Because of Course He Did

This is not even remotely surprising:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) pushed officials at the state’s Department of Public Safety to scour driver’s license records for noncitizens and forward that information to the Texas secretary of state, a fellow Republican, in advance of the state’s botched voter purge, according to emails made public Tuesday.

Texas officials would go on to falsely claim that they had found nearly 100,000 noncitizens registered to vote. They later admitted that number was based on deeply flawed data. But some Texas officials knew all along that they could access more information in order to determine whether the people whose driver’s licenses said they were noncitizens were actually noncitizens, the emails suggest — and pushed ahead regardless.

The emails, obtained by the Campaign Legal Center as part of litigation over the purge effort, provide the first look behind the scenes into a highly controversial state effort to identify noncitizens on Texas’ voter rolls. The state has refused to comply with a congressional request to turn over communications and documents related to the January incident.

It doesn’t matter if you are actually a citizen, Republicans don’t consider you a full citizen if your skin is a certain color or if your last name is harder to pronounce than Smith. And nothing will happen in John Roberts’ post-racial America.

Election Fraud, not Voter Fraud

The irregularities in North Carolina voting are being called “voter fraud” (here’s one example from a good media outlet), but as far as I can tell, they’re not. It sounds like some group of persons was collecting mail-in ballots, or sending mail-in ballots to people who had never requested them. In other words, someone between the voter and the ballot collected it and apparently voted it Republican. That’s election fraud – the voters didn’t perpetrate it.

It may seem like a small distinction, but it’s important because the way that the GOP markets “voter fraud” is some person or persons going to different precincts and voting multiple times. That doesn’t happen, and if it did, it would be incredibly expensive and inefficient. Fucking the system by faking ballots and sending them in, or tampering with election machines, is far more likely. Yet little or no effort is made to secure that part of the voting chain, because better ballot and machine security isn’t going to keep Democrats from voting.

In a few weeks when the dust has settled in North Carolina, look for Fox and the rest of the usual suspects justifying more bullshit ID legislation on the backs of this event.

(The only time I’ve ever seen an election irregularity was many years ago when a volunteer collecting absentee ballots from the elderly was overly suggestive about how they should vote. When another campaign worker found out, he was immediately reported and ejected from the campaign. I was doing the same job, and old and frail people often asked me how to vote when I gathered their ballot. It was a tight election and the temptation was there.)

Late Night Open Thread: And Tomorrow, We Fight On

Another good thing about this election: More people — more voters & would-be voters — have now been exposed to the rank fraud, gerrymandering, and similar tactics that have allowed the GOP so much political control even when they’re outnumbered by decent people. Sunlight, as they say, is the best disinfectant…

The ‘Privilege’ of Voting: High & Low

This NYMag article got a certain amount of twitter pushback (look below the fold, at the end of this post, for a sample) last week:

Roxanne Gay had a excellent rebuttal:

We are reaping what has been sown from voter disillusionment and we will continue doing so until enough people recognize what is truly at stake when they don’t vote. A representative democracy is flawed but it is the political system we must work within, at least for the time being. We have a responsibility to participate in this democracy, even when the politicians we vote for aren’t ideal or a perfect match. Voting isn’t dating. We are not promised perfect candidates. Voting requires pragmatism and critical thinking and empathy and now, more than ever, intelligent compromise…

Every single day there is a new, terrifying, preventable tragedy fomented by a president and an administration that uses hate and entitlement as political expedience. If you remain disillusioned or apathetic in this climate, you are complicit. You think your disillusionment is more important than the very real dangers marginalized people in this country live with.

Don’t delude yourself about this. Don’t shroud your political stance in disaffected righteousness. Open your eyes and see the direct line from the people in power to their emboldened acolytes. It is cynical to believe that when we vote we are making a choice between the lesser of two evils…

And then there’s *this* argument:

Read more

GOP Voter Suppression in Georgia: Maybe If the Seniors Agreed to Ride in the Back of the Bus?…

The Suthrun Tradition revanchists are getting desperate. Let’s keep working to ensure these disgraceful antics will be summed up in the future as an extinction burst. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Black senior citizens ordered off Georgia bus taking them to vote”:

Government officials in an east Georgia county told about 40 African-American senior citizens to get off a bus taking them to vote Monday, leading to complaints of voter suppression.

The bus, run by the group Black Voters Matter, was preparing to depart from a senior center operated by Jefferson County when the center’s director said they needed to disembark, said LaTosha Brown, a co-founder of Black Voters Matter…

Jefferson County’s administrator said Tuesday that the county government considered the event at the senior center “political activity,” which isn’t allowed during county-sponsored events.

Black Voters Matter is a nonpartisan group encouraging African-Americans to vote in the election, but the county government considered the event political because Jefferson County Democratic Party Chairwoman Diane Evans helped organize it, County Administrator Adam Brett said in a statement…

Black Voters Matter had received permission in advance for the event at the senior center, Brown said. The event was originally intended to encourage seniors to vote, and when some of the seniors asked whether they could ride the bus to an early-voting location, Black Voters Matter agreed to take them.

But someone apparently saw the bus, painted with the words “The South is Rising Tour,” and called county government offices, Brown said. That led to the phone call from the county clerk to the senior center. When they were asked, the senior citizens agreed to leave the bus.

“It was discouraging that they weren’t able to vote,” said Evans, who was on the bus. “When they’re suppressing votes, they’re going to come up with any kind of excuse about what your problem is.”…

Despite the obstacles, the senior citizens will find a way to cast their ballots, Brown said.

“The seniors were so resolved. They said: ‘We’re going to vote. Nobody’s going to stop us,’ ” Brown said. “It wasn’t the first time someone has denied them or tried to prevent them from voting.”