Nel's New Day

October 17, 2016

Is the Election Rigged? In Some Ways, Yes

Filed under: Elections — trp2011 @ 9:51 PM
Tags: , , , ,

Rampant claims of a “rigged” election are igniting Trump supporters as their leader is struggling to avoid press coverage about his sexual assaults. Donald Trump started raving about how Philadelphia’s inner city (aka black voters) needed to be monitored last summer when Hillary Clinton was ahead, and he’s returned to this mantra. Calls for Republicans (aka white men) to watch these polls have been followed by Rudy Giuliani’s declaration that more dead people “vote for Democrats rather than Republicans.” He added that the GOP members rarely cheat because “they don’t control the inner cities the way Democrats do.”

Donald Trump’s diversion seems to be working: 41 percent of the people in the United States that he’s right about the rigged election. That includes three-fourths of all Republicans. I’m one of those people who agree. Here’s why.

Let’s start with Florida where absentee ballots are thrown out if the voter’s signature is not an exact match with the one on file. Fortunately, a court in Tallahassee declared this policy unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker decried the “crazy quilt of conflicting and diverging procedures” that allowed local officials who “lack formal handwriting-comparison training or education” to decide whose signature was valid and whose ballot should be thrown away. He called the practice “obscene” and then lambasted the state for not offering voters to fix their questioned ballots. Walker wrote:

 “The State of Florida has categorically disenfranchised thousands of voters arguably for no reason other than they have poor handwriting or their handwriting has changed over time. It is illogical, irrational, and patently bizarre for the State of Florida to withhold the opportunity to cure from mis-matched signature voters while providing that same opportunity to no-signature voters. In doing so, the State of Florida has categorically disenfranchised thousands of voters arguably for no reason other than they have poor handwriting or their handwriting has changed over time.”

Of the 2.3 million people who voted by mail in Florida, one percent of their ballots were rejected. That’s 230,000 voters who were disenfranchised, a case of the state rigging the election. A study found that Democrats were much more likely to have rejected ballots than Republicans.

Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, tried to block other people from registering by his refusal to extend voter-registration deadlines after Hurricane Matthew recently disturbed the process, killing 41 people and causing massive flooding. Judges blocked his refusal as they did in Georgia and North Carolina.

Prior to the 2008 election, states had had no restrictive voting laws for almost a half century, primarily because the Voting Rights Act of 1965 blocked states most likely to have these unconstitutional laws preventing certain people from voting. Within an hour after the Supreme Court overturned the key part of this act in 2013, states, beginning with Texas, began to pass a wave of laws with the sole purpose of decreasing votes for Democrats. Courts have pushed back against unconstitutional anti-voting laws, but it’s been a continual struggle. This source gives specifics about which states have these punitive laws, but generally they can be found in the South and Midwest. This link also provides the newest information. If you are confused by reading this, can you imagine being in one of these states and trying to figure out how to vote?!

Of the 50 states in the nation, 17 tried to use their new restrictive voting laws for the first presidential election during the current year. Recent court rulings rolled that number back to 14 because courts blocked some measures in Georgia, North Carolina, and North Dakota. Texas’ laws were mitigated but remain more restrictive than before the Supreme Court ruling. Almost half the states create burdens for people to vote, primarily opposing women, minorities, and poor people, in the current election. States most likely to pass these restrictions are the ones with the highest black turnout in 2008, the greatest Hispanic population growth between 2000 and 2010, and/or those covered by the Voting Rights Act.

The worst voter restriction laws are strict photo ID requirement that allow only a short list of government-issued photo IDs to be used as identification. During the first election after Texas passed its law, 600,000 registered voters lacked the correct ID, and 11 percent of people nation-wide do not have these IDs. Texas required that the government-issued ID have exactly the same name as birth certificates, something highly unlikely for married women. Without the ID, voters could cast provisional ballots but must return to the polls within a few days with the mandated photo ID. Ten states are in courts facing lawsuits regarding the laws; six of these are specifically about photo ID laws.

GOP consultant Carter Wrenn admitted what everyone knows about the new laws—that the purpose is to decrease Democratic votes. “Of course, it’s political,” he said. “Why else would you do it?” As he said, Republicans want to protect their majority. The GOP would have left early voting if blacks voted Republican, according to Wrenn. He also explained that the GOP had to use the excuse of voter fraud to get away with their restrictive laws. That’s the voter fraud of 35 total credible allegations between 2000 and 2014 for over 800 million ballots in federal elections and hundreds of millions more ballots in elections within states.

Wisconsin, where GOP Gov. Scott Walker owns the state Supreme Court, is a classic case of Republicans rigging the vote. Last summer, a federal judge struck down early voting restrictions and other blocks to voting and ordered that IDPP voting receipts be issued “promptly” to those seeking them. People were still given the wrong information about obtaining photo IDs. Others were refused the receipts although they brought the necessary documents.

One serious case of voter rigging in another red state occurred during the Arizona March primary. The number of polling places in Democratic Maricopa County was cut from 400 in 2008 to 60 in 2016 for a population of over four million people. Locations were small, some with as few as six voting booths and half these left empty by poll workers to keep people in long lines outside from coming in to vote. Some people waited over six hours, and people with disabilities couldn’t cast ballots because no accommodations had been made for them.

A poll worker reported that the system tried to force her to give GOP ballots to Democratic voters, supposedly because the system failed to identify registered voters if the information was entered in lower-case letters. The party affiliation had also been tampered with before the election, changing registration from Democrat to Republican. Over 2,000 calls to the Secretary of State office went unanswered on the day of voting. The Arizona legislature decided to shut down the hearing on these issues before people waiting for hours could speak, and at least one person was arrested. This week a judge allowed the state law that invalidated ballots cast in the wrong precinct.

Serious vote rigging began after the 2010 GOP landslide in state legislatures. Because of district gerrymandering to benefit Republican candidates, Republicans had a 234-201 majority in the 2012 election for the U.S. House of Representatives although Democrats received 1.4 million more votes. The current GOP majority in the House is 247-188, the largest since 1928. One theory is that 226 seats are safely GOP, 193 should go to Democrats, and the remaining 16 are in play. The House is held by 218 seats.

The electoral votes are equally rigged. Mitt Romney lost Pennsylvania in 2012, but he got 13 of the 18 congressional districts and nine by near double-digits. At this time, Pennsylvania allots all its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the state, but Republicans want to shift the state law so that a GOP loser can get more electoral votes for president.

All this “rigging” would benefit Republicans, but Trump’s call for people to protect him is being answered by threats of violence. Trump incessantly calls on Hillary Clinton to be thrown in jail, and his supporters threaten to “take her out” if she wins the presidency. The Kentucky governor has called for blood to be shed if necessary, and white supremacist groups, who look on Trump as their leader, are bringing back the traditions of Confederates after the Civil War who won elections through intimidation and violence.

don-bollesAngry Trump supporters have threatened the Arizona Republic with killing its employees and burning down the building after the longtime conservative newspaper endorsed Clinton, the first Democrat in its history. One called invoked the name of Don Bolles, the newspaper’s investigative reporter killed by a car bomb 40 years ago, and said that more reporters would be blown up.

As Trump ratchets up his hateful rhetoric, such threats will cross the country. Trump wants fear. Life is bad enough with him as a candidate; it would be unbearable with him as president.

[Note: If you live in Oregon, tomorrow—October 18—is the last day that you can register to vote in the November 8 election. And because we live in a state with all mail-in voting, you can vote in peace: you don’t have to face the militia at the polls who will try to keep you from voting.]

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1 Comment »

  1. The fact that the Pasty-Faced Whiner is even suggesting (much less stating) a rigged outcome of this election should be enough for any thinking person to refuse to vote for him. He is a sad excuse for an American.

    Like

    Comment by caslugger2013 — October 18, 2016 @ 10:48 PM | Reply


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