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Jeff Sessions Finally Steps In To Uphold Civil Rights Act By Stopping Minorities From Voting
Bet you absolutely saw that one coming!
Finally, an Election Eve story to gladden your embittered hearts! Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has an important reminder for you as you prepare to vote: The Department of Justice is committed to upholding what's left of the Voting Rights Act, and will do its part by monitoring the vote carefully in a lot of minority voting districts and making sure nobody's doing in-person voter fraud. Did the DOJ announce it will look at any number of places where Republicans are suppressing minority votes? Aw, hell no, why would they do that?
The Justice Department today announced its Election Day plans for the Nov. 6, 2018 general election. The Civil Rights Division will monitor compliance with the federal voting rights laws by deploying personnel to 35 jurisdictions in 19 states.
"Voting rights are constitutional rights, and they're part of what it means to be an American," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. "The Department of Justice has been entrusted with an indispensable role in securing these rights for the people of this nation. This year we are using every lawful tool that we have, both civil and criminal, to protect the rights of millions of Americans to cast their vote unimpeded at one of more than 170,000 precincts across America. Citizens of America control this country through their selection of their governmental officials at the ballot box. Likewise, fraud in the voting process will not be tolerated. Fraud also corrupts the integrity of the ballot."
Isn't that cute? We will uphold your right to vote! Also, we will give equal rhetorical importance to a crime that is vanishingly rare, but which makes for an awfully effective buzzword to excite the Republican base!
Sessions goes well beyond the false equivalence of that paragraph: The actual monitoring efforts seem far more aimed at keeping a close eye on minority voters, not at ensuring their right, as trouble-making journalist and think-tank guy Dan Lavoie points out on the Twitters:
Sessions is explicit that DOJ is monitoring for "fraud."
Of the list of 35 DOJ-targeted jurisdictions:
24 of the 35 jurisdictions are majority POC (69%)
31 of the 35 are at least 40% POC (91%)
All 4 jurisdictions in Alaska & ones in SD and ND are more than 70% Native American.
7 of the 35 jurisdictions being monitored by DOJ are majority Native American.
There are only 26 majority-Native American counties in the whole country -- meaning DOJ is monitoring a quarter of all such counties!
Gosh, you know, there really IS a huge problem with Republican efforts to suppress the Native American vote in North Dakota. But looking for "fraud" at Native-majority precincts isn't exactly going to help a lot.
The DOJ press release merely states monitors will be sent to Benton and Rolette counties, but not what the monitors will be looking for. If DOJ staff are ensuring Native voters equipped with new tribal-issued IDs are allowed to vote, that will be wonderful. But if the feds are intent on fighting "fraud," they may well simply be echoing state and county officials whose efforts so far seem aimed at blocking people from voting because they failed to match screwed-up 911 records, like the guy who the state thinks lives at a liquor store, or any number of folks who live on "Unknown" street. In some cases, two people living in the same house were assigned different 911 "addresses"! We won't know until tomorrow or later what those monitors were really looking for.
But it's easy to see what Sessions's boss thinks is the priority, and that's telling voters they're being very, very carefully watched:
Law Enforcement has been strongly notified to watch closely for any ILLEGAL VOTING which may take place in Tuesday’… https: //t.co/QbE9BAR7bx
— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1541432508.0
Has anyone been STRONGLY NOTIFIED to keep an eye out for officials arbitrarily telling qualified voters they can't vote? Not that we've seen. The Usual Idiots are out on Twitter explaining that if you're not a vote frauder, then you shouldn't worry at all about this tweet because he said only ILLEGAL VOTING will be punished, but we find that reassurance rather laughable from the people who fretted Obamacare would force people to get sex changes and who threatened to shoot census takers for violating their sacred privacy.
In a statement, Kristen Clarke of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law called the announcement by Sessions dangerous hooey, and pointed out the DOJ isn't even monitoring three Georgia counties where officials have been accused of trying to suppress the minority vote.
Everyone is a little stressed out and frazzled today, and sadly, it looks like Ms. Clarke let Dok Zoom type that statement. "This is a Justice Department that has abandoned its mission and lost its way and it need not do so in ways that way"? No way!
So Jeff Sessions is finally going to make sure the voting tomorrow is all above-board -- maybe by making sure there's not too much of it, at least not by the wrong people. If you think the Sessions Justice Department is about to be protecting minority voters, then we're afraid you may have believed that movie Mississippi Burning when it painted the 1960s FBI as the champions of the civil rights movement.
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