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The New Von Spakovsky Voter Suppression Crusade: Absentee Ballots

Whenever I wonder what the new phony Republican game the vote outrage is going to be, I google the term "Von Spakovsky."  

Given that it’s an election year, I’ve been keep tabs on him, because he is a tell for what the GOP is testing out in advance of the election.   Especially since he landedthat new gig at the Civil Rights Commission as a "consultant" (read:  wingnut welfare sop for his failure to land on the FEC).  Because, honestly, who better to uphold the precedents and meaning of civil rights legislation than a man who tried to push a new poll tax law in Georgia, right?

Well, lookee what popped up this morning:

…The most important lesson of Greene County is that absentee ballots are extremely vulnerable to voter fraud. The case shows how absentee ballot fraud really works, and it is a reality very different from the claims of partisans and advocacy groups. More broadly, the case shows how voter fraud threatens the right to free and fair elections and how those most often harmed are poor and minorities. This directly rebuts the usual partisan conspiracy theories about voter fraud.

According to the self-appointed liberal guardians of the poor, practically every effort to legislate against or prosecute voter fraud is intended to keep minorities and the poor from voting at all. Concern over voter fraud, say some partisans, is simply Republi cans’ cover to intimidate voters and raise obstacles to minority voting. Indeed, groups like the NAACP argue that racism and intimidation are the motivation for voter fraud prosecutions, and some prominent Democrats dismiss voter fraud as virtually nonexistent. As a result, prosecutors are intimidated from fighting vote fraud for fear of the political conse­quences, and elections continue to be stolen.

Greene County shows that these groups have it backwards. Voter fraud prosecutions do not intim idate voters; what does intimidate them is the knowledge that voter fraud is routine and goes unpunished. Too often, not only is no one willing to take action against it, but the organizations that victims expect to help them instead take the side of the vote thieves. In contrast to the views of such organizations, an overwhelming majority of citi zens support such common-sense and nonpartisan reforms as requiring voter identification when an individual votes….

Who votes by absentee ballot? The elderly, the infirm, folks who are out of town on business, poll workers and political types, folks who can’t get off work on election day, folks taking care of elderly relatives and poor people…you name it. In other words, a whole lot of people all across America. That Hans Von Spakovsky considers suspect.

Why is it that Republicans always suspect people who are voting, but only if they aren’t voting for Republicans?

Let this be a lesson and a warning: this year’s ballot challenges will come on absentee ballot issues. Von Spakovsky has begun the "scholarly" article set-up, just like he has done with voter caging, voter fraud, voter ID laws and voter registration the last 8 years running. At least this year he’s not doing so as a sock puppet — now that’s some progress!

Check your voter registration. Make certain everything is in order, filled out properly and that you are registered in the proper precinct. If you have moved, take care of your voter registration this week — don’t wait, registration deadlines in most place are tight at this point.

And if there is a problem or your registration has been improperly flagged to be challenged — ask for help now.

Resources can be found at The Brennan Center, the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, and your local chapter of the ACLU, among others. Also, if there is a problem, please notify your local Democratic party committee and the DNC — if there are widespread reports of issues, sometimes a pattern emerges that can be stopped before voter suppression tactics can be implemented.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com