Friday, August 4, 2017


     They’re not at it again. They never stopped.

     Many of us are familiar with the illegal voter purge in Florida that put George Bush in office, a criminal action on the part of his brother, Governor Jeb Bush, and Florida’s Secretary of State, Katherine Harris. Acting in concert, they purged 57,700 names from the voter rolls despite federal and state court orders to cease and desist. Among other atrocities, they obtained a database of Texas felons, ostensibly to identify felons who’d moved from Texas to Florida and remove them from voter rolls. Convicted felons were not allowed to vote under Florida law, but the law, in this case, was a mere fig leaf to cover the overall goal of eliminating Democratic voters. Felons were allowed to vote in Texas and no state can override the laws of another. The purge was illegal from day one.

      Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris had to know this because they were informed of the fact by a federal court. They forged ahead, nonetheless, all scruples conveniently suppressed.

      The State of Florida, in an effort to keep its fingerprints off the theft, contracted the actual work to a company named ChoicePoint, awarding the company a $2,317,700 no-bid contract. Later, dragged into a congressional hearing by Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, ChoicePoint admitted that when comparing names on the Texas list with Floridians, it did not use Social Security numbers, did not verify addresses, did not conduct a single interview and added a name to the purge if a comparison of two surnames provided a 90% match.

      Take a second to absorb the implications. Florida removes 57,700 voters from its registration files. George Bush wins Florida and the presidency by 537 votes. Bush appoints John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Bush engineers a tax cut that doubles the national debt. Bush lies us into a war in Iraq, fundamentally upsetting the balance of power between Shia and Sunni in the Arab world.

      Are we having fun yet?

      Voter ID laws have drawn a lot of attention over the past few years, but the stakes, in the case of voter ID requirements, are very small compared to what Republicans are trying to accomplish through voter registration purges.

      Kris Kobach is Secretary of the State of Kansas and Chairman of the Republican State Party. Like most Secretaries of State (like Katherine Harris), he supervises all elections in Kansas, including federal elections. At the same time, as if he didn’t have enough to do, Kobach is the co-chair of Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity and the driving force behind a consortium of Republican-dominated states, 27 in all, who participate in the Interstate Crosscheck System.

      Never heard of the Interstate Crosscheck System? You’re not alone.

      In North Carolina, the chief of the Board of Elections, using numbers generate by ICS, testified that 35,750 voters registered to vote in North Carolina were also registered in another state. How many prosecutions resulted from this revelation? None. But that didn’t stop the State of Virginia from purging 41,637 names from its voter rolls, using the same bogus identification techniques that Bush used in Florida, with no middle name match, no Social Security match and no personal interviews.

      More than 850,000 individuals residing in America bear the surname Garcia. If your last name is Washington, there an 89% likelihood that you’re African-American. This is how the game is played. The targeting of minorities by the Republican Party, acting in concert, is two-pronged: Voter ID laws that make it harder for minorities to vote and voter purges that remove minorities from voter rolls, often without notification. Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity, headed by Kris Kobach, is currently demanding voter-registration data from every State in the Union. Surely, its aim cannot be to prove that massive voter fraud exists. If it did, the Interstate Crosscheck System would have already produced thousands of arrests. No, Republicans mean to extend the sort of voter purges already happening in Republican-dominated states, using techniques developed by Jeb Bush in Florida, to the entire nation. I mean, why steal thirty or forty thousand votes when you can steal millions?

      Russia conducts regular elections, as do China and Turkey, but it doesn’t make them democratic. If Republicans have their way, the United States will soon join them. Welcome to the New World Order.

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