Donate

Very Creative Georgia Voter Purge Leaves Like Nine Georgia Voters On The Rolls.

Post-Racial America

Brian Kemp, Georgia's Republican candidate for governor who also gets to oversee his own election because he's the secretary of state too, was quite the busy little ratfucker last year. As part of his official duties, Kemp last year used a sloppy but perfectly "legal" voter purge to purge over half a million Georgia voters from the rolls on the grounds that they probably moved away -- except for how at least 340,000 of them hadn't gone anywhere at all. But unless they re-registered, they won't get to vote, because that's the law. A very stupid law, but the Supremes were perfectly fine with a similar law from Ohio back in June, so red states should feel free to proceed with the voting fuckery.

And yes, the purges hit minority voters hardest, in an election year when Kemp's Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, could become Georgia's first black governor. What a coincidence! (Aw, but don't worry -- Rs would suppress minority votes no matter who the Dem nominee was!)


Reporter Greg Palast had to threaten to sue Kemp's office before it finally released a list of the 530,510 voters whose registration status was switched from "active" to "cancelled" in 2017. Then he had a team of experts in address verification -- folks whose day job is helping corporate types send accurate mail to large customer bases -- sift through the list. Palast describes what they found. "We could not decode about 80,000 addresses — and discovered that 19,118 of the voters had passed away." Oh, so by purging half a million voters, the state got rid of almost 20,000 dead people? Guess THEY won't be voting for Democrats, hurr hurr! As for the remainder:

The experts ran the names through an "advanced address hygiene process," that is, digging through dozens — up to 200 — dynamically updated databases (such as cell phone bills and tax filings), as well as limited-access files at the post office, to get the location of voters. They accomplished this with astonishing accuracy — something the state of Georgia should have done.

Ah, but you see, Georgia doesn't have to bother verifying whether people have really moved, because it has a much better way of deciding they don't deserve to vote: the "purge by postcard" system, as Palast explains.

It works like this: If you miss an election, Kemp sends you a postcard. It looks like junk mail. But if you read the block of print carefully, it asks you to return the card to Kemp after you've filled in the address that's already on the front of the card.

If you don't return the card, and you miss an election, Kemp takes out his eraser and cancels you off the registration rolls.

Easy-peasy, and as we say, perfectly cromulent according to the Supreme Court, because the law doesn't explicitly say "We are doing this to remove brown people and other potential Democratic voters from the rolls, HA HA HA." Now, if you want to get all technical about it, Palast notes this summer's ruling only allows such purges "if the failure to return the postcard is a reasonable indication the voter has moved." However, he adds,

Kemp has steadfastly refused to look at evidence that would show a voter has not moved. (Heck, Kemp didn't even wonder why the purged voters paid Georgia taxes if they had left the state.)

In addition, Palast also found problems with the way Kemp's office used the notoriously unreliable "Crosscheck" system that's supposed to find voters who are registered in two different states. Palast knows all about the many many flaws in Crosscheck, having written the invaluable guide to why it sucks. The system, developed by Kansas's Kris Kobach, is incredibly unreliable, creating "false positive" results that look like it's found duplicate registrations that are actually totally different people. And since some names are especially common in minority communities -- say, Garcia, Jackson, or Park -- the system often flags multiple people with the same name and birth date as if they were one cheating person registered in several places at once.

But Palast's study of the Georgia data found a genuinely novel form of fuckery in how Kemp's office used Crosscheck:

[Our] experts found that 108,000 Georgia voters were also found on the Crosscheck list. Worse, careful review of post office files show 106,000 of these never left the state—yet lost their right to vote because of these supposed moves.

Some did move, but into Georgia—a trick uncovered by none other than Stacey Abrams, Kemp's opponent, who found that error on the Crosscheck list which I showed her for comment.

In one case, Palast contacted a man who was purged because he was registered in both Illinois and Georgia -- but he had moved from Illinois to Georgia 10 years ago. Luckily, Palast got in touch with him before the registration deadline, so he could re-register. Not looking so good for tens of thousands of other Georgians who likely missed the deadline.

One of the analysts who worked with the purge list, Mark Swedlund, said the purge by postcard may not have racial bias written into the law, but it definitely affects likely Dem voters the most:

"It doesn't shock me at all. Response rates are lower among people of color, in particular among African-American renters," he said [...]

"Postcards are the weakest form of mailers to get a response," Swedlund said. "If you use that as a basis for determining whether somebody moved or not, you would be making a very big mistake."

But hey, it's all about the "integrity of the vote," isn't it? Every thread on Twitter about voting, ever, is full of jackholes who just KNOW Democrats have millions of illegal aliens voting for them, so no measure is too extreme. Hell, Palast doesn't even mention whether his team found any undocumented immigrants, which proves he covered them up, right?

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported this weekend the US Commission on Civil Rights identified five practices that are particularly likely to disenfranchise minority voters:

requiring government-issued photo identification to cast a ballot; requiring documentary proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or a passport, to register; aggressive purges of inactive voters; reductions in early voting; and moving or closing polling places.

Georgia is the only state that imposed all five restrictions, the commission found. The proof of citizenship law was never implemented, however.

One thing you have to give Georgia credit for: It certainly can't be accused of a lack of creativity in voter suppression. Jim Crow is alive and well -- but here's hoping that the massive turnout we've seen so far can overcome those restrictions.

Palast does note that at least voters who have been purged from the rolls can show ID and cast a provisional ballot at the polls. And then Brian Kemp's office will decide whether to count those. Isn't red-state democracy a fine thing?

[Truthout / Rolling Stone / Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

Yr Wonkette is funded 100% by reader donations. Please send us money and we'll help you navigate the madness.

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

$
Donate with CC

The producers of your favorite live-action Jack Chick pamphlet, "God's Not Dead" -- you know, the one where the Hercules dude plays an evil philosophy professor who tells all of his students on the first day that they are no longer allowed to believe in god? As all secular professors do? -- have come out with a thrilling new movie, all about how abortion is bad or whatever.

The movie tells the "true" story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic worker turned professional anti-choicer. Johnson has been a darling of the forced birth circuit ever since she made up ridiculous and provably false reasons for quitting the Planned Parenthood that was about to fire her for being bad at her job.

Basically, she claims that Planned Parenthood was pushing her to make more abortions happen so they could reel in more dough, and also that she witnessed (for the first time ever!) an ultrasound-guided abortion and saw the baby move from the light and then immediately realized that what she was doing was wrong.

The thing is, however -- no ultrasound-guided abortions were performed on the day she said it happened, and the only reason there was an uptick in abortions at her clinic was because they started offering the abortion pill on a daily basis (and had previously only been performing surgical abortions every other Saturday).

As you may have guessed, the movie does not address any of these things. It also looks very, very bad.

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC
Wikimedia

Ever since Ruth Bader Ginsburg successfully underwent surgery for lung cancer, conservative sites and message boards have been trafficking in a ridiculous theory that she is actually dead and that there is some kind of Weekend at Bernie's-esque conspiracy to pretend she is still alive.

Now, one would think that her recent public appearance at a concert held in her honor would have put this to rest. Alas, it did not. Rather, the "researchers" (as they hilariously call themselves) determined that the concert was actually her funeral.

No. Really. That was a thing.

I admit that I gave this a lot more thought than I should have. Like, how did they think this would go? How long did they imagine this would go on for? Why would they risk having a full on funeral concert, open to the press? Wouldn't they just have not bothered to have a funeral at all? And what did these people think was going to happen when it was announced that she died for real? Or did they think that we were going to pretend that she is immortal and thus never announce her death? It's so confusing!

Being very up to date on the "RBG is secretly dead!" nonsense, I was very curious about which way the "anons" would go with this when they announced her return to work on Friday. They did not disappoint!

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC
Donate

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Newsletter

©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc