If You Can’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the River

The 2016 election is finally over.  The rush of Brown and Black Democratic voters who were going to stop Trump never materialized, or did they? One way to win...

The 2016 election is finally over.  The rush of Brown and Black Democratic voters who were going to stop Trump never materialized, or did they?

One way to win an election when you don’t have enough votes is to reduce the number of votes available to your opposition.

Voter ID laws requiring the purchase of special IDs in defiance of the 24th Amendment knocked citizens off of voter rolls across parts of the nation.  In Texas a gun license was considered valid ID while a student ID was not. This says a lot about the value of an education in Texas.

Polling stations were limited in non-white parts of the country so that long lines were created and those who couldn’t wait were forced to go home without voting.  Non-white voters were six times more likely to endure these long lines than white voters. In Dayton, Ohio voting stations were few, while in the outlying suburbs they were many.

Election day was marred by long lines due to cuts in early voting and 868 fewer polling places,” stated investigative journalist Greg Palast.

Some electronic voting machines now have new safety features that record images of ballots and prevent hacking. In Ohio, the Republican governor had them turned off.

Voter caging coming from the right wing Voter Integrity Project, cost 6,700 African-Americans their vote in North Carolina.  Voter caging is when mail marked “Do Not Forward” is sent to targeted voters. When the mail is returned to the sender, they use the returned mail to challenge the targeted voter’s right to vote.  One could have moved from apartment A to apartment B at the same address or simply not have his/her name on the mailbox.

The most lethal form of voter disenfranchisement was Interstate Crosscheck. Interstate Crosscheck removes people suspected of voting twice. This is a felony that may result in five years in prison and losing your vote forever.  There was one incident of double voting this year. It was a white woman voting twice for Trump!  Under the direction of Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, 1.1 million Americans of color were removed from Republican controlled states this way. He has been rewarded with a position in the Trump administration for a job well done. Let’s look at some of the results of his work. Trump’s victory margin in Michigan was 13,107 votes. 449,922 voters had been removed from the voting lists prior to the election. Michigan most likely would have gone to Clinton if all the people of color had been allowed to vote. In Arizona, Trump’s victory margin was 85,257 after 270,824 voters were removed. In North Carolina Trump’s margin was 177,008 after 589,393 voters had been removed.

Interstate Crosscheck matches last and first names to make their claim. They target traditionally non-white names such as Maria Hernandez, Mohammad Mohammad or David Lee. In Georgia and Virginia, for example, Republican governors removed alleged double voters named Michael Jackson with different middle names, birthdates and other identifying features. Thirty Republican led states used Interstate Crosscheck and over 7.2 million voters lost their vote this way.

If you were told that you weren’t on the voter rolls, you may have been offered a provisional ballot. States have to offer them, but they don’t have to count them.

The point of this article isn’t about putting Clinton in the White House. It’s about fellow Americans being denied their most basic right, the right to vote.

Additional Sources: Democracy Now! 11/8/16.



Rebel Fagin is a writer who has been politically active in Sonoma County since the 1970’s. He writes regularly for the Sonoma County Peace Press and the Global Critical Media Literacy Project (gcml.org). He has a book documenting nearly forty years of street activism in Sonoma County called Tales from the Perpetual Oppositional Culture – a Journey into Resistance. He lives in Santa Rosa, California and is active with many activists’ organizations.
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