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General News    H2'ed 9/3/18

Greg Palast and the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. Are Once Again on the Move to Fight for Democracy

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Trump also endorses Kobach.
Trump also endorses Kobach.
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Greg Palast and Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. are on a mission to fight back against the elections that are, as usual, victim to the contrivances of the far-right branch of the GOP. The accuracy of Election 2018 results are bound to be close and bound to narrowly favor Trump's party. In other words, Palast and Rev. Jackson are battling against time to prove that what far-right proponents are calling voter fraud is actually election fraud of the worst variety.

Specifically, they are challenging Kansas SoS Kris Kobach's Interstate Crosscheck lists that will eliminate more than a million likely-Democratic votes from being counted unless the lists are challenged--no, unless they are successfully challenged and exposed for what they are: fraud.

As in many instances, the fate of this country is in the hands of the judge, if the lawsuit makes it to trial. The charge is violation of the National Voting Rights Act ("Motor Voter"), which would mandate the release of the lists and thus lead to the exposure and proof of the disenfranchisement of over a million voters, which could easily determine the results of Election 2018.

But Kobach is a Trump favorite. Will the provisions of the VRA prevail or will Kobach be able to withhold the lists? Twenty-seven states, more than half of those in the country, use the lists and two of them have already handed them over to the challengers. Do they contain sensitive information? Are voter names sensitive information when they are being illegally crossed off of voter rolls?

Specifically, the names are matched inaccurately for the purpose of rooting out those supposedly committing voter fraud, that is, double voting. Here is an example: Bill Jones in Alaska and William H. Jones Jr. in Florida are accused of being the same voter, and thus purged from the lists. Bill Jones is supposed to have flown from one state to the other to double-vote.

Common names are the first to go because there are so many more of them: Smith, Jones, Johnson, Lopez, Kim--most incidentally identifying and eliminating units of the Democratic majority of this country: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans.

These purged voters can at best cast provisional ballots, which are thrown out at the rate of about 30 precent. This holds up lines and keeps them long, which of course in urban areas, where most minorities live, forces many to leave because of other obligations, like child care or minimum-wage jobs at big-box stores that may allow them an hour or two to vote while docking their pay.

The fate of the world may literally hang on the results of Election 2018. Some may say that Mitch McConnell won't allow a Democratic majority in Congress to accomplish their goals and, dammit, they may be right. Read: obstructionism. Obstructionism blocked President Obama's legally selected SCOTUS candidate from Senate consideration, Merrick Garland, and its inverse may tip the SCOTUS majority decisively into the hands of the extreme right wing. That is, if the questionable appointee Brett Kavanaugh is given a Senate hearing in September before we even have a chance to vote in November. [update: the hearing commenced today amid raucous opposition from the Democrats. Let's hope they stick to their guns and obstruct back, successfully]

Nonetheless, a Democratic Congress will work harder for We the People than will one in the hands of the right-wing extremists.

Whatever the outcome is in Kansas, Palast and Rev. Jackson will persist and move on to a crucial conflict at the gubernatorial level, in Atlanta, where another SoS and Trump favorite, Brian Kemp, will be running for governor while in charge of the election, just as Kobach is. His opponent is the dynamic and popular progressive candidate Stacey Abrams, running to become the first African American woman governor in the history of Georgia. Palast writes that, like Kobach,

"Kemp has refused our demand for the names of those he's purged. And when Brian purges, he doesnt mess around: blacking out 591,000 voters in the latest election cycle."

Too many elections have been fixed to deliver inaccurate vote totals. When polled, We the People always emerge with progressive goals. Why do vote totals not reflect this? So many ballot initiatives and referendums do, the most Democratic expressions of the People's will.

All this is to say that Greg Palast and the Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. are fighting for the People's votes to count in November, more than they will if Interstate Crosscheck is allowed to purge decisive votes from the rolls--again, more than a million. The many other devices, including outside interference but also the "usual suspects" at both the digital and human levels, both the flipping of the People's votes and the stripping of the People's rights, will still be in play.

To purge Interstate Crosscheck from our list of election and voting obstruction could critically force results to reflect the People's will.

So the world is on the heroic if not sainted opposition's shoulders: two men who insist on getting the truth out and fighting insanely hard for the People's rights, two men who have flown from opposite ends of the country to converge in the heartland and then the South and to fight.

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Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

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