Latino Voters Gotta Get The Hell Out Of Dodge, Literally
The national cavalcade of vote-suppression fuckery continues apace, as good guys seek emergency injunctions to let qualified voters vote, the "president" threatens that anyone caught frauding will be drawn and quartered (and his toadies insist that's only a deterrent to frauders), and in Dodge City, Kansas, county officials have literally placed the only available polling place for 13,000 voters, the majority of them Hispanic, outside the city limits.
In Dodge City, where Hispanics make up 60 percent of the population in a place people may have assumed was still an Old West sort of place because TV made us all idiots, voting rates have been on the decline even as the economy has been on the upswing since the arrival of two big meatpacking plants. And that's despite all the new Hispanic voters in the area. (Yes, we're talking about legal voters; the myth that more than a handful of noncitizens ever registered to vote in Kansas was put to bed in the ACLU's lawsuit against Kris Kobach earlier this year. Testimony showed that since 2000, just 43 non-citizens registered to vote statewide, mostly through bureaucratic error. Eleven of them voted in all that time. Funny thing! Kris Kobach would very much like to be governor this year, and he's running Kansas's elections.)
Maybe Dodge City's low turnout had something to do with there just being a single voting site for all 27,000 residents since 2002. And that was in the white part of town, near the country club. Hey, let's make that even crazier:
For this November's election, local officials have moved it outside the city limits to a facility more than a mile from the nearest bus stop, citing road construction that blocked the previous site.
"It is shocking that we only have one polling place, but that is only kind of scratching the surface of the problem," said Johnny Dunlap, chairman of the Ford County Democratic Party. "On top of that, not only is it irrational and ridiculous that we have only one polling place, but Dodge City is one of the few minority majority cities in the state."
Dunlap called the previous location of the only voting site in a white neighborhood "terrible," and said it's no wonder that Hispanic turnout is well below both white turnout in Ford County and Hispanic turnout in other parts of the country.
The ACLU points out that where most Kansas polling places serve an average of 1,200 per site, the Ford County site was the only available voting site for 13,000 registered voters, and waits of over an hour to vote were common. Dunlap noted that even getting to the old site was sometimes tricky, since freight trains often blocked the road. Hey, at least moving it even farther away will reduce the number of people trying to crowd in!
And by golly, just as has happened all across the country -- in red states, for some reason! -- Dunlap said there used to be more voting sites, but Republican voting officials insisted the old sites had to be closed because of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it was simply UNPOSSIBLE to find any sites that were accessible. How sad, awful shame about that, but we must blame liberals like Kansas Republican Bob Dole, who forced the job-killing ADA on an unwilling public, the RINO.
The Wichita Eagle even resorts to the lying liberal press technique of using facts and evidence to suggest this is some kind of trend:
Polling places across the country have also been shuttered since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act. A 2016 research report from the civil rights coalition Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights found local officials had shuttered 868 polling places in the three years after the court's ruling.
Elsewhere in Kansas, another county is "consolidating" polling places to make elections more "efficient," which certainly can't have anything to do with restricting access to the polls. In Barton County, some voters will be forced to travel 18 miles to vote, because the number of available polling places has been cut by half just since this year's primary, from 23 to 11. It's a fun experiment in democracy on the cheap, according to county clerk Donna Zimmerman:
Zimmerman said she consolidated them to save money in hiring poll workers. The county of about 27,000 residents in central Kansas wanted to "test the waters" to see if it could get by with fewer voting machines at fewer sites, she said.
The citizens demanded less convenient voting, huh? We sure would like to see the letters asking for that, you bet!
Strangely enough, a Kansas TV report found a resident complaining the change "made everybody mad," but that may have been the town malcontent. Barton County is nearly 93 percent white, with 8.5 percent Latinos of any race -- wonder how many of the closed polling places may have affected them? We are just wondering out loud of course.
In other voting fuckery, Donald Trump rolled out a tweet Sunday morning warning all the vote frauders they'd better think twice before vote frauding, a message intended only for the microscopic number of vote frauders that ever actually vote fraudulently any given year. Donald Trump just wants everyone to know they'll be caught if they fraud!
All levels of government and Law Enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD, including during EARLY VOTING.… https://t.co/iEI9hFYaI9— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1540082173.0
And no, you silly liberals, this cannot possibly be called voter intimidation, because what do you have to be afraid of if you are a legal voter, huh? All we are doing is protecting the integrity of the ballot box from the tiny number of people who vote illegally, ever, so we will have cops at every polling place, telling you to SHOW YOUR PAPERS NOW, SCUM! Clearly, anyone who objects must be in favor of fraud and have no respect for the law, says the shouty man who will not show any Americans his tax returns.
We'll close with one bit of good news: In Georgia, there's at least a decent chance high turnout may actually negate efforts to suppress the black vote -- maybe. The turnout in Georgia really has been phenomenal, well over double early-voting turnout for 2014 in some places, and that could very well result in a blue wave that washes out unfair voting rules that have been in place for years. Funny how people will only put up with heinous fuckery so long before they get rid of it. Gotta get us an "END THIS HEINOUS FUCKERY" baseball cap.
[Wichita Eagle / CommonDreams / Brennan Center for Justice / The Nation]
Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Send us money using the widget below -- let your dollars flow like a mighty river, for justice and snarking.
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.