Saturday, November 01, 2014

If ya can't beat 'em, disenfranchise 'em

The Enormous, Secretive Effort to Purge Thousands of Minorities From 27 States' Voter Rolls

By Ian Millhiser, ThinkProgress
01 November 14

In a story that has grown all too common as an election draws near, election officials across the country are engaged in an ambitious effort to purge voters from state voter rolls. Moreover, voters from racial minority groups are especially likely to be targeted by this purge. As Al Jazeera America reports, after examining the purge lists from 3 of the 27 states participating in the purge, the purge lists “are heavily weighted with names such as Jackson, Garcia, Patel and Kim — ones common among minorities, who vote overwhelmingly Democratic.”

White voters are not immune from the purge, although they are less likely to be caught in it than voters of color. According to Al Jazeera, “fully 1 in 7 African-Americans” in the 27 states are listed as suspect voters. The same applies to 1 in 8 Asian American voters, 1 in 8 Hispanic voters, and 1 in 11 white voters. Moreover, “officials have begun the process of removing names from the rolls — beginning with 41,637 in Virginia alone.” The purge works by asking voters targeted by it to return a postcard mailed to voters on the purge list. In practice, however, according to one direct-mail expert, “4 percent to 20 percent of any mailing goes astray,” and lower income families are more likely not to receive the card because they tend to move addresses more frequently.

The premise of the purge, which is the “pet project” of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), is that a list of almost 7 million voters are suspected of casting a ballot during the same election in two different states. Thus, to accept this list as plausible, one has to believe that a massive chunk of voters, potentially amounting to nearly 6 percent of the voters who cast a ballot in the 2012 presidential race, cast two votes in a past election. If true, this would be voter fraud on a truly epic scale.

(Continued here.)

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