand and safeguards be in place to ensure names aren’t frivolously removed from the rolls based on dubious at best claims, check to see if you’re still registered on a monthly basis so you’re not surprised on Election Day and most importantly, VOTE!

Here’s where to go to check your registration status:

http://www.canivote.org/

 

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