If a person is not smart enough to bring water with them to vote, are they smart enough for voting?

I live in Roswell, Georgia, 20 minutes north of Atlanta. I walked in and immediately was able to vote in the general election, and was behind one person when I voted in the Senate runoff in January. Roswell is 74% white and 11% black with a population of about 90,000.

Union City, Georgia is in Fulton County along with Roswell (and most of Atlanta). Union City is 81% black, 8.6% white and has a population of just over 20,000. Here is a photo of the polling location for Union City in the general election last year.

To answer your question, perhaps those in the photo above didn’t expect to have to wait because they thought (foolishly I know) that their polling location would be similar to my own.

After all, they’re in the same county. But in the same county of a state wherein the average wait in the last hour of polling in majority-minority zones is 51 minutes, while that wait in majority-white zones is 6 minutes. But Republican lawmakers in Georgia are just “shocked” at people saying their election reforms smell just a bit like Jim Crowe.

My ass. They know exactly what they’re doing.

Line to vote in the primaries, June 2020. Source.

Republican “election advisors” have been managing to get polling locations closed to “save money” in black neighborhoods for years. Those locations that managed to stay open complained to the Republican Secretary of State’s Office that they had defective or non working voting machines that needed to be replaced and received … nothing, further exacerbating wait times in polling locations that just happen to be predominately Democrat.

So why on Earth is a single person surprised when, after the state elects two Democratic Senator and a Democratic President despite all of the crap I just described, the Republican controlled State Legislature passes voting reforms that will cost the state $50 million dollars and give the Republican controlled state legislature the power to unilaterally determine a county’s election board isn’t performing adequately and take over control themselves, allow anyone in the state to contest election results if they feel like they saw fraud occurring at a polling location (keep in mind a rural outpost of this state elected Marjorie Green To Congress), and overall made it just a little more difficult and/or uncomfortable for people to vote in a manner that disproportionately affects black voters.

So it isn’t an issue of whether one is smart enough to vote. And it isn’t an issue of providing water. And it isn’t even an issue of ID, because on the list of complaints regarding voting in Georgia ID restrictions are WAY down the list. But when it’s just one thing after another to make it a little more difficult for blacks to vote over time it adds up. And collectively it’s leads to quite reasonable accusations of racism against the state assembly, corporations distancing themselves from state Republican lawmakers, and questions like this, which (to me) is implying minority voters should have to bring water with them to vote.

When I had to wait about 30 seconds.

John Roberts pulls out the thesaurus for one of Trump’s nearly 11,000 lies

Chief Justice John Roberts used every euphemism in the thesaurus this week to accuse the Trump administration of lying.

“The evidence tells a story that does not match the . . . explanation.”

“The sole stated reason — seems to have been contrived.”

There was “a significant mismatch between the decision . . . and the rationale.”

The “explanation . . . is incongruent with what the record reveals.”

Furthermore, it was a “distraction” from the truth, “based on a pretextual rationale” and lacked “a rational connection between the facts found and the choice made.”

The chief justice, writing for the majority in the closely watched census case, was referring to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s baldfaced lie: He testified to Congress that he added a citizenship question to the census “solely” because the Justice Department requested it to help with enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. Three separate judges found that to be false , and evidence emerging since the trials confirmed appearances: The real rationale was to reduce the power of nonwhite people and Democrats.

“We cannot ignore the disconnect between the decision made and the explanation given,” Roberts wrote, noting that precedent says the Supreme Court isn’t “required to exhibit a naiveté from which ordinary citizens are free.” He went on: “If judicial review is to be more than an empty ritual, it must demand something better than the explanation offered for the action taken in this case.”

The truth was on trial before the Supreme Court in the census case. The good news: The facts won. The bad news: It was a 5-to-4 decision.

Incredibly, Justice Samuel Alito, in a dissent, argued that it’s perfectly acceptable for the administration to lie to the courts. “The federal judiciary has no authority to stick its nose into . . . whether the reasons given by Secretary Ross for that decision were his only reasons or his real reasons.” Phony reasons are welcome in Alito’s courtroom!

The victory might be temporary — Roberts essentially invited the administration to concoct a new rationale for the discriminatory census question — but in this dark moment for the truth, it’s worth celebrating even a fleeting acknowledgment from the high court that facts still matter.

Dishonesty is the coin of the realm for President Trump, who is closing in on 11,000 falsehoods, by The Post’s tally, while various of his former officials have been convicted of lying. Trump delights his supporters by declaring unwelcome facts “fake news,” and the courts have struggled with his falsehoods. Judge Amy Berman Jackson, sentencing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, nobly proclaimed that “court is one of those places where facts still matter,” but that’s not always true: In embracing Trump’s “travel ban,” the Supreme Court accepted the administration’s pretext and determinedly ignored extensive evidence of Trump’s anti-Muslim bias.

The census was different for Roberts, who, as he has done in a few politically charged cases, sided with the court’s liberal justices in an apparent effort to protect the court’s credibility.

The Census Bureau’s own experts strongly resisted the citizenship question, saying it would suppress participation by households with noncitizens — even legal ones — by about 8 percent and cause a 2.2 percentage-point drop-off in participation. Emails made public after the Supreme Court heard the case show that the architect of the plan saw the move as “advantageous to Republicans and non-Hispanic whites.” One of the judges who originally heard the case issued a further ruling this week that the new evidence points to a “possible, if not likely, conclusion that the decision-makers adopted [the architect’s] discriminatory purpose.”

The chief justice, though not touching the recent evidence, argued that while courts generally don’t second-guess policy makers’ motivations, there is an exception for a “strong showing of bad faith.” Ross himself had changed his story , eventually admitting that he nudged the Justice Department to request the citizenship question — as cover for a move he had pushed from the start with White House encouragement.

The law, Roberts wrote, requires “that agencies offer genuine justifications for important decisions, reasons that can be scrutinized by courts and the interested public. Accepting contrived reasons would defeat the purpose of the enterprise.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by both Trump appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, took a position similar to Alito’s: The truth is irrelevant. Ridiculing the majority’s view that Ross “must not be telling the truth,” Thomas protested: “Pretext is virtually never an appropriate or relevant inquiry for a reviewing court to undertake.”

That acceptance of pretext fits Trump’s worldview. Trump tweeted after the ruling that he wants to “delay the Census, no matter how long,” to get the question resolved. Who cares if the Constitution says otherwise?

The administration previously claimed the deadline to finalize the 2020 Census was this month. But this, apparently, was another lie.

This vile, unadulterated racism

There is a backstory: In the 1990s, some Texas midwives admitted accepting bribes to falsely claim that some Mexican infants were born in the United States. These same midwives, however, also delivered many more Latino babies, at least thousands, who were legitimately born in the United States. From official records, it is impossible to tell the difference.

The Trump administration appears to be denying passports simply because the applicant is Latino, was born in southern Texas and was delivered by a midwife — something the federal government explicitly promised not to do in a 2009 court settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union.

The administration claims there has been no change in policy. But The Post quoted immigration lawyers who say there has been a dramatic surge in passport denials.

In Juan’s case, the State Department demanded he produce documents including proof of his mother’s prenatal care in the United States, his baptismal certificate and rental agreements from when he was an infant. He managed to find some of this obscure material — and yet his passport application was denied a second time.

If the government had specific evidence that an individual’s birth certificate was falsified, then we could have a debate about the right thing to do. But this administration is assuming that a person of a certain ethnicity, recorded as being born in a certain part of the country and meeting other unspecified criteria, is de facto not a citizen — and has the burden of proving otherwise.

At this point, the Trump administration has the burden of proving this is anything other than vile, unadulterated racism.

Trump launched his presidential campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers. His administration cruelly separated nearly 3,000 migrant children from their families and seeks to make their parents ineligible for asylum. His clear message to would-be Latino immigrants is: No admission.

And now, an equally blunt message for lifelong Latino citizens: Go away.