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The fraud of the fraud

The GOP and voting



Just how dead does this horse have to be before the GOP stops beating it?

In what Rep. Sean Roberts described as an attempt to restore faith in the electoral process, the Republican lawmaker from Hominy has proposed a bill that would authorize and require the state to periodically check the citizenship status of all registered voters in Oklahoma. (The Frontier)

For the love of Kris Kobach lying to a federal judge—really, another cockamamie law designed to prevent the non-existent scourge of voter fraud?

This latest effort, HB 2429, would direct the Oklahoma State Election Board to use federal and state databases to check the citizenship of registered state voters.

Guess it would have been asking too much for Roberts to check with anyone on the board to see if there was even a problem, or knew what he was talking about.

Paul Ziriax, secretary of the Oklahoma State Election Board, said of the more than 2.1 million Oklahoma voters who cast ballots in years past, there was a grand total of 10 cases of possible voter irregularity. To the bill, specifically, election board spokesperson Misha Mohr said: “We don’t know what resources are actually out there. … We’re not really sure what’s at our disposal and how much it would cost, if it would be feasible.”

Surely, then, the Oklahoma House laughed this legislation out of the building.

More from The Frontier:

The bill passed the House with a 66-26 vote on Tuesday evening and will next be considered by the state Senate.

Wow.

Here is the most offending section of this offensive legislation:

Persons who are identified in the data validation pursuant to this section as potentially being noncitizens and who are registered to vote shall be reported to the district attorney in the county in which the voter is registered. (HB 2429)

District attorneys will investigate “potentially being noncitizens”? How much you want to bet none of the people investigated will look like Sean Roberts?

As Ginnie Graham of The Tulsa World put it:

Good luck to all those who go by Lopez, Gonzales or Rodriguez. I can already feel the headache for the Masuds, Patels, Habibis and Nguyens.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Native Americans get caught up in this sweep. Oh, the sweet irony of that.

Roberts’ bill, alas, is part of the great national GOP con that maintains hordes of illegal aliens and unregistered voters are gumming up our electoral process. In reality, it’s the GOP policies that are destroying it.

The new data support perhaps the worst-case scenario offered by opponents of restrictive voting laws. Nine percent of black respondents and 9 percent of Hispanic respondents indicated that, in the last election, they (or someone in their household) were told that they lacked the proper identification to vote. Just 3 percent of whites said the same. Ten percent of black respondents and 11 percent of Hispanic respondents reported that they were incorrectly told that they weren’t listed on voter rolls, as opposed to 5 percent of white respondents. In all, across just about every issue identified as a common barrier to voting, black and Hispanic respondents were twice as likely, or more, to have experienced those barriers as white respondents. (The Atlantic)

Here’s how it worked in Georgia:

About 40 Black seniors excited about voting in Georgia’s Governor’s race, were ordered off a bus on their way to cast their ballot on Monday raising concerns of yet more voter suppression attempts. (The Grio)

These seniors were neither illegal nor trying to vote without proper identification—they were African American and headed to vote, presumably, for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. At the time, Georgia’s GOP secretary of state, Brian Kemp, oversaw the state’s voting procedures while also running for governor against Abrams.

I’m sure that had nothing to do with it.

Nor did this:

Georgia removed almost 732,800 voters in its previous round of rolls cleanup between 2014 and 2016, according to a recent report from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Kemp beat Abrams by barely more than 50,000 votes out of 2 million cast.

Just a coincidence. Nothing to see here.

Here’s how the GOP worked its magic in Wisconsin:

More than half the state’s decline in turnout occurred in Milwaukee, which Clinton carried by a 77-18 margin, but where almost 41,000 fewer people voted in 2016 than in 2012. Turnout fell only slightly in white middle-class areas of the city but plunged in black ones. (Mother Jones)

Trump beat Clinton by fewer than 23,000 votes in Wisconsin.

Damn coincidences.

Roberts’ bill is designed to purge, burden, and scare voters who are inclined to vote for Democratic candidates—like every piece of similar legislative dreck in the country.

In 2016, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election. Those 14 states were: Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. (Brennan Center)

Hmmm. That’s a lot of red.

So why are Republicans so desperate to rig the process? They can’t win otherwise. In the last six presidential elections, beginning with Bill Clinton’s first term, the GOP has lost the popular vote in six of the seven races, during which it has worked assiduously to curtail weekend and mail-in voting, ban same-day registration, institute strict new voter/photo IDs, gerrymander districts which disenfranchised Democratic voters, prohibit those with past convictions from voting, and require proof of street addresses, marriage and birth certificates—sometimes a combination—before allowing people to vote.

The GOP simply cannot compete on a level playing field.

Nearly a thousand polling places have been closed nationwide in the last half-decade, according to a recent Pew report. And the number of people being purged from voter rolls is rising sharply, according to a Brennan Center study. Another study by the center last year counted at least 99 bills introduced in 31 states to restrict voting access. (New York Times)

Why is it we never hear of any Republican leading voting registration drives and encouraging people to vote? Simple: It’s not in their interest.

Lying about voter fraud is.

More from the Brennan Center:

Most reported incidents of voter fraud are actually traceable to other sources, such as clerical errors or bad data matching practices. The report reviewed elections that had been meticulously studied for voter fraud, and found incident rates between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent.

And even in those rare occasions when fraud is alleged, who’s at the center of it?

North Carolina will hold a new election for a congressional seat following an investigation into alleged ballot-tampering for a Republican candidate. (BBC News)

The GOP doesn’t shame easily though.

On Nov. 27, a few weeks after the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump tweeted: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

The president lied. How do we know?

The National Association of Secretaries of State released the following statement on voter fraud: “We are not aware of any evidence that supports the voter fraud claims made by President Trump.” (U.S. News)

Never one to let truth get in the way of a tweet, Trump nevertheless appointed former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to head—please hold your laughs ‘til we’re finished—the Election Integrity Commission to prove otherwise. Problem is, Kobach has the integrity of skim milk and was found in contempt of court last year in a case involving state voting laws.

During his brief tenure as head of the commission, Kobach requested data from all 50 states’ voting rolls, including full names of registered voters, dates of birth, party registration, last four digits of Social Security numbers, and voting history.

Let’s just say it didn’t go well.

Republican Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said in response to the request: “My reply would be: They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Oklahoma officials complied with the request but only to the extent that the information it gave Kobach was the same information given to candidates.

(My favorite response was from the state of Oregon, which only turned over the information after the Trump Administration paid a $500 fee.)

Which bring us back to the cynicism of HB 2429. More from The Frontier:

State election board officials in 2017 conducted a query into voting fraud attempts into the 2016 presidential election
and found one non-citizen in Kay County who attempted to register to vote. However, no charges were filed. The board found 17 other alleged attempts of illegal voting, which came from Oklahomans who tried to vote twice, records showed. More than 1.4 million Oklahomans voted in that election (with 18 findings about .001 percent of the votes were found to be allegedly fraudulent).

Roberts would have you believe, though, if we can find those 18, the Republic will be saved—if there even is 18. Or any at all.

Roberts, while on the House floor, said it is unknown how many non-citizens are registered to vote in Oklahoma.

The horse is not amused.

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