A shout out to Greg Palast, an independent journalist who has made it his mission to investigate what he sees as efforts to deny Americans the right to vote.
Palast has his own investigative fund and has been working with the Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda to produce some powerful lawsuits and some powerful stories.
Brian Ross: Our Shout Out tonight for a reporter who has his own investigative fund and has been working with the Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda to produce a powerful lawsuit and some powerful stories. Palast’s investigation really took off when he discovered that this elderly woman, Christine Jordan, was turned away from voting on election day in Atlanta, her name purged from the voting rolls in Georgia, supposedly because she had moved. Miss Jordan wasn’t just anyone.
Greg Palast:: She's the 92 year old cousin of Martin Luther King, Jr., and she was thrown out of the polling station because they said she had moved. She’s been in the same house for over 50 years, and she was the host of Martin Luther King after he would give his sermons at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. She hasn't moved anywhere, but they threw her out for moving.
Brian Ross: Miss Jordan's granddaughter told Palast, no one could explain how her name was taken off the eligible voter list. Palast discovered what was going on at the Secretary of State's office in the Georgia Capitol and elsewhere.
Greg Palast:: For six years I've been hunting down these Secretaries of State, the people in charge of our voter rolls, who've been playing games by removing voters of color from the voter rolls.
Brian Ross: In Georgia, it was Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, who was running for governor of the state.
Greg Palast:: I demanded that he give me all the information on the people he’d been removing from the voter rolls, the names, addresses. He said hundreds of thousands of people, almost half a million, had moved out of Georgia in two years.
Brian Ross: And then he confronted Kemp about what was going on.
Greg Palast:: When he stonewalled me on his list of people he removed, I did something that is rarely done. I actually filed a federal lawsuit under the National Voter Registration Act, which said you have to hand over your files because it's about manipulating the voter rolls. A judge ordered Brian Kemp to open up his files on the voters he’s removed, and how he removed [them].
Brian Ross: All backed by the Palast Investigative Fund.
Greg Palast:: We have an expert team that's pretty hard to match anywhere. It's very expensive, very difficult. What I've been able to accomplish with this lawsuit is not only opening up the files of these officials who are secretly playing games with the voter rolls, I'm opening them up for every investigative reporter and reporting team. I've gotten calls from many, many papers and many outlets for this information.
Brian Ross: President Trump made much of alleged voter fraud in this country, people voting twice, when he appointed the Secretary of State from Kansas, Kris Kobach, to head up a Special Investigative Commission, which has yet to turn up any evidence of widespread voting fraud.
Greg Palast:: When Trump said that there's massive vote rigging, I think he's right. But it's the cronies behind him who have been the center of the vote rigging.
Brian Ross: And Palast says that the Kansas Secretary of State is one of the culprits, sending other states Crosscheck lists of common names alleging they have registered twice. Palast says he hopes other reporters in the U.S. will pick up now on what he has been doing.
Greg Palast:: It's not my job to stop the theft of elections or do anything… That's not my job. My job is to expose this material. This is part of a national program to remove voters of color before the 2020 election. Now, this isn't about Democrats or Republicans. It's about right and wrong. It's about whether we're going to use a kind of new Jim Crow trickery to remove voters of color and young people from the voter rolls.