Posted on June 05 2018
as previously discussed here.
Kris Kobach & Crosscheck
Voter Suppression is defined as: “a strategy to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing specific groups of people from voting”
Suppression can consist of but not limited to: unlawful purging of voter rolls (using software like CrossCheck), requirement of picture IDs, limited polling hours, etc.
When you add various voter Suppression tactics and couple it with gerrymandering districts, congratulations you’ve created a perfectly calibrated weapon against our Free & Open electoral process. To be fair both Republican and Democrats engage in obfusive gerrymandering. That said it is predominately the Republican Party that takes Voter Suppression to the next level, such as Crosscheck.
Kris Kobach & his weapon Crosscheck...Kobach marketed his Crosscheck software as the panacea to the Big BoogyMan of Rampant Voter Fraud, and millions of illegal residents voting, after all according to Donald Trump our electoral system is “a rigged system”.
In 2005 only 4 states used Kobach’s CrossCheck; Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri
By 2012 Kobach’s CrossCheck program, like a metasizing Cancer spread to 14 states (basically 10 states on top of the orginal 2005 four states), Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Illinois, South Dakota, Colorado and Arizona.
By 2014 like a malignant cancer, Kris Kobach’s CrossCheck metastasized to more than half of our 50 states.
You can view Kris Kobach’s 2014 CrossCheck Presentation, here keep in mind this was presented to ALL Secretary of States during the 2014 annual conference. Part of the reason you should view CrossCheck as an abhorrent assault on our democracy, well because it really is.
Firstly to “believe” CrossCheck is the answer to the voter fraud prayer, you must first believe there is a widespread out of control voter fraud, where thousands of not millions of illegal ballots are cast and groups are bussing people in to vote. The reality is there isn’t a wide spread voter fraud problem. This is a myth created by people like Kobach & Trump.
Exhibit A, this 2012 comprehensive Voter Fraud Investigation from 2000-2012 found a mere 10 cases of voter impersonation fraud between 2000 and 2012. You can read the full Arizona State University Study, here.
A follow up study was conducted in 2016 by the same researchers, in this study they found exactly ZERO cases of voter fraud, you can read the 2016 study here.
This year, News21 reviewed cases in Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Kansas, where politicians have expressed concern about voter fraud and found hundreds of allegations but few prosecutions between 2012 and 2016. Attorneys general in those states successfully prosecuted 38 cases, though other cases may have been litigated at the county level. At least one-third of those cases involved nonvoters, such as elections officials or volunteers. None of the cases prosecuted was for voter impersonation.
As many of you know, I’m a big fan of the Brennan Center for Justice (BCJ). Time and time again they drill down on facts and present their findings in a easily understandable format. For example BCJ has this tracker of major litigation “that could impact voting access”. It’s a great interactive tool, you can explore their report/tool via link found here.
Also see BCJ “New Voting Restrictions in America” report, some of the figures and language in newly adopted law, is...well unAmerican. Voting is a fundamental right, it is NOT a privilege, the right to vote is enshrined in the Constitution...you can read the BCJ report here
Overall, 23 states have new restrictions in effect since then — 13 states have more restrictive voter ID laws in place (and six states have strict photo ID requirements), 11 have laws making it harder for citizens to register, six cut back on early voting days and hours, and three made it harder to restore voting rights for people with past criminal convictions.
In 2016, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election. Those 14 states were: Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
In 2017, legislatures in Arkansas and in North Dakota passed voter ID bills, which governors in each state signed, and Missouri implemented a restrictive law that was passed by ballot initiative in 2016. Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, and New Hampshire have also enacted more restrictions this year, in addition to laws that were on the books for previous elections.
Even inspite of these facts, Kris Kobach continued to pound his drum that there are millions of illegal ballots cast during every election and the only cure is his CrossCheck Program. The facts show that CrossCheck is deeply flawed, not only on content but also on security of data it harvests, but the false positives are equally problematic. Late last year a team of Harvard, UPenn, Stanford found:
99 percent more likely to purge legitimate voters, according to a paper published last week by researchers from Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, Yale, and Microsoft Research
For example Indiana found that Kobach’s CrossCheck was so deeply flawed that the IN Secretary of State Connie Lawson testified to Congress in October of 2017 that her state basically created another software program to do what CrossCheck should be doing. In her testimony Ms. Lawson told the panel:
“As it regards the Crosscheck program [in which] Indiana participates, we developed a software program where we have a confidence level,” she said.
‘We got a lot of what we were afraid might be false positives, so we decided that the county clerks couldn’t possibly work all this information.”
“We worked with a statistician who told us that the way we were doing our work, that I would have a better chance of winning the lottery than the counties removing the wrong person, the way were doing [it],”
Lawson described software that assesses each Crosscheck match by using additional data to assign points for matches, including a voter’s driver’s license number and Social Security number. (Crosscheck looks only at voters’ first name, last name, and birthdate—hardly enough data to distinguish among millions of voters.) If the points don’t add up to a certain threshold, then the state doesn’t forward those names to the county election officials who are responsible for removing ineligible people from the rolls.
Notwithstanding Sec Lawson continued to purge legitimate voters from her state’s voter rolls in violation of Federal Law. Her office uses a hybrid of Kobch’s CrossCheck and IN software her office development to identify which voters to purge. As such a few months ago she was named as a defendant, link to full lawsuit can be found here.
Section 8 of the NVRA, before removing a voter on the ground of a change in residence, a state must first confirm that the voter has indeed changed residence by: (1) mailing a written notice to the voter stating that the voter’s registration is at risk based on an apparent move; and (2) even then, removing the voter only if the voter provides written confirmation of the move or fails to vote in any election within the next two federal general election cycles. 52 U.S.C. § 20507(d). Because Indiana Code § 3-7-38.2-5(d)-(e) requires immediate cancellation without either of these safeguards, it violates Section 8 of the NVRA.
Incidentally here is Ms Lawson’s written October 2017 Congressional Testimony (link found here), where she disclosed the following:
“of today, 481,235 voter registrations canceled through this process...
I know I am getting close to the 5 minute mark, so the last piece I want to include is that our office participates in the Interstate Crosscheck program to assist with voter list maintenance efforts. I am happy to explain how this works in Indiana if need be.
Now imagine if you will, you are a Veteran. You are deployed to an active war zone, you put your life on the line to protect America & Americans. Your TDY is let’s say 2 tours, that means you may have missed at least one election. Then when your deployment is over you return home and you go to cast your vote. Only to realize while you were dodging bullets from our Enemies that your Secretary of State in Ohio used CrossCheck and your name was erroneously purdged from your State’s Voter Rolls.
Think about it. Joe Helle put his life on the line to protect your freedom and mine. When he came back from his deployment, he went to vote only to be told, Sir I’m sorry we used Kris Kobach’s CrossCheck and you are not eligible to vote. Seriously talk about a slap in the face. Again Joe Helle and countless other courageous men and women fought in an active war zone for our Country, yet people like Kris Kobach perfectly calibrated the CrossCheck software to ensure rampant Voter Suppression. And you’re right I’m goddamn mad about it and so should you.
Also check out Joe Helle. He’s a veteran, a decent man who (with the help of the ACLU and Common Cause) took his Voter Purge fight to the hallowed chambers of our Supreme Court. This Washington Post Article is a decent play by play. You can read Joe Helle’s story, here.
Full Disclosure I’m a Helle Fan. He represents American Values. Notwithstanding Joe’s values and convictions closely mirror mine. Plus Joe has one helluva great hashtag, #GiveThemHelle in my opinion Joe Helle is the furture of the party. He’s smart . He’s a patriot. And I certainly hope when the time is right Joe runs for Congress. Right now he’s running to represent the 89th State District of Ohio. His campaign website can be found here.
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