Saturday, September 16, 2017

32.3 - News on voter suppression

News on voter suppression

Next up, some news on voter suppression and voter rights.

First up is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach-where-you-came-from, author of the nation's most notorious anti-immigrant law and long a champion of preventing people from voting, who latched onto a report by New Hampshire GOPpers to claim that "thousands" of illegal voters voted in New Hampshire in the fall of 2016.

The claim was based on the fact that a New Hampshire Secretary of State report said that 6540 people in New Hampshire took advantage of same-day registration there, using an out-of-state driver's license as proof of identity - but only 1014 of those people had obtained a New Hampshire driver's license as of August 30. This was enough for Kobach-where-you-came-from to claim that as many as 5500 people voted illegally.

It took Dave Weigal of the Washington Post just one hour to debunk the claim by showing that these "illegal voters" were in fact college students voting where they go to school while using as registration ID a driver's license from the state from which they came - which is entirely legal in New Hampshire.

But that didn't keep the thoroughly bogus claim of "voter fraud" from quickly echoing through the right-wing media world, from the Washington Times to Fox to Breitbart to Drudge to the National Review and more.

Kobach-where-you-came-from, it needs to be said, is a member, indeed he's vice-chair, of TheRump's also-thoroughly-bogus commission on "elections integrity." Another member is J. Christian Adams, who also backed the claim, as did Vice-President and Commission chair Mike NotWorthaFarthing.

Kris Kobach-where-you-came-from
And the commission appears ready to double-down on this concocted lie.

Meanwhile, it was revealed on September 12 that back in February a member of the right-wing Heritage Foundation had lobbied Attorney General Jeff "Not a racist! Really!" Sessions to exclude Democrats, "mainstream Republicans," and academics from the Commission.

When Heritage Fellow Hans von Spakovsky was asked point blank if he was author, he said no, only to have the Heritage Foundation, just two hours later, say "um, actually, yes, he was."

So Spakovsky is a liar who thinks only right-wingers should be on a commission about voting rights - and is also, you guessed it, on that very commission.

This Commission is worse than bogus, worse than an utter farce. It is outright danger to democracy and must be treated as one.

As if that wasn't enough bad news on this front, on September 12 the Supreme Court ruled by the unsurprising margin of 5-4, with the usual breakdown, to block two lower court rulings that had ordered Texas to redraw some congressional and legislative districts that were found to be racially discriminatory. This is while the Court "considers Texas' appeal."

The result is that Texas almost certainly will hold elections next year in racist districts. Just the way the right-wing likes it.

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