One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy by Carol Anderson does an incredible job by showing the immediate relevance to the election of Donald Trump, then takes it all the way back to the Jim Crow South where the Democratic former slave owners and other white folks who openly vowed to keep African Americans in their place, which was most certainly not as a voter.
As we hear from so many in conservative circles, the Constitution is law and the defining document everything should flow from. In a broad sense we can all agree that’s where our country took the first shaky step towards the vision of a Democratic Republic. Yet, almost from the time the Equal Protection Clause was enshrined to protect our rights as a voter for those we want to represent us in Congress and elsewhere, it was attacked, undermined, avoided, and even openly ignored by those in power and wanted to stay that way.
The right to vote is completely colorblind, but the results of disrupting and destroying that right is admittedly racist. If you found an example in history where a county or district was redrawn to actually lower the amount of eligible white voters, you can be sure underneath the veneer are ripples from that decision directed solely at squashing the minority voter.
Anderson lifts every rock and opens the door to politician’s closets long since gone to detail and display how all the efforts wind together into a single rope binding those they deem ‘unworthy’, ‘unclean’, and ‘unAmerican.’
Here are some examples that only scratch the surface, but they will prove the length of time and depth of inhumanity employed in these efforts:
Senator Theodore Bilbo (D-MS), one of the most virulent racists to grace the halls of Congress, boasted of the chicanery nearly half a century later. “What keeps ’em [blacks] from voting is section 244 of the [Mississippi] Constitution of 1890…It says that a man to register must be able to read and explain the Constitution or explain the Constitution when read to him.” Mississippi, the senator bragged, “then wrote a constitution that damn few white men and no n*****s at all can explain.”
That rule in the Mississippi Constitution was over 120-years ago. Today is only different in the language, but not the intent:
He [Brian Kemp (R-GA)] has displayed a tendency to consistently err on the side of disenfranchisement: such as “when his office lost voter registrations for 40,000 Georgians, the vast majority whom happen to be people of color”; and when his office leaked social security number and driver’s license data of voters not once but twice; and when he refused to upgrade the voting machines throughout the state that received an F rating because they were easily hackable and “haven’t been updated since 2005 and run on Windows 2000.” Kemp had also “crusaded against” and “investigated” voter registration drives by Asian Americans and predominantly black groups. He actually launched a criminal inquiry into the registration of 85,000 new voters, “many of them minorities,” but “found problems with only 25 registrants, and “not surprisingly, after all the time, money, and publicity, “no charges were filed.”
Democrats created the beast of voter disenfranchisement with voter intimidation and violence, but when the GOP came in during the Southern Strategy, they realized quickly the unpalatable terms and manner of think could no longer survive. Hence the appearance of “voter fraud” and a gaggle of new “voter ID” laws to protect the integrity of our elections.
The GOP took the beast and let it gorge through the advent of innocuous sounding legislation all over the country. One of the crowning achievements of their current “voter ID” white knight, Kris Kobach (R-KS), was the creation of Crosscheck, and interstate program that would collect voter data and double-check them with other states looking for those evildoers who were registered in two different places.
In case you were thinking people like that would get run out of office, the truth is far sadder. Kris Kobach is running for Governor of Kansas, Brian Kemp is running for Governor of GA in the 2018 midterms. Kemp was endorsed by Trump and won the primary and will now go up against Stacy Adams (D-GA) who could very well become the first black woman to sit in the governor’s chair.
Kobach is still championing the totally unverified and clear straw man argument of “immense voter fraud” and his online baby, Crosscheck, which when studied has a failure rate of over 99%. As of comments I read only today, folks inside the White House are crossing fingers and toes Trump does not endorse Kobach because the Don Quixote of voting trickery has become almost as toxic as Trump himself.
One Person, No Vote should be sent to the offices of every politician in Congress, and every state legislature to remind them and warn them of the breadth of how much damage this programs and crooked politicians have already done. Everything you need to arm yourself and others against losing your Constitutionally protected right is in the book. Read it, read it again, then take action.