aside “We the Peoples” Right To Vote Is Under Serious Attack By Republicans

Image result for photos of jeh johnson“We the People” have the constitutional right to be able to vote without undue obstacles, put in our way, to block some of us from exercising this precious right. It appears that republican lawmakers and their allies have been specifically designing strategies to do just that.

When the republican President Donald Trump and his administration should be acting to protect out states’ voting systems from foreign manipulations, as the former head of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson described in his June 2017 testimony before the US Congress when he described Russia’s attempts to attack 21 US states’ voting data for nefarious purposes, they are in the process of attempting to cut off funding from the very office which is designated to address this problem.

President Trump gestures to Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, as he speaks to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Oval Office

Let’s look at the voting landscape from the view of the republicans, especially those catering to the alt-right, the Evangelical and the wealthy voters. Their future looks bleak because of changing demographics and they are well aware of this future dismal landscape.

I even believe that the republicans’ current dance with rural voters will end abruptly, once those decision makers in the Democratic Party start focusing on their needs like raising the minimum wage scale, lowering their taxes, assisting their families with access to affordable high quality day care facilities, with helping their young adults to be able to earn a decent college education without incurring mortgage sized loans; offering re-education so that workers can get higher paying jobs, etc., etc., etc.

The below described strategies are designed to fix this future problem as perceived by republicans, otherwise this Trump era is the last hurrah of a lot of grumpy old men whose vision of the past is based on a fantasy that has no basis in reality.

On June 30, 2017, Ari Berman of The Nation penned the following report, “The Trump Administration Is Planning an Unprecedented Attack on Voting Rights.”

Excerpts:

“Four things happened yesterday (6/30/17) that pose a grave danger to voting rights.”

1. “The House Appropriations Committee voted to defund the Election Assistance Commission, the only federal agency that helps states make sure their voting machines aren’t hacked. The House Administration Committee previously voted to kill the EAC in February, but yesterday’s vote makes it one step closer to reality—practically inviting Russia to try to hack our elections again. Russian hackers targeted election systems in 21 states in 2016, according to intelligence officials. The $4 million funding request for the EAC is less than the cost of two trips by Donald Trump to Mar-a-Lago.”

Image result for photos of chris kobach3. “The White House commission on election integrity, led by vice chair Kris Kobach, also sent a letter to 50 states asking them to provide sweeping voter data including “the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information.”

“While Kobach asked for “publicly-available voter roll data,” much of this information, like someone’s Social Security number or military status, is, in fact, private.”

“Kobach has a very well-documented record of making wildly misleading claims about voter fraud and enacting policies that sharply limit access to the ballot (Kansas). He’s been sued four times by the ACLU for voter suppression and was sanctioned by a federal court last week for “deceptive conduct and lack of candor.”Image result for photos of Hans von Spakovsky

4. “The Trump administration named Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation as a member of the commission, who’s done more than anyone other than Kobach to spread the myth of voter fraud and enact suppressive policies. Von Spakovsky was special counsel to the Bush administration’s Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Brad Schlozman, who said he wanted to “gerrymander all of those crazy libs right out of the [voting] section.” It was a time when longtime civil-rights lawyers were pushed out of the Justice Department  and the likes of Schlozman and von Spakovsky reversed the Civil Rights Division’s role of safeguarding voting rights.”

“When von Spakovsky was nominated to the FEC, six former lawyers in the voting section called him “the point person for undermining the Civil Rights Division’s mandate to protect voting rights.” My favorite example of von Spakovsky’s ethical lapses is the fact that he published an article praising voter-ID laws under the pseudonym “Publius” at the same time he was in charge of approving Georgia’s voter-ID law at DoJ.”

“All four of these actions would be disturbing on their own, but taken together they represent an unprecedented attack on voting rights by the Trump administration and Republican Congress. The actions by Kobach, in particular, appear to mark the beginning of a nationwide voter-suppression campaign, based on spreading lies about voter fraud to justify enacting policies that purge the voter rolls.”

Image result for photos of Hans von Spakovsky“How would Kobach use this data? Look at his efforts in Kansas. His Interstate Crosscheck program compares registration lists among states to search for double voting, but because it uses very rudimentary data—only voters’ first and last names and date of birth—it generates thousands of false matches, leading to misleading claims about the prevalence of double voting that results in legitimate voters being removed from the rolls. Academics have found that Crosscheck could lead to 200 voters’ being wrongly removed from the rolls for every double vote found. Look at what happened when Virginia used the program in 2013, as I reported in my recent New York Timesmagazine profile of Kobach:”

In 2013, after Virginia joined Crosscheck, and in the midst of a hotly contested governor’s race, the state board of elections sent counties a list of more than 57,000 voters to purge because they were supposedly registered in other states. The data was littered with errors: Lawrence Haake, then the registrar in Chesterfield County, told The Richmond Times-Dispatch, “We do need an interstate checking mechanism, but I’m not real impressed with this one.”

“Right now 32 states are part of Crosscheck. If Kobach got voter data from all 50 states, he could run the program nationwide, leading to thousands of false cases of double voting, voters’ being wrongly purged from the rolls, and erroneous prosecutions for voter fraud.”

Image result for photos of Hans von Spakovsky“Kobach has used similarly dubious means to argue that registration and voting by noncitizens is “pervasive” and to justify Trump’s debunked claim that 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally. But although Kobach is the only secretary of state in the country with the power to prosecute voter-fraud cases, he’s convicted only one noncitizen of illegally voting in Kansas. That’s probably because it makes no sense that a noncitizen would vote illegally and risk deportation from the United States.”

Kobach has already said that he plans to compare voter lists with government databases of noncitizens—another reason he needs the data from states—even though such databases are not designed for that purpose, as I also reported:

The Trump commission marks a major step forward in Kobach’s efforts to nationalize his restrictions on voting. He’ll have a presidential bully pulpit and access to government resources that weren’t previously available, such as a nationwide database that includes noncitizens that could be run against state voter rolls to generate new allegations. But that Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements database does not automatically reveal the status of immigrants who become U.S. citizens, which means thousands of noncitizens who are subsequently naturalized could mistakenly be tagged as illegal voters.

Image result for photos of Hans von Spakovsky“Why does he want to do this? By making voter fraud seem rampant, he can build support for policies like requiring documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote, which has blocked one in seven Kansans from registering since 2013. Nearly half of them are under 30. Kobach says he wants to see proof-of-citizenship laws and similar voting restrictions adopted in every state.”

“Let’s be clear what’s happening: Republicans have no desire to prevent another hack from Moscow, but they are dead set on limiting voting rights at home.”

34 comments

  1. Yeah, right, in ozzie terms, if I may be so bold…”i would not piss on dump if he was on fire”. please forgive my vulgarity Gronda. however my vulgarity is inspired by dump bigly. Are Americans reading your outstanding posts?. Is anyone over there awake?. The information I have the pleasure of reading compiled by you presents a pretty damn factual outline of the ills of USA. Love and BIG hugs to you and yours. mate.

      • Dear Steele646,

        There were so many stories here in the USA, as to how Mr. Trump peeked into the voting booth that Melania was in, to make sure that she did vote for him. Sad! Sick! And all of the above…

        Hugs Mate, Gronda

        • You have a good team behind you, impressive collation and I love how you are still honourable, diplomatic and put up with shit from ozzie non voters…incredible.
          BIG hugs to you all. You make it possible to think theres a sane way out!… Much Spanish guitar, roses and chocolates to you all…

    • Dear Steele646,

      It does look dismal now. We here in the USA have this shortcoming of airing all our dirty laundry IN LIVING COLOR WITH HIGH DEFINITION, with nothing spared. I would say to foreign governments, why, bother with all the costs of intelligence gathering, when they can just go the internet to find out more than they ever wanted to know. TMI…

      In the end, it will all work out…

      Hugs, Gronda

        • I truly hope so, too, as a U.S. citizen, but once you attack the voting rolls, you have successfully removed the mechanism by which it CAN work out. I’m genuinely scared for my country and myself as a citizen, and I’m lucky enough to live in a state that did NOT vote for Trump. Trump has threatened on multiple occasions to destroy federal funding for my state as a result. He’s almost at war with it. I wish I could be confident it will work out, but I looked at a cute 🇺🇸 Fourth of July necklace I have and realized I don’t think I can bring myself to wear it at this year’s 🎆 in the current political environment. 💔

  2. Republicans working overtime to prevent voters that are not on their lock-step agenda. I am especially thrilled to see your repost of this article from The Nation….long one of my favorite sources of true news, it always presents an excellent alternate view to The Washington Post and other basically right-leaning venues.

    • Dear Gradmama2011,

      I do follow the writer Ari Belsher as well as those from the right and center. This is important for peoples to know about how the right is attempting to hijack our right to vote.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • yes, variety is important in news coverage as well. btw, what do you think of our governor, Kasich? I’m following the Medicaid thing n Ohio loosely because my son depends on his Medicaid/Medicare health insurance. I have a state pension (police & fire) which also provides heath insurance, with a supplement of course. 🙂

        • Dear Gradmama2011,

          lets just say, that if Governor Kasich, had been the republican presidential candidate and if he had won, I would be thrilled. I’d be kissing his feet.

          While I could safely predict that I would not agree with him on everything, I would never doubt for a second that he would not put this country’s well being and that of its peoples as his #1 priority. You know that he will do what he can to protect those on Medicare/ medicaid as much as he can.

          Thank goodness for your pension which seems to be going the way of the dinosaur.

          Hugs, Gronda

        • police and fire, teachers, government workers pensions surviving so far, here in Ohio anyway. Kasich just yesterday defied his Republican controlled government to save Medicaid, he will take a lot of heat. My son is on Medicaid/Medicare, called MyCareOhio. There is ONE dentist that takes his insurance; ONE eye doctor. He is on SS Disability,having worked under SS for thirty years…he is mentally slow, and without his assistane from the govt I don’t know what he would do. My husband was a firefighter retired in 1982, so thank goodness for that. Ohio is one of the hardest-hit states because of closed steel mills and auto manufacturers.

      • back in the 70s when Don Pease, our highly respected Rep from the 13th District was alive, the Republicans had gerrymandered the 13th district to the point it as ridiculous. Don was Rp fo 12 years, and the Rs busted their guts trying to unseat him, but he always won handily.

        • Dear Gradmama2011,

          The democrats can do the same in 2018 with highly qualified candidates who genuinely care enough to fight for the peoples’ pocketbook issues like raising minimum wages to a living wage.

          And the democratic party should have these candidates acting like a real people and not the typical politicians talking out of both sides of their mouths.

          Your Ohio representative, Mr. Pease was a tireless fighter for working peoples. He is what the peoples want today.

          Hugs, Gronda

        • Who will these highly qualified Democrats be? The chances of making it to the actual point of a party endorsement are extremely low. The local party machines dictate who will be supported…they can pressure would-be candidates to “wait their turn.” I was a Democrat running for city council, but I never made it because of my “public right to know” platform. I refused to be told what position the party held on a given issue. On the upside, of the three Council at Large positons, two of them were women of long standing office-holders. One a D the other an R. I always supported both of these women. They both met your criteria of elected officials who always did their best for We the People.

        • yes, Don Pease was indeed a tireless fighter, backed by the unions and working people. He had been in politics all his adult life, and probably would have continued for decades had he not died of a heart attack at an early age. However he had his detractors…the newspaper were always mad at him because of populist votes in Washington. In 1976 Don was rooting for Sherrod Brown, who is now our Senator. This is first-hand information.

        • some peoples..but others, like the Trump base, want white-power to be supreme, no tacky “furriners” around, close clinics, build walls, curb education… those people want what they got. The militias, which have been brewing for years, are the brains of the trump law and order…not much said about these groups.

  3. Dear Lavenderandlevity,

    Go wear that necklace. I am an American who will not standby while our president and others dishonor everything good that this country stands for but I will wear my flag pin with pride.

    Hugs, Gronda

  4. Gronda, this commission is totally a distraction effort. The real story is Russian meddling, but Trump does not want to look into that hall of mirrors, pun intended.

    It is also in keeping with the various GOP led Voter ID laws that were declared unconstitutional as they were designed in “laser like fashion” to suppress votes. Voter fraud is not a big problem, but where it exists most is in absentee ballots, yet that is usually excluded from the laws as absentee ballots tend to favor GOP voters.

    Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      The commission is a fraud, a waste of taxpayer monies, policy making based on fake news.

      And this is at a time when the states could use real guidance on how to keep its election/ voting systems from being compromised by out side forces.

      Hugs, Gronda

  5. This was a great post, Gronda … far more comprehensive than my own! I would like to share Roger’s comment on my post, which I think is an idea worth considering: “This is why the fool in the Whitehouse should not come over here to visit. He would be in danger of having the voting system explained to him.
    1. Local council sends letter to the house. Are you still living there folks? Assume you say ‘Yes’
    2. Before voting day you get a card.
    3. You take the card to the polling station.
    4. You hand it in, in return you get a little piece of paper with the names of the candidates on.
    5. You go into a triangular booth, where no one can see anyone.
    6. You vote.
    7. You drop the paper into a locked metal box”

    Yes, it is not as high-tech as our hackable-electronic voting machines, but this is how it is done in the UK and it seems to be working just fine for them. Perhaps sometimes technology is not necessarily synonymous with progress.

    Since I currently have ZERO level of trust in our federal government, I do not want my voting record in their tiny hands, as my first fear is that somehow all Democrats would wake up on the morning of November 6th 2018 to find that they are no longer registered to vote. Far-fetched? Maybe, but I do not trust them at all. My second concern, however, is that there is a push toward disenfranchisement that would take us back to the day when blacks and other minorities had to pass tests and pay fees just to vote. We are moving in the wrong direction on this.

    I would like to re-blog this, as I think you did a great job, and I know that many people are not aware these things are happening. Many thanks for this post!

    Hugs!!!

    • Dear Jill,

      I am all in with the way the UK (AS PER Roger) handles their voting process.

      “We the People” need to push for this.

      This next week, I am going to join up with the local democratic party chapter, even though I’m registered to vote as an independent. My involvement has been in the periphery but this isn’t enough.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda — I am so in awe of your energy, your dedication, and everything you do! You have my ‘two-thumbs-up’ — I admire and respect you for all that you do. Thank you for … everything! You are one beautiful woman! Hugs!!!

  6. The people can win back their country, I suspect as things become more restrictive financially due to health care and lack of funding in many quarters and people feel they are being disenfranchised the temperature of the population will rise.
    It would be better to see this translated through court actions and elections but if they do try and put the lid on America, then America will kick back – on the streets and on the net, and they simply do not have the wit or the character to deal with that sort of opposition.
    Take care America.
    Roger

  7. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Yesterday, I wrote a post about our voting rights and rights to voting privacy being trampled by the current administration. My post, however, was more narrow in scope than this one by my friend Gronda. She has done her research and reports on three additional areas where our voting rights are being threatened. Though much is horribly wrong in our nation right now, I see three areas as being THE most important: the environment; freedom of press/speech; and voting rights/security/privacy. All other issues will depend on these three. This is too important to let slide into the shadows, and Gronda does an excellent job shining the spotlight on the issue of voting rights, so please take a few minutes to read her post … and be sure to let her know what you think! Thank you, Gronda, for all your hard work and this very informative post!

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