There’s another elected / appointed official you should add to your citizen-activist contact list: your state’s secretary of state. Your communication with that person is every bit as important as your contact with senators and reps about healthcare because there is a massive voter suppression plot afoot.
If this diabolical plan succeeds, Republicans will attempt to make permanent their ability to rule as a rump party that cannot garner a majority of votes in a fair election. And it all began when Trump absurdly insisted that he would have won the popular vote if “illegals” hadn’t participated.
Of course, that’s bullshit; in-person voter fraud is vanishingly rare. But the GOP weasels who prop up the brittle narcissist in the White House saw his self-aggrandizing ravings as an opportunity to perpetrate their own massive voter fraud and save face for Trump. To accomplish this, they formed the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, even though including the words “presidential” and “integrity” in the same title now causes facial tics in half the population.
This fraudulent fraud squad is chaired by beady-eyed Bible humper Mike Pence and co-chaired by Kris “Papers, Please” Kobach, secretary of state in Kansas who has wasted untold amounts of taxpayer dollars pursuing the fake problem of voter fraud in his own state. Given free rein there, Kobach turned up just nine incidents of fraud, seven of which were perpetrated by Republicans.
A related aside: for a chaotic organization that seemingly lurches from crisis to crisis, the Trump administration has been awfully consistent about putting the very worst, least qualified people in charge. Just as Betsy DeVos got a chance to take education policies that failed spectacularly at the state level nationwide, Kobach, failed voter fraud detective, gets his turn on the national stage.
Anyhoo, Kobach wants every state to give his sham commission the “full names of all registered voters along with their addresses, dates of birth, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, voting history and other personal information” going back to 2006. Officials in three states have already refused. Via The Hill:
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said in a statement that he has “no intention” of fulfilling the request, defending the fairness of his state’s elections. He also blasted the commission in his statement, saying it was based on the “false notion” of widespread voter fraud in the November presidential election.
“At best this commission was set up as a pretext to validate Donald Trump’s alternative election facts, and at worst is a tool to commit large-scale voter suppression,” McAuliffe stated.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) also responded to the request, saying “I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally” in the last election.
“California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, Vice President, and [Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach,” Padilla stated.
Kobach is the vice chairman of the voter fraud panel who asked each state for its voter rolls.
Later in the evening, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) said she too wouldn’t offer up the information requested by the panel.
“The president created his election commission based on the false notion that “voter fraud” is a widespread issue – it is not,” Grimes said in a statement Thursday.
“Indeed, despite bipartisan objections and a lack of authority, the President has repeatedly spread the lie that three to five million illegal votes were cast in the last election,” her statement continued. “Kentucky will not aid a commission that is at best a waste of taxpayer money and at worst an attempt to legitimize voter suppression efforts across the country.”
Good for them. Since my state is run by Republican crook Rick Scott, who appointed a no-doubt crooked secretary of state, I expect Florida will participate in this fraud. But I’m going to register my objections nonetheless, on the grounds that Republicans cannot be trusted with sensitive voter data.
Maybe the useless-as-teats-on-a-boar libertarians can be arsed to join the fight, since it concerns privacy? Haha, no they won’t, because most of them are actually Republican assholes.
So, to sum up, the Trump administration will continue to ignore the actual threat to our elections, foreign interference and dubious voting machines, and pretend to address a nonexistent threat for the purposes of disenfranchising voters and adding a post-hoc justification to Trump’s paranoid ravings. We should try to stop them.