Skip to content

Mississippi: Ugly Old Trick Targets Espy Voters

Mike Espy, US Senate candidate, reveals the return of an outlawed vote suppression tactic aimed at elderly voters.
[Jackson, Mississippi] In the vote-stealing biz it’s called “push polling” in which a fake pollster cons a voter out of their vote.

On Sunday, Democrat Mike Espy, who is in a run-off election today for the Senate against Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith, told Palast Investigations reporter Zach D. Roberts:

There were evidently some calls made to Espy supporters… Most of them were older supporters. For example, I was told that one of them said that he was from a survey company. He asked her, “Was she going to vote?” She said, “Yes.” They asked her who she was going to vote for and she said, “Mike Espy.” And she was proud to vote for Mike Espy. And then, allegedly, they told her she did not have to go on Tuesday, because her very acknowledgment over the telephone for me was actually a registered vote for me.”

Espy said they would not have known about this game except, “She was smart enough to call our campaign.” Espy’s lawyers have obtained the victim’s sworn affidavit.
Push-polling was infamously successful in elections in years past. For example, in 1996, supporters of Republican Sam Brownback, posing as pollsters, contacted Kansas voters to ask those expressing support for Democrat Jill Docking if they would change their vote if they knew that “Jill Docking is Jewish.”
Docking, who is indeed Jewish, lost. Funds for the “push polls” were traced back to Koch Industries. (See The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Case of the Stolen Election.)
In a related matter, Palast Investigative Fund attorneys, led by Jeanne Mirer of Mirer Mazzocchi & Julien of New York, have notified the State of Mississippi that The Palast Fund will file suit under the National Voter Registration Act unless we receive complete information about mass purges in the state prior to the mid-term elections.
Mississippi is part of the infamously biased Interstate Crosscheck program operated by GOP Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
The journalists of the Palast Fund are committed to uncovering racially poisonous vote suppression tactics.
Vote suppression is not a game. It’s a crime.
And in Georgia
Stacey Abrams, who refused to officially concede defeat in her bid for Governor, will file suit today in federal court in Atlanta charging the entire election process was hopelessly tainted. Abrams, who has formed a non-partisan voter protection organization Fair Fight Georgia, will cite, among other racially biased attacks on the rights of citizens to vote, the wrongful mass purge of voters by Secretary of State Brian Kemp — who was Abrams’ opponent and the presumptive winner.
The Palast Fund will make available to the Court the list of 340,134 Georgia voters our experts have determined were, without question, wrongly purged from the voter rolls. This purge list, obtained by the Palast Fund through a lawsuit against Kemp, includes Christine Jordan, the 92-year-old cousin of Martin Luther King Jr.
Abrams’ co-plaintiff is State Sen. Nikema Williams. Williams was arrested in the State Capitol, then strip-searched, for standing with constituents during a legally permitted protest of the blatantly bent election. [See our exclusive interview with Senator Williams for SalonTV.]

Greg Palast (Rolling Stone, Guardian, BBC) is the author of The New York Times bestsellers, Armed Madhouse, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits and the book and documentary, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
His latest film is Vigilante: Georgia's Vote Suppression Hitman

Palast is currently working on a new documentary Long Knife, exposing the Koch Brothers' theft of Osage oil, to be released in 2024.

Support The Palast Investigative Fund and keep our work alive.
Become a monthly Contributor.

Subscribe to Palast's Newsletter

Support the Palast Fund and keep our work alive!
Send this to a friend