Trump & Co are stealing the election right now, but we can steal it back. We can fix it, because we’ve got to. We can beat the ballot bandits. Watch this video of my conversation with constitutional expert and broadcaster Thom Hartmann — then pre-order my new book, How Trump Stole 2020, to find out how!
See the full broadcast feat. Josh Fox, Lee Camp, Nomi Prins, David Cay Johnston, Barbara Arnwine & more here.
Thom Hartmann: Thom Hartmann here with the Thom Hartmann Program. We’re on Facebook live with Greg Palast, investigative reporter from The Guardian, BBC News, and Rolling Stone. His new book is out. It’s available for preorder today. It’s called How Trump Stole 2020 — provocative. We’ll be on until four o’clock Pacific, seven o’clock Eastern time today, and we’ll be taking your questions. We’ll be joined by Josh Fox, David Cay Johnston, Nomi Prins, Barbara Arnwine and others. And please don’t forget to like us. And with us now, Greg Palast.
Greg Palast: Hey, glad to be with you, Thom.
Hartmann: It is great having you with us. I love your new book. I have a prerelease copy of it here. You’re such a brilliant storyteller. In one part of the book, you go back to the 1800s in Pennsylvania, where the idea of registering people to vote started. Do they register people in Europe? I know your wife is…
Palast: Swiss and British. No, the Swiss don’t register people. They register guns, not people. Confusing, huh? To an American. Because they don’t assume that gazillions of illegal voters are trying to vote in their elections. And, by the way, percentage wise, they have a much bigger immigrant population, yet they don’t feel that they’re swarmed with illegal voters or illegal immigrants, aliens from outer space or Italy, voting in their election.
We’ve got so used to some of these games that they play. Like, one day they might say, oh yeah, the chip in your brain, of course, everyone has to have that chip to vote. So we started with ID, we have all these other things happening in America that have been part of a long history of what we call vote suppression.
But Thom, I got to tell you, I never used the term vote suppression, because when someone steals your car, you don’t say, my car has been suppressed. My car has been suppressed. It’s been stolen. And by the way, I know you said that the title was provocative, How Trump Stole 2020, because the steel is on now.
A lot of the action has happened, but I kind of think of the subtitle of the book as: “Your final warning.” They can’t steal all the votes all the time. So please, make my nightmare not come true. It’s not question, by the way, whether I’m for or against Donald Trump. Vote how you want, but someone should be elected, not selected by trickery, which is, by the way, as I go into the book, I talk a lot about how Trump stole 2016 and they’re at it again.
Hartmann: And, the technology… we know about Russian bots and troll farms and propaganda, and how Mark Zuckerberg opened up Facebook to the Trump campaign and allowed them to lie their way. and still is actually. Zuckerberg has over 1400 specific, individualized, niche-specific Trump ads that all contain naked lies. Zuckerberg has said, Oh, we can leave that on the Facebook platform. No problem.
Palast: You can’t be naked, but you can tell a naked lie. So, yeah, explain that to me. So the book goes into detail… It’s a short book. It’s meant to be so that you have enough time to fix it once you’re done with it. And thank you for the kind words. Again, the book is How Trump Stole 2020, which is available to pre-order now.
Palast: I do have a chapter in which I cribbed from you, though I do cite you, called “Second, as Farce” as in Carl Marx’s phrase; History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. And you know, the first time I do go a bit back into the 2000 race when, with The Guardian and BBC Television, I uncovered that Katherine Harris, you may remember her, the Secretary of State, Cruella de Vil of a Florida, targeted 94,000 voters as felons and their only crime was voting while black. And I’m not kidding that was black because it says “BLA” right next to their names. I got that list.
That story was not reported, except by you and others in the U S press. But we did have exactly zero illegal voters in Florida on that list, but that elected George Bush. Now that was the tragedy. Now we have the farce, with Agent Orange as President. And I’m very worried about what’s coming out here.
The book, by the way, is quite fresh. I literally just finished writing it, even though it’s just available today. It was finished about four days ago. It has that a special chapter, “The Virus Votes for Trump.” That’s one of the issues I want to talk with you about today, if we can.
Look, as I say in the book, we either vote by mail or we die. In fact, Dr. Fauci has said he doesn’t think it’s going to be safe by November to walk into a polling station. So we’re going to have to mail in votes or come up with other systems. I’m very, very concerned about how that’s happening. And so I have that special chapter in the book. I just had a that excerpted, or a piece of it, in Nation of Change this week.
I’m very concerned, for example, Thom, that according to MIT studies, 22% of all mail in ballots never get counted. Let me repeat that: 22%. Now, if we’re talking about 80% mail in voting, that’s a little over a hundred million mail in votes, that would be 25 million votes, not counted.
Most of it, by the way, Thom, is for all kinds of reasons, like postage due. In Wisconsin, in Minnesota, you have to have a second signature, a witness. The Wisconsin state Supreme Court and the U. S. Supreme Court overturned an order by the governor saying, you didn’t need that witness signature cause you could literally kill yourself or your witness.
They had that in the primary. And so people who didn’t put in the witness signature got their ballots thrown out. So eight states have a witness signature requirement. People don’t know that. Almost a quarter million ballots were thrown out because he didn’t have that second signature. And in three States, you have to have your ballot notarized. Good luck in the lockdown. And that’s just the beginning of the problems.
Hartmann: Right? And yet, two points. Number one, South Korea just held their elections. President Moon, who has been away out of the curve on this, no pun intended, he’s flatten the curve with national testing, now they’re doing serological testing, looking for people who are post-COVID, who might be great to reenter the workforce, things like that. He was overwhelmingly reelected, but they did it with polling places and they had this very rigorous procedure.
They had to stand six feet apart from people coming in. When you came in, you had to do a hand sanitizer thing. Then you were given rubber gloves to put on. And you had to be wearing a mask, and then you went and you voted. And after, on your way out, you had to take off the rubber gloves and throw them in the trash and you got another hand sanitizer thing and a brand new mask. They just had this whole thing down. It was like a well oiled machine. And South Koreans showed up and they voted. Now, we’ll know in a few weeks if that produced a big spread of virus. It’s going to be an international experiment that a lot of people are looking at. But there’s that. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.
Then secondly, I vote in Oregon. We’ve had vote by mail for a decade and outside of people who forget to put postage on their envelopes, I don’t think that there’s pretty much any loss of ballots here. Or are there? Are there people being denied their ballots because the signature doesn’t match? I mean, that’s the only other thing I can think of.
Palast: Well, a couple things… Here’s the bad news. Three states have had experience with all mail in voting, unless you specifically have a problem that requires you to come in. Oregon, Colorado, Washington. Oregon’s had the best experience and the longest. But I gotta tell you, in Washington and Colorado, the minority vote in those states has fallen off a cliff… Black and white voters turned out about the same when you had in precinct voting in Colorado. Now, black voting by mail in is about 50% of white voting in Colorado. We’ve also had a disaster in Washington state with minority voting.
Hartmann: Why is that?
Palast: And we’ve talked with Barbara Arnwine, who’s deeply concerned because it’s not a community which has experience with the mail in balloting. You make a mis-mark on the ballot… My parents, who are actually white voters, lost their ballot because they put check marks instead of filling in the little bubble next to a name on their absentee ballot.
So you have to learn how to do it. We have to work on it. And Oregon, your Secretary of State said, I hope to God no other state adopts our system, because Oregon was the first. Because in Oregon, you actually try to help voters vote. And when a voter’s signature is in question, they try to contact the voter and say, can you correct this? Or you forgot your signature. Postage due, I believe in Oregon, you actually pay for the postage. This is crucial. It’s not a minor thing. In Ohio, you had to put on your own postage and they had little square where you put the little stamp. But if you didn’t put two stamps, you lost your vote.
And they know who’s losing their vote. For example, if you mis-mark your ballot on absentee ballots according to another MIT/CalTech study, if you are African American, you’re five times more likely to have your ballot challenged and rejected, if you’re a black voter due to a mis-mark on the ballot, an under-vote or over-vote, you put an extra mark on it. And then there’s the problem of the wrong envelopes, et cetera.
In Oregon, the voter intent rules, but you still have 6% of your votes actually don’t get counted. That’s better than the 22% nationwide on absentee ballots. But it’s a dangerous thing. And if it were, if you were random Republicans or Democrats, it wouldn’t matter, but it isn’t. There’s a real racial problem. And in states where they don’t want you to vote, Thom, dig this… Ohio refused to send out 1,039,000 absentee ballot requests cards to voters who are in their so-called inactive list. That inactive list, which is massively inaccurate, is two to one Democrats. The Republican Secretary of State would not mail out cards to even get an absentee ballot if you are on that list. Again, two to one Democrats.
So you’ve got a big problem. But we can fix these things, because we’ve got to fix these things. Just so you know, we have so much mail in a balloting now already, about 30% of the public does it anyway, even before the virus. We got to fix this thing. And one of the biggest things. Thom, if you don’t get a ballot… If it’s not mailed to you, you can’t get it back. That’s the big problem. Ohio wouldn’t send out a million of these ballots. Georgia, where Brian Kemp elected himself Governor, cause he was Secretary of State and manipulated the voter rolls to beat Stacey Abrams. Well, they’re doing the same trick… Kemp has announced he’s not going to send out almost a million ballots to voters that he says are inactive or he says have moved away, et cetera. Just so you know, inactive means you missed a couple of elections, supposedly. The National Voter Registration Act says in big, literally bold letters, you cannot lose your vote because you chose not to vote or couldn’t vote.
Hartmann: The Supreme Court has overruled that though.
Palast: Yeah… well… for example, in my book, I have this whole investigation which I did… and I’m now working with Stacey Abrams, where I looked at the people who were removed for not voting. And understand what the Republicans are doing in Ohio and doing in Georgia and now it’s moving like, I hate to say it, like a virus into about 20 other states. They’re saying, if you don’t vote that’s evidence you’ve moved away. You’ve left. If someone’s left Georgia or Ohio, yeah, they shouldn’t vote in Georgia or Ohio. But I had experts, the people that really know this stuff, and guess who knows where you are at any minute? Of course, Amazon. I used Amazon’s experts, who used 240 databases to know exactly where you are last Tuesday, where you were. They can tell you with they say 96% certainty, because in that week of delay some people actually do move and die. They said that the Georgia list and the Ohio list, and we just looked at the Wisconsin with list in the book, it’s 71% wrong.
You know what they just did? They said that in Wisconsin, again, when they’re trying to bend this last election, they’re trying to bend 2016. They are trying to remove a quarter million people. The new governor and the new Elections Board chief who are Democrats have asked me and my team to go through their voter list. And the quarter million people that the Republican legislature is insisting be removed from the voter rolls, again, there’s 170,008 voters — I can tell you exactly — who they said have moved and they haven’t. Including, for example, they said that a woman called Sequanna Taylor had moved out of Milwaukee. I don’t think so, because Sequanna Taylor, when I spoke to her, said she is still in Milwaukee and she is still the Milwaukee County Supervisor.
But she is a black woman. So if you’re wondering why she is on the list, I got to tell you the list smells of Jim Crow in Wisconsin. I want to remind you, as you’ll get in the book, How Trump Stole 2020, cause they’re stealing it now. We can steal it back, if we’re aware of these things to stop it.
I’m very, very concerned. Donald Trump supposedly won Wisconsin by 22,000 votes. In the book. I also discuss what happened with ID, and it’s going to happen again as in 2016. There are 182,000 University Wisconsin students who are required to show state photo ID in order to vote. All of them have state photo ID from the University of Wisconsin as University of Wisconsin students. Those IDs cannot be used to vote. That law was put into effect two weeks before the ’16 election. It’s still on the books. That’s how Donald Trump was supposedly elected by winning Wisconsin by 22,000 votes, excluding almost 200,000 University of Wisconsin students. Now, it’s true, they can go get a new ID if they go to the Dean of Students office, which of course is shuttered.
Hartmann: Or to the DMV, which may or may not be open, and may or may not be filled with people who are coughing. So Greg, from the 6% loss in the mail in states, principally in minority communities, to all these various laws in other states, you’ve got to have a witness sign it, or you’ve got to have a notary, or you’ve got to have a letter from your doctor in order to even qualify to get a mail in ballot… Ron Wyden and Earl Blumenauer have prepared, Wyden in the Senate, Blumenauer in the house, they’re both from Oregon here, have proposed a substantial piece of legislation to produce a nationwide standard for vote by mail and to fund it so that the states don’t have an unnecessary burden in terms of getting things printed and establishing functionally a new bureaucracy to do this. What are the lessons that we can learn from that? What other changes in law that need to be made? And can they be made, fell swoop at the federal level? Will the Supremacy Clause allow them to override state laws? Or are in some cases, these prohibitions or restrictions built into state constitutions, in which case you’ve got a whole ‘nother level of difficulty.
Palast: Oh, boy… You’re talking about The Supremes, are they going to save us? Well, as a one suspended candidate for president says, we need a revolution. It’s political action that’s going to push this. And we saw this in a way in Wisconsin last Tuesday. When a vast majority of people voted to throw out the right wing, Wisconsin justice, who had ordered this horrendous election. He was literally on the ballot and knew that if he could hold an election during the virus, he would cut the vote in Milwaukee, which he did. And so he thought, by eliminating black voters in Milwaukee, that he would win. But so many people were disgusted, including Republicans, that he was thrown out on his Keester. Now, literally, how many people will die from lining up for that vote? I don’t know. But you know, people are not crazy about vote theft.
Kris Kobach lost the governor’s race in Kansas… If I forget it, just think KKK. Kris Kobach of Kansas, who was the Vote Thief in Chief for Donald Trump, and that’s also in How Trump Stole 2020. He’s the guy who came up the Crosscheck list. Well, my film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy was shown by the League of Women Voters 60 times during the election period in Kansas. And Republicans voted against Kris Kobach. And you have a Democratic governor of Kansas to a great extent because, believe it or not, there’s a lot of Americans, including of the Republican persuasion, that kind of believe in democracy, that you should be allowed to vote. They didn’t like the idea that you were removing voters based on having names like Rodriguez and Garcia, et cetera.
I think we can have an uprising in America to say, let’s do this right. And a lot of white people and Republicans don’t want to have to get a Notary Public and take the chance of killing themselves or the guy with the stamp, just to be able to vote.
Hartmann: Greg, your book, How Trump’s Stole 2020, this is a very ominous title. There are some right now who are predicting that there’s going to be an absolute blue landslide that that will resemble 1932, that just wiped out the Republican party literally for three generations. The Republicans didn’t functionally get the house back until Bill Clinton, until the mid-nineties when Newt Gingrich came in. And there are others who are saying, yeah, there may be enough people who are motivated to vote and want to vote and are furious and all that kind of thing to make that happen, but the Republican control of the voter suppression or vote theft machine is so complete, at least in the red States and in the few swing states that are controlled by Republican governors or Republican Secretaries of State, or even just Republican legislatures, like Kentucky, where you’ve got a Democratic governor, that it won’t matter. The fix is in. Like a tic, how screwed in are these Republicans in their vote theft?
Palast: Well, I can give you some exact numbers. The one thing I’ve done in the book… I used to be a statistician in another life before I got the investigative reporter hat. It’s about 7.9 million votes that are lost in our elections through blocking legitimate voters from voting, through throwing away your ballot cause it didn’t have that second stamp or second signature on the mail-in ballot, through long lines. That’s a smaller one, but that’s about a quarter million people, who just can’t vote because the lines are too long.
The tricks are huge. It’s huge. But then, you did have Obama win in ’08 and ’12. And my coauthor at Rolling Stone, Bobby Kennedy, he can do something. I can’t. He could call up Obama on his Blackberry, which he’s not supposed to have, but he does anyway. He knew all the tricks, but he said, listen, what we do is overwhelm them. You overwhelm the steel, because they can’t steal all the votes all the time. And I got to tell you, in the book, I have the story about Ohio. And not how Obama lost, cause he won Ohio in ’08 and ’12, though Clinton supposedly lost Ohio in ’16. Believe me, she didn’t, if you counted all the votes and let everyone vote, who was allowed to.
But for example, in Ohio… to be fair, the Republican Secretary of State says every county gets one early voting station. One. So that’s fair he says. So that means they literally have a county of 14,000 people, including cows, they get one voting station, and Cleveland with a million people gets one voting station.
I was there in ’12 and ’08, and in ’08, the line for the one polling station, Dayton, Ohio, which is Montgomery County, it was five hours. In Cleveland, it was a seven hour wait on the early voting Souls to the Polls day, the Sunday before the polling. And by the way, that’s when they took absentee ballots for a test drive.
I tell the story about how when you went in for early voting, and in most States, when you go in for early voting, just vote on a machine or you vote on whatever mechanism they have, and that’s your vote. You’re voting, but you’re voting early. In the case of Ohio and a couple of other states, picked this up, when you went into vote, you actually put in a request for an absentee ballot right there at the polling station, waited in line another hour to exchange your request for an absentee ballot for an absentee ballot and fill it out. Now, you have to fill out the request correctly and you have to fill out the ballot correctly and the envelope correctly. So what was this all about? I asked the County Clerk in charge. I said, these people are here. Why are they voting absentee? He said, because they can challenge the ballot after the fact.
The great attorney Bob Fitrakis. I said, they’re giving out absentee ballots, Bob, not real ballots. He said, “Even these guys wouldn’t pull a dump trick like that. That’s bullshit.” So I drove through the night, it was after midnight when I got to the home of the lawyer Bob Fitrakis, Professor Fitrakis, and I said, here is the absentee ballot and the absentee ballot requests. This is what they’re handing out. He says, look, this is why, they can knock these things out. For example, it has a line in there for your driver’s license number. Now, who doesn’t have driver’s license? Low income people who don’t have cars.
If you don’t fill in your drivers license number and you leave it blank, you lose your vote. You have to put in “no driver’s license.” It doesn’t say, okay, but if you don’t, boom, you’re gone. This is why… I don’t know if you remember that incident where Karl Rove was losing his shit on Fox TV when Fox called Ohio and the election in November of 2012 for Obama. Rove said, I just got off the phone with the Secretary of State and it’s not over cause they have to go over the early vote ballots. So they thought that they could steal it by voiding about 200,000 of those votes. 70% of African Americans vote early in Ohio. So this was the trick. But for Fitrakis, cause I tipped him off, actually went into federal court and busted it before they could pull the trick. But that’s why Karl Rove was saying, this election ain’t over. Because they literally thought that after the fact they could disqualify those Ohio ballots. Boom. So that’s some of the tricks.
That’s why I say How Trump Stole 2020, ‘cause we have to steal it back. We have to protect our vote, we have to overwhelm them. And it’s not a question of whether you’re for or against Trump. It’s a question of whether you’re for or against democracy. So in other words, no matter how big the steal is. I actually have some pretty clear numbers and break it down, how it works out. It was about 7.9 million votes out of 140 million cast. But that’s a big thumb on the scale because the steal is concentrated in Ohio, in Michigan, in Wisconsin, in Florida, in Georgia, in North Carolina, and Virginia may have some problems too.
They may have democratic governors in some cases. But they don’t have the legislatures or the laws or the courts, and they certainly don’t have the Supreme Court. So we got a problem, but we can do something about it. So think of the book as your ballot condom. It’s going to protect your vote.
Hartmann: Is it possible that a single piece of federal legislation could fix this?
Palast: Yeah. Again, if it’s not challenged in the courts. I mean, we just had a problem, for example, in New Mexico this week, where the Secretary of State took up one of my recommendations that I’ve been making to the Secretary of States, mail everyone a ballot. Just mail everyone a ballot. Colorado does something like that. Just mail it. And if you don’t want to mail it, and you want to walk in or early vote or have another way presented fine, throw away the ballot. People don’t vote twice. You go to jail for five years. It does not happen. I don’t care what a psychopathic narcissist says, I won’t mention his name, about vote fraud and mail in ballots. it doesn’t happen, okay. And so mail everyone about, that’s what New Mexico tried to do. A right wing group called True the Vote went to court and the conservative courts, the federal judge there throughout the proposal to send every voter a ballot. They still have to go through the whole process of requesting the ballot.
Now understand, Thom, to request that ballot, you got to get the card that says, do you want an absentee ballot? Well, who moves? Students, young people, renters. You don’t get the card. This is, again, the MIT study says the biggest single problem is that people literally don’t get that ballot.
So we need to just say everyone gets the ballot and you have places where you can pick up ballots. People don’t fill out 16 ballots. In fact, just to give you an idea, the number of people convicted of voter impersonation in America in the past 12 years is six. That means you’re about 15 times more likely to get hit and killed by lightning than you are to fill out a second or impersonate someone to fill out their absentee ballot.
Hartmann: Right, right. So don’t leave people in despair.
Palast: No. We can fix it. We can fix it.
Hartmann: What can we individually do? What can I do? What can you do? What can somebody watching this right now do to fix this system so that it’s not constantly rigged to elect sycophants to the billionaire class on the Republican side.
Palast: Well, my publisher would say, get How Trump Stole 2020, which does have a guide in it. But number one, protect your own vote. And that means check your registration. I don’t care if you’ve been voting at the same damn voting station for 30 years. I have, in the book, the photo of Christine Jordan, who I met at the polling station in Atlanta. She was going to vote for her 50th year of voting. She’s 92 years old, Martin Luther King’s cousin. And they said, you’re off the voter rolls. Get outta here. She lost her vote. She didn’t check her registration beforehand. They’ve removed 17 million people in the last two years. 17 million people have been purged from the voter rolls. Check your registration.
I did in California and found out it said no such voter. I reregistered online. Do it. So you’re not going to get your ballot if you’re not registered, if you’ve been purged, if they’ve decided you moved, or if your name is Garcia and there’s another guy named Garcia, believe it or not, in another city who’s registered to vote. They say, Oh, you’re voting in two places. Check your registration is number one. Number two, if you don’t get your absentee ballot in time… you’re going to have to send a note or call up your county clerk and get your ballot. Again, it may be that your registration’s faulty.
Second, if you do need that second signature, it’s awful. Make sure that you read that ballot and the instructions so carefully. You know, Souls to the Polls in one church is going to be replaced by Souls to the Post, but it’s going to have to be done virtually where we do training. Maybe you and I, Thom, will make a little video. Here’s how you fill out your absentee ballot. Don’t leave driver’s license blank, just cause you have no driver’s license. “No driver’s license.” You have to know the rules for each state. We can do this. We can beat the ballot bandits. We can beat the ballot bandits.
And, yes, we should pass a national law. My God, the Wyden bill, it’s so obvious. It does such simple things as to say that, as in Oregon, it’s postage prepaid ballot. You don’t have to figure out the number of stamps you need on this thing. Also, make sure that you know what your signature is. I also believe that we should stop this stuff of challenging signatures — unless we know that an absentee ballot has been stolen. We don’t have this crime. Like I say, it comes out to one half person a year, steals someone’s ballot and mails it in. That’s it.
Hartmann: I know in the UK, maybe 10 years ago or so, there was a big scandal where there was somebody going around in a relatively poor neighborhood in London, buying ballots for 10 or 15 pounds in each, filling them out and mailing them in. Do they not require a signature there? Also, they came down on that person really, really hard. It was a huge scandal.
Palast: Yeah, they were sent to the Tower of London.
Hartmann: Yeah. People went to prison, to the best of my knowledge. It’s the exception that proves the rule. Just like the theft in North Carolina. I had, I think it was a Grover Norquist… I had one of these right-wingers on my show a couple of weeks ago. And he was talking about how, you know, they tried to steal an election in North Carolina. They’re going around buying… I’m like, well, that was a Republican doing that. And he’s like, yeah, it can be done, you know? But I really think these are the exceptions that prove the rule. Are there any lessons that we can learn from foreign countries… you know, advanced democracies, fully developed democracies that we would admire, we would want to emulate.
Palast: Well as I say, my wife, she gets to vote in both Swiss elections and in British elections. And they trust the voters not to cheat. But if you cheat, you’re in the Tower of London.
Thing is it’s pretty easy to find someone. I talked to Kris Kobach of Kansas, Mr. K K K. And he said, it’s really easy to find vote thieves. Now understand, when he was Secretary of State, he literally had the power to go and arrest people. So I said, it’s real easy to find vote thieves, and you said there are 5 million illegal aliens voting. Have you arrested five? No. No, he arrested one. In his entire career of hunting for vote thieves, alien voters, he found one who was an American citizen who registered just before his citizenship ceremony. That was his big crime. And now the state of North Carolina hired a guy named Stuber, Agent Stuber of the FBI. I have his picture in my book, How Trump Stole 2020. He had a staff, he was an FBI agent, he had Kris Kobach’s list of illegal voters, and he spent a year and millions of state money hunting illegal voters and got exactly zero voters in North Carolina who were illegal voters. Zero.
So other nations trust people who come into vote and in Britain, by the way, it’s all on paper. Same with Switzerland. The Swiss ballot maker asked me to say, we’ll give America the design for a ballot so they won’t screw up. And I said, you don’t get it, they don’t want ballots that can be counted. They want ballots that can’t be counted.
And, by the way, I know you’ve been praising my book, but I got to tell you, as I say in one of my chapters, I steal greatly from your book. Thom Hartmann has written an insanely important book. It goes with mine. They’re a great pair, because I’m talking about what’s going to happen in 2020, Thom has written The Hidden History of the War on Voting. In fact, Thom, I don’t know if you remember these stories, but it goes back to George Washington and Thom Paine and Thomas Jefferson in their first battles to open up the vote to Catholics and to Jew, so they could vote themselves cause they were deist, which is borderline atheist in those times. They believed that the Lord, the creator, created the world and endowed all humans with certain inalienable rights. But then he kind of left, and left it up to us to screw it up or do good. And those people, people like Thomas Jefferson couldn’t actually vote because they would have to swear an oath in Virginia to the Lord Jesus, that left out Catholics, Jews and the Deists, which were most of our founding fathers. So your book lets people understand this was not just invented by Tricky Dick and Carl Rove. This is a long history and a long fight. And what’s the most important lesson from your book, The Hidden History of the War on Voting?
Hartmann: Well, I think it’s the quote that’s usually attributed to Joseph Stalin, which is that it doesn’t matter who votes, what matters is who counts the votes. The codicil, the thing that I would add to that now is it matters who’s allowed to vote, which is essentially who’s allowed to keep their registration contemporary, current, and use the vote. So those are the two pieces, whether you can vote in the first place and all the barriers that are put into place. And then secondly, who’s counting the vote and how, and under what circumstances, And what little tricks and rules are they using to try to avoid outing your vote. And you’ve done such a great job of educating us all on that Greg.
Palast: Well, in How Trump Stole 2020, what I try to bring out as we’ve now become aware of trickery, like using voter ID. As I said, in Texas, Wisconsin, and other states, you can’t use your student photo ID, but you can use your gun registration or your concealed carry license to vote. We know about that. But I really want to emphasize, and the book emphasizes, the new purge mania. 17 million people. And by the way, Greg Palast didn’t pull this out of his hat, the 17 million. These numbers, and the 7.9 million votes not counted, come from a group called the Elections Assistance Commission. It’s a federal agency, which of course, Donald Trump’s doing his best to defund because he doesn’t want you to know how he was selected, not elected.
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“Palast is a real American hero trying to save our democracy. Read his work. It might just save us. And he’s f!@#$ing hilarious!” — Josh Fox