The Voter Purges Are Coming

The Trump administration’s election-integrity commission will have its first meeting on Wednesday to map out how the president will strip the right to vote from millions of Americans.

.. the Justice Department’s civil rights division. It forced 44 states to provide extensive information on how they keep their voter rolls up-to-date. It cited the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, known as the Motor-Voter law, which mandates that states help voters register through motor vehicle departments.

The letter doesn’t ask whether states are complying with the parts of the law that expand opportunities to register. Instead it focuses on the sections related to maintaining the lists. That’s a prelude to voter purging.

.. Here’s how the government will use voters’ data. It will create a national database to try to find things like double-voters. But the commission won’t be able to tell two people with the same name and birthday apart. Such errors will hit communities of color the hardest. Census data shows that minorities are overrepresented in 85 of the 100 most common last names.

.. Purging voters is part of a larger malicious pattern that states have employed across the country. Georgia and Ohio are being sued for carrying out early versions of what we can expect from the Trump administration.

.. Mr. Kobach has been at the vanguard of a crusade against Motor-Voter and has been sued at least three times for making it harder for Kansans to vote. Before the 2016 election, he illegally blocked tens of thousands of voters from registering. Mr. Blackwell rejected registration forms because they were printed on paper he thought was too thin. Mr. von Spakovsky has led numerous unsuccessful legal efforts to diminish voter participation and to fight voting rights. Mr. Adams published personal information about people whom he wrongly accused of committing multiple felonies in a flawed hunt for fraud.
.. my biggest fear is that the government will issue a report with “findings” of unsupported claims of illegal voting, focused on communities of color.
.. These wild claims won’t be just hot air. Members of Congress will seize on them to turn back protections in federal law. States will enact new barriers to the ballot box. Courts will point to the commission’s work to justify their decisions.
.. The irony is that there are serious threats to our voting systems,
  1. from cyberattacks to aging machines to
  2. Russian interference to
  3. discriminatory voter ID laws at the state level.
Those are the real problems, but that’s not what the commission was created to address.

Ari Berman Reveals Neil Gorsuch Praised a Leading GOP Activist Behind Voter Suppression Efforts

the person that Neil Gorsuch praised, who he worked with in the Justice Department, was Hans von Spakovsky, who really is the leading figure behind GOP voter suppression efforts, the leading figure in pushing the myth of widespread voter fraud. They overlapped in the Justice Department from 2005 and 2006

.. Four of five lawyers on the review team recommended it be blocked as discriminatory against African Americans, but Hans von Spakovsky, who was counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights, manipulated the process for putting this law through, for approving the law. Not only that, von Spakovsky wrote an anonymous law article, when this was being considered, that praised voter ID laws, which was totally unethical.

.. it seemed like he had a very strong view of executive power, meaning that, you know, he might be sympathetic to things the Bush administration was doing, and now the Trump administration is doing, on national security.

.. Scalia was so outspoken, but here we have a situation where Gorsuch wants to be another Scalia, but there’s such a small paper trail on him.

.. where John Roberts, for example, when he was nominated, he said, “I just want to be an umpire. I’m just going to call balls and strikes.” We know that John Roberts has been a deeply reactionary figure on the Supreme Court, authoring decisions, for example, that gutted the Voting Rights Act. Will Gorsuch be the same?