MSNBC AM Joy: Greg Palast hasn’t seen Voter Suppression Like This in 18 Years

Susie Madrak for Crooks & Liars

This morning on AM Joy, Joy Reid asked Greg Palast if the voter suppression tactics were worse this year.

“As a journalist covering this, is it more aggressive this year, is it more frantic, the attempts to basically engineer an electorate with as few black and brown Asian-American and Native American people in it as possible?” she said.

“I have never seen anything like it in 18 years. You’re referring back to when Bush won the presidency by 300 votes,” Palast said.

“His (Florida) Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, removed 58,000 black people from the voter rolls saying they were felons, their only crime, every single one was innocent, the only crime was voting while black. I thought that was bad. It’s gone wild.

“Yesterday, I sued Brian Kemp in a federal court. The reason is, I looked at the data, and on threat of a federal suit, he gave me his voter files. They cancelled 550,000 voter registrations in Georgia. That’s Brian Kemp, he’s running for governor. He cancels half a million people off the voter rolls. and the reason is, they left the state, a few died, 19,000. But I had computer experts, the best people in the nation, who check people’s addresses. You know, the guys hunting you down to make your pay your bills or send you catalogs.

“They went through name by name. Kemp didn’t realize i was going to do this. They went through name by name, 340,134 Georgians did not move from their registration addresses. They got removed. They’ve been given no notice, Joy, no notice that they’ve been removed.”

“They’re going to show up to vote and being told they’re not on the voter rolls,” Reid said.

“Are you ready for this? Brian Kemp. They’ll be given provisional ballots. In this case you still won’t be able to vote. And in this case, you’ll think you’ll have voted but you won’t. You’re going to have a massive number of provisional ballots and Brian Kemp gets to count those ballots.”

Latosha Brown from Black Votes Matter said, “It’s not just on the top level, it’s all the way down on the county level. And particularly in these rural counties like we saw in Jefferson County, but that’s absolutely right, what we’ve been seeing is this slow road around voter suppression.

“We’ve been talking to people, there are folks that are even concerned whether they’re on the voting polls, voting rolls or not, and I think that’s why we’ve got to — we’ve really got to respond to this by really resisting. We’ve got to respond to this and expose this, that is happening and has been happening, particularly in the South, which is part of the reason why Black Voters Matter is doing the work we’re doing.

“It’s really critical for us to know that it’s happening on multiple levels. It’s happening on the governor’s level, on the secretary of state’s level. It’s happening in — we see the state house passing policy. We see on county levels, people making decisions based on their own assumptions. We’ve got to really think about how — and I think it’s really critical that what we saw is, it certainly got worse when there was a gutting of the Voting Rights Act. If Section 5 had been in place, there would be some protection mechanisms that would be in place for us to address this.”

“It does feel like getting rid of the Voting Rights Act, something John Roberts wanted to do since he was in the Reagan administration, believing it’s unfair to the South. It was unfair to fetter them. They went right after it. How many states do you now have databases in where people find out if they’ve been taken off the rolls of Republican secretaries of state,” Reid said.

Palast urged voters to go to www.gregpalast.com to find out if your registration has been purged in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, Nebraska, and Nevada.

“By the way, the lawyer for the state admitted, after I went through their voter files, that they have removed tens of thousands of people in violation of a court order. And they’re removing people because Kris Kobach of Kansas, the ‘Purgeon General’ of the United States, the fraudulent vote hunter, created these lists called Crosscheck lists which he sent to a couple dozen Republican states. They’re using it to say people have moved out of the state. We’ve checked the list, checked the people they’ve removed for moving. They haven’t moved.

“I had a veteran, an African-American veteran, he moved from Illinois more than ten years ago. He voted for Obama in two elections in Georgia, and they threw him off the list, said he moved back to Illinois, because his old registration was sitting there. Kemp threw him off the voter rolls because Kobach gave him this phony list of people to remove. People who have supposedly moved and they haven’t.”

The article was first published on October 20, 2018 by Crooks & Liars.

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