Sunday, November 2, 2014

Your Sunday Long Read: The Purge

A very depressing article from Al Jazeera America on the Interstate Crosscheck Program, a cooperative effort by 27 states to disenfranchise seven million mostly minority voters in this election and in 2016.

Until now, state elections officials have refused to turn over their Crosscheck lists, some on grounds that these voters are subject to criminal investigation. Now, for the first time, three states — Georgia, Virginia and Washington — have released their lists to Al Jazeera America, providing a total of just over 2 million names. 
The Crosscheck list of suspected double voters has been compiled by matching names from roughly 110 million voter records from participating states. Interstate Crosscheck is the pet project of Kansas’ controversial Republican secretary of state, Kris Kobach, known for his crusade against voter fraud
The three states’ lists are heavily weighted with names such as Jackson, Garcia, Patel and Kim — ones common among minorities, who vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Indeed, fully 1 in 7 African-Americans in those 27 states, plus the state of Washington (which enrolled in Crosscheck but has decided not to utilize the results), are listed as under suspicion of having voted twice. This also applies to 1 in 8 Asian-Americans and 1 in 8 Hispanic voters. White voters too — 1 in 11 — are at risk of having their names scrubbed from the voter rolls, though not as vulnerable as minorities. 
If even a fraction of those names are blocked from voting or purged from voter rolls, it could alter the outcome of next week’s electoral battle for control of the U.S. Senate — and perhaps prove decisive in the 2016 presidential vote count. 
“It’s Jim Crow all over again,” says the Rev. Joseph Lowery, who cofounded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King, Jr. Lowery, now 93, says he recognizes in the list of threatened voters a sophisticated new form of an old and tired tactic. “I think [the Republicans] would use anything they can find. Their desperation is rising.”

Which is easier to believe, that millions of black, Asian, and Latino voters are criss-crossing the country to vote multiple times in different states, or that Republicans are trying to eliminate millions of Democratic votes in order to win?

Considering a variation of my name is on these lists, and under Interstate Crosscheck my voter registration could be terminated and I could lose my right to vote if challenged?  I'm going with option B there.

If Kobach is right, then there are literally millions of double voting felons that need to be imprisoned. If skeptics are right, then millions of innocent people could to lose the right to vote.  People who just happen to be minorities that favor Democrats.

Do read the entire story to see how much of a complete joke Insterstate Crosscheck is.  Basically, you can lose your right to vote if your name comes close to matching that of a person in another state who has moved.

Think about it.

Then vote.  While you still can.  And don't ever tell me that "there's no difference between the two parties."


Scopedog said...

What's sad about this is that the Left--or most of the Left--ignored this in favor of panicking over the NSA and lionizing Snowden and constantly bitching about how many times Predident Obama "failed". The icing on the cake was telling people _not_ to vote.

D. Potter said...

I guess I'll have to blog this. Especially since the people with my name are doctors, lawyers, the wrong gender, or live in Iowa.

Scopedog: I think I saw that "Don't Vote" stuff somewhere. I always say that too many people died for me to abrogate that responsibility. Sometimes what constitutes the "left" is just plain stupid.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

This is so exactly right that it makes me sick to my stomach. Last summer the true believers spent their time and energy bludgeoning NSA wrongthinkers out of the Democratic Party coalition, then used their hard won ideological purity to hunt down and burn the last witch in the neighborhood. Meanwhile, the Republicans were laying the groundwork for the Senate and Governor races that will be decided overmorning on Tuesday.

And at this moment, even as we speak, the pretend radicals at the Daily Kos are whining that the Democrats are pathetic losers who never do anything for the pretend radicals and wouldn't even if the pretend radicals would get off their lazy butts and vote so why bother.

Their collective nonchalance completely freaks me out, for they sincerely believe that life will not be worse in any way with the Republicans in charge that it would be with the Democrats in charge. To me this is obvious insanity: Republicans in power cause terrible damage, which their Democratic replacements ultimately spend years fixing before they can even begin to do the work for which we elect them. Which just makes it harder and harder and harder to get the good programs from the government that we deserve.

How hard is this to understand, anyway? Vote for Democrats in the general election, and work all year to get your candidate elected in the primary so that our guy and not the neoliberal DLC (happily, now defunct) New Democrat Third Way opportunist will get the loyalist votes in the general.
It's not rocket science, it's not ever brain surgery, it's blindingly obvious common sense.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

If voting doesn't work, why has the GOP spent so many billionaire dollars trying to prevent us from voting.

Rich people never give away money for nothing.

Scopedog said...

"I always say that too many people died for me to abrogate that responsibility."
Pardon my language, but no one is going to take away Michael Moore's right to vote or Chris Hedges' right to vote. But they're working very hard to take away the right to vote from people who paid a high price to guarantee that right. Of course, Moore and Hedges are two white males who are well-off and can easily and smugly claim that they're not going to vote (for bullshit reasons), but they have that luxury. We don't.
Of course, Cornel West has babbled on about how he did not vote in 2012. Jerk.

Scopedog said...

"If voting doesn't work, why has the GOP spent so many billionaire dollars trying to prevent us from voting."

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