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Looks like a pretty crimey bunch, frankly
Looks like a pretty crimey bunch, frankly

Thank God Donald Trump is going to be investigating all the illegal voting that made him lose the popular vote in places with lots of the wrong kinds of Americans, because it turns out there’s a hell of a lot of potential frauders out there! You see, a whole bunch of the people Mad President Snapcase thinks are probably illegal voters are in his family and his administration. The voter fraud is coming from inside the (White) House!

In plain old reality, thanks to the fact that people move and die a lot in a country with about 320 million people living in it, the voting rolls are full of dead people and people who are registered in two states. That latter category would include Tiffany Trump, who’s registered in New York and Pennsylvania, Trump’s Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin, who’s registered in New York and California, and Trump’s sleazebag strategist Steve Bannon, who until yesterday was registered in both New York and Florida, although the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections helpfully removed Bannon from voter rolls Wednesday after Bannon’s dual registration was reported by a local paper.

There’s nothing illegal about people being registered to vote in two or more states, as long as they only vote in one. It happens all the time — like virtually every time someone moves from one state to another, or even within states, depending on how well states clean up their own voter records. It never occurred to Yr Dok Zoom to contact Arizona and demand he be taken off the voter rolls there when he moved to Idaho over a decade ago, and Yr Editrix is (presumably) currently registered in both California and Montana, because when she moved to Big Sky Country she didn’t tell California to cancel her voter registration. Virtually no one does. And dead people often have the incivility not to come back from the grave and cancel their own registrations. It’s also not a task that’s on many bereaved families’ to-do lists either.

There’s no fraud unless someone else goes and votes in person in the name of the moved or deceased person, and study after study shows no such thing happens — including the very Pew survey that Sean Spicer incorrectly said Tuesday was evidence of massive fraud. What that study, and others, have found is that there are a lot of people on voter rolls who may no longer be able to vote in the listed polling place — but NOT that anyone is actually voting in their place, which would take massive coordination. Hell, as Chris Matthews, who is not a smart man, pointed out, for 5 million illegal aliens to have voted, that would mean nearly half the undocumented people in the USA would have voted. It’s hard enough to get half the LEGAL voters to show up at the polls!

Oh, and speaking of Sean Spicer? He’s one of those potential voting fraudsters, according to election data specialist Tom Bonier, CEO of campaign data crunching company TargetSmart:

bonier-spicer

Bonier also found that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and Donald Trump’s son-in-law/top adviser Jared Kushner are both registered in two states. In a country with a lot of mobility, it’s exactly what you’d expect, it’s completely legal, and it’s not evidence of fraud at all. States and counties clean up their voter rolls from time to time by purging people who haven’t voted in the last few general elections — it varies by jurisdiction — and that does the job of getting rid of the departed (dearly or merely relocated) just fine. But Republicans insist there must be tons of voter fraud out there, even when there’s no evidence to support it.

And Republican state officials are determined to wipe out that nonexistent fraud, even if it means throwing qualified voters off the rolls — see, for example, Rolling Stone’s chilling story of the “Crosscheck” system, which is supposed to identify voters registered in two places, but is just as likely to find two separate people who have the same first and last names, and sometimes the same birth date, but are very definitely not the same human being:

We found that one-fourth of the names on the list actually lacked a middle-name match. The system can also mistakenly identify fathers and sons as the same voter, ignoring designations of Jr. and Sr. A whole lot of people named “James Brown” are suspected of voting or registering twice, 357 of them in Georgia alone. But according to Crosscheck, James Willie Brown is supposed to be the same voter as James Arthur Brown. James Clifford Brown is allegedly the same voter as James Lynn Brown.

The checks for middle names, birth dates, and last four digits of Social Security numbers may or may not actually be followed before someone’s purged from the rolls. Would you be the least bit surprised to learn that Crosscheck is the brainchild of Kris Kobach, the fraud-obsessed Kansas Secretary of State, who sees preventing people from voting as his life’s mission? Better that thousands of eligible voters be turned away (especially if they’re black) than one or two people vote illegally.

To make matters worse, members of minority groups

are overrepresented in 85 of 100 of the most common last names. If your name is Washington, there’s an 89 percent chance you’re African-American. If your last name is Hernandez, there’s a 94 percent chance you’re Hispanic. If your name is Kim, there’s a 95 percent chance you’re Asian.

Hooray, more potential false positives! And then there’s the “screening” that happens after Crosscheck identifies a potential double-registered voter: The state sends out a postcard, and the voter has to mail it back to the secretary of state’s office. If they don’t return the postcard, the process of kicking them off the voter rolls starts. And here’s a little extra bias against Democratic-leaning voters:

According to the Census Bureau, white voters are 21 percent more likely than blacks or Hispanics to respond to their official requests; homeowners are 32 percent more likely to respond than renters; and the young are 74 percent less likely than the old to respond. Those on the move — students and the poor, who often shift apartments while hunting for work — will likely not get the mail in the first place.

Whether the racial, class, and party bias of the system is by design or not, the outcome definitely gets rid of more voters who are likely to go Democratic than Republican — and it eliminates people who would be eligible to vote. And it happens to be very popular in swing states. Go read the entire article — it’s infuriating, and will leave you wondering just how valid the vote was in several swing states, where the election really may have been rigged — not by fraudulent voters, but in the offices of Secretaries of State, long before election day. Imagine that.

Maybe that federal investigation of problems with the 2016 vote needs to go forward after all. We bet it’ll look really closely at the problems with Crosscheck, even if it risks offending Kris Kobach, who was on Trump’s transition team. Yep, no way they’ll simply find a lot of people named James Brown and Juan Hernandez in California or New York and decide it was one guy voting thousands of times…

[The Hill / NYT / Sarasota Herald-Tribune / Tom Bonier on Twitter / Rolling Stone]

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