Trump Picks King Of Voter Suppression To Lead 'Election Integrity' Commission

05/14/2017 05:56 pm ET Updated May 15, 2017
The Washington Post via Getty Images

In choosing the Co-Chair of his new Commission on “Election Integrity,” Donald Trump just did the equivalent of appointing Vito Corleone to Co-Chair a Commission on Police Corruption or Vladimir Putin to Co-Chair a Commission on Human Rights.

Kansas Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Trump’s appointee, may have done more to hand the 2016 election to Donald Trump than Vladimir Putin and James Comey combined (or to be more accurate, to literally steal the election for Trump and Congressional Republicans.)

And with Kobach leading Trump’s “Election Integrity” Commission, Trump and the Republicans are gearing up to steal the 2018 and 2020 elections, unless we stop them.

Kobach is the driving force behind “Operation Crosscheck” which purged at least 1.1 million, mostly minority, voters from the voting rolls in 2016, often in swing states.

Rolling Stone and BBC investigative reporter―whom The Guardian has described as the “most important investigative reporter of our time, up there with Woodward and Bernstein”― writes:

“Before a single vote was cast, the election was fixed by GOP and Trump operatives.

Starting in 2013—just as the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act—a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State [and a key member of the Trump transition team] created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of color from the voter rolls of GOP-controlled states.”

Kobach’s Crosscheck list contains the names of 7.2 million people with the same first and last names who are registered to vote in more than one state. For example, if you have a common name like James Brown, or Jose Hernandez, and that name appears on the voter rolls in both Michigan and Wisconsin, your name could be purged from the voter rolls in both states.

U.S. Census data shows that minorities are overrepresented in 85 percent of common last names. According to Palast, “If your last name is Washington, there’s an 89% chance you’re African American. If your last name is Hernandez, there’s a 94% chance you’re Hispanic.”

Using Crosscheck 1.1 million voters were purged from the rolls, overwhelmingly voters of color and the poor.

It was enough to swing the electoral votes in a number of states from Clinton to Trump. Here are a few examples:

Trump victory margin in Michigan: 13,107

Michigan Crosscheck purge list: 449,922

Trump victory margin in Arizona: 85,257

Arizona Crosscheck purge list: 270,824

Trump victory margin in N. Carolina: 177,008

N. Carolina Crosscheck purge list: 589,393

Michigan has 16 Electoral Votes, Arizona has 16, and North Carolina has 15 for a total of 42 Electoral Votes. Trump officially won the Electoral Vote by 306-232. Switch 42 electoral votes from Trump’s column to Clinton’s and Clinton would have won the Electoral vote by 274-264. And that doesn’t even take into account that Trump officially won Wisconsin’s 10 Electoral Votes by 22,748 popular votes and Pennsylvania’s 20 Electoral Votes by 44,292 popular votes.

By using Crosscheck to wrongfully purge voter rolls of minority voters, Trump stole the election, without even accounting for other voter suppression techniques.

And with Kobach leading Trump’s “Voter Integrity” Commission, Trump and the Republicans are gearing up to steal the 2018 and 2020 elections, unless activists stop them.

Already, Crosscheck may have denied Democrat Jon Ossoff an outright majority in the special election for a House seat in Georgia’s 6th district last month, forcing a run-off in June. Crosscheck focused on Korean-Americans in the suburban Atlanta district, like Sung Park, who was dinged for voting in two states because he has a name that is as common among Koreans as James Brown is among African-Americans.

But mainstream Democrats, and liberal media like MSNBC, have largely ignored the Crosscheck story, in favor of focusing on Putin’s and Comey’s impact on the election. They do so at their peril.

With the power of a presidential commission behind him, Kobach and his billionaire supporters like the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson will likely purge millions more minority voters from the 2018 and 2020 voting rolls, setting up the grand theft of future elections and guaranteeing Republican control into the indefinite future, regardless of the will of the people.

It’s up to the resistance movement to stop them.

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