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Villains, thieves and scoundrels by @BloggersRUs

Villains, thieves and scoundrels

by Tom Sullivan

Our representative democracy is under attack. There is no gunfire, no explosions. But under attack nonetheless. The FBI has implicated Russian agents in manipulating the 2016 elections, potentially with the cooperation of the Donald Trump campaign. But the 2018 elections are under attack today in Georgia, in North Dakota, and elsewhere by U.S. "crisis actors."

Trump, now president, made himself fraudster-in-chief in warning American voters against voting. “All levels of government and Law Enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD, including during EARLY VOTING," Trump tweeted Saturday night. "Cheat at your own peril. Violators will be subject to maximum penalties, both civil and criminal!”

Voter fraud frauds have for years scare-mongered Republican voters that should anyone anywhere cast even a single ballot improperly, it "steals your vote." Your vote. They are careful to personalize it for their white audience. They have spun the all-but-nonexistent problem into a widespread one (that isn't) requiring draconian voting restrictions. Those laws, in their "majestic equality," apply to all yet, just coincidentally, predominantly impact minorities of voters that tend to vote for Democrats.

Trump might well have posted police in armbands outside the polls in minority neighborhoods. Let's not mince words. We know what he and Republican agents across the country are doing. They are openly attempting to steal elections by disenfranchising minority voters. They are trying to intimidate them into staying away from the polls.

Steals your vote, indeed

Georgia's secretary of state Brian Kemp, both running for governor and responsible for counting the votes in his own race, stands accused of wiping hundreds of thousands of voters from Georgia's voter rolls ahead of his election. Journalist Greg Palast described to MSNBC's Joy Reid what his own investigation uncovered (via Susie Madrak, Crooks and Liars):

"Yesterday, I sued Brian Kemp in a federal court. The reason is, I looked at the data, and on threat of a federal suit, he gave me his voter files. They cancelled 550,000 voter registrations in Georgia. That's Brian Kemp, he's running for governor. He cancels half a million people off the voter rolls. and the reason is, they left the state, a few died, 19,000. But I had computer experts, the best people in the nation, who check people's addresses. You know, the guys hunting you down to make your pay your bills or send you catalogs.

"They went through name by name. Kemp didn't realize i was going to do this. They went through name by name, 340,134 Georgians did not move from their registration addresses. They got removed. They've been given no notice, Joy, no notice that they've been removed."

"They're going to show up to vote and being told they're not on the voter rolls," Reid said.

"Are you ready for this? Brian Kemp. They'll be given provisional ballots. In this case you still won't be able to vote. And in this case, you'll think you'll have voted but you won't. You're going to have a massive number of provisional ballots and Brian Kemp gets to count those ballots."

That, on top of the lawsuit brought by civil rights groups challenging Kemp's infamous "exact match" program for flagging voter registrations over "discrepancies between application information and government records, such as a missing hyphen in a last name or data entry errors."

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota do not have street addresses. Like tribal council member Courtney Yellow Fat, their mail goes to post office boxes. Still, the U.S. Supreme Court last week allowed the state to implement is strict ID law requiring tribal members to have street addresses to vote. About 35 percent of the tribe does not have an ID with an acceptable address:

The question of whether Native American votes will be counted is an especially relevant one in the upcoming midterms because, in less than three weeks, Yellow Fat and Native Americans across North Dakota will be among the nation’s most important groups in an election likely to help determine Senate control.

North Dakota’s voters are the most powerful in the country, according to FiveThirtyEight’s voter power index. A vote in North Dakota has more influence on which party will control the Senate majority than a vote in any other state, a point not lost on Yellow Fat.

“After the election of Sen. Heitkamp is when a lot of this came up through the legislature. And to us it’s clearly suppression of our votes,” Yellow Fat said.

A crowd-sourcing effort led by Daily Kos by Friday raised nearly $450,000 to help North Dakota Native Vote obtain updated tribal ID cards with verified addresses.

North Carolina's version of True The Vote in 2014 took a similar tack in questioning the voter registrations of residents of an Asheville trailer park. They too had no street addresses and received mail at the park's main office on the highway. In fact, the local Board of Elections knew exactly where the residents lived via the county's 911 addressing system but inserted a fictitious placeholder mailing address in its database until the residents could verify their 911 addresses. The voter fraud group cried foul and implied 342 voters had registered under a fictitious address. They got another headline to promote voter ID.

Why? Because this, this is what Trump and election scare-mongers believe: Nice, decent white people wake up on Election Day, shower, dress, eat breakfast, then go the polls to do their patriotic duty by casting their votes. OTHERS — Poors numbering in the invisible millions — are not like US. They go instead to commit felonies punishable by five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each offense just to add a single extra vote to their team's total.

They don't want everybody to vote. They do not believe in a representative democracy where they cannot predetermine the outcome.

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For The Win 2018 is ready for download. Request a copy of my county-level election mechanics primer at tom.bluecentury at gmail.