FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The ‘Voter Fraud’ Commission Itself is Fraudulent

There’s a branch in philosophy called epistemology that deals with the theory of knowledge. How do we know what we know? How do we know what is true? What is believable? And what are the criteria we use to tell whether something is true or not? Considering his constant refrain of “fake news,” maybe President Donald Trump should enroll in such a course.

Why? Because he’s focusing on issues and creating entities that don’t correspond to real problems. Trump is guilty of not knowing the different between real problems and fake problems.

For example, consumer fraud is real, yet Trump is attempting to gut or eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. By contrast, voter fraud is virtually nonexistent, according to all credible studies, but he has put together a so-called Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to find it.

How should we judge whether his voter fraud commission is legitimate or not? Using reason is a good way to start.

First, consider motive. What’s the purpose of establishing the commission?

Trump has argued that our state-based election systems are full of voter fraud. He believes it’s why he lost the popular vote. However, Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, those who oversee the election process, have disputed his claim by affirming their voter registration rolls are sound, elections are fairly run and vote counts are accurate.

As a result of his view, many believe the commission was established to “prove” that Trump is right, that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes because there were up to 5 million illegal votes cast for Clinton.

Second, look at actions. The commission’s first act was to send a letter to all 50 secretaries of state, plus the District of Columbia, requesting voter data on every American, including such sensitive personal information as home address, party affiliation, age, voting history, military status, criminal record (if any) and partial Social Security numbers. Most states refused to comply, objecting to sending it over nonsecure connections without the ability to protect it. Others had concerns about centralizing such information, and there was no clearly stated purpose of how the information would be used. Some feared the commission would use “crosscheck,” a system with a history of carelessly matching voters’ names between states and deleting one as a duplicate.

The Justice Department also sent a letter demanding to know how states were going to “clean up” their voting lists — code for deleting voters, a practice used in the past in racially discriminatory ways.

Third, look at the commission’s composition, its members’ histories and their orientation with respect to voting rights. Currently there are 10 members, six Republicans and four Democrats. Vice President Mike Pence is the chair and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is the co-chair.

The commission’s members make up a rogues gallery and a dream team of voter suppression. Prior to becoming vice president, Mike Pence was governor of Indiana and used “voter fraud” to support a statewide crackdown on registering African Americans. Pence supported the 2005 Supreme Court decision that found an Indiana voter ID law constitutional. He supports Trump’s false claim that millions voted illegally.

Kris Kobach is known as the “King of Voter Suppression,” a reputation he has earned by disenfranchising one in seven Kansans and by spreading his crosscheck system to states nationwide.

Another Republican commission member, Ohio’s former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, shortchanged African-American voting sites of an adequate number of voting machines, resulting in long lines. He also tried to disenfranchise voters by insisting that all voter registration forms be rejected if they were submitted on paper thinner than a postcard. He was the subject of 14 lawsuits regarding election irregularities.

Republican commission member Hans von Spakovsky was a Justice Department official in the Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush and strongly argued against reauthorizing the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Connie Lawson, Indiana’s secretary of state, is proud of having co-written her state’s voter ID law that spread nationwide, even though the law has since suffered federal judicial defeats in Texas and Wisconsin (2011), and in North Carolina and North Dakota (2013).

Finally, while the commission’s goals have not been clearly stated, it seems obvious the real purpose of the commission is twofold: to validate Trump’s claim he would have won the popular vote in 2016 if not for illegal voters, and to lay the groundwork for nationalizing voter suppression legislation, making it more difficult for people of color, women, workers, young people, seniors and the disabled — traditional Democratic constituencies — to vote.

Conclusion? The fraud commission is fraudulent!

More articles by:

Jesse Jackson is the founder of Rainbow/PUSH.

September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail