Anyone following my and Greg Palastâ€™s work will likely already know the answer. For the last four years weâ€™ve been on the trail of Kris Kobach and his voter purge lists â€” so after dozens of FOIAâ€™s, thousands of miles of on the road and more airline miles than Trump has racked up going to Mar a Lago â€” we finally decided that we need to sue the bastard. Even Jesse Jackson has joined us. Will You? Now that Kobach has grabbed the Republican nomination for Governor in Kansas, itâ€™s more important than ever.
The voter purge program has a safe corporate sounding name â€” itâ€™s called Interstate Crosscheck. Crosscheck is a voter registration list cleansing scheme that centers in Kobachâ€™s Secretary of State office in Kansas. Kobach claims that it matches double voters, while what is really does is match people with similar names that are on different statesâ€™ registration lists. Not surprisingly, the Trump-endorsed plan actually targets black, brown and voters of Asian heritage â€” also known as likely Democratic voters.
While white people have similar sounding names itâ€™s nothing in compared to people of color. Just look at this chart:
Palast worked with Mark Swedlund for Al Jazeera, a database and statistics expert who looked over the info we had on Crosscheck in 2014. â€œIt appears that Crosscheck does have an inherent bias to over-selecting for potential scrutiny and purging voters from Asian, Hispanic and Black ethnic groups. In fact, the matching methodology, which presumes people in other states with the same name are matches, will always over-select from groups of people with common surnames.â€ Swedlund sums up the method for finding two-state voters â€” simply matching first and last name â€” as â€œludicrous, just crazy.â€
Much of Trumpâ€™s rhetoric about the â€œriggedâ€ election back in 2016 was based on Kris Kobachâ€™s appearances on Fox News and his mentions in articles at Breitbart. As Palast told me:
Trump signaled the use of â€œCrosscheckâ€ when he claimed the election is â€œriggedâ€ because â€œpeople are voting many, many times.â€ His operative, Kobach, who also advised Trump on building a wall on the southern border, devised a list of 7.2 million â€œpotentialâ€ double voters â€” 1.1 million of which were removed from the voter rolls by Tuesday. The list is loaded overwhelmingly with voters of color and the poor.
In The Best Democracy Money Can Buy â€” (which is on Amazon Prime right now) we talk to now Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams, about Kobachâ€™s purge lists: â€œI believe that Kris Kobach has demonstrated a very aggressive animus towards people of color in his immigration stance and in his work on voter registration.â€
She says it nicer than we would.
Ultimately, weâ€™ll be suing 26 Secretaries of State, almost all of them GOP voting officials, to get the names of those theyâ€™ve purged â€” and why. That opens the door to litigation and legislation to put this new Jim Crow operation out of the business.
Sign up for continuing reports on the suits â€” and what we find. NationofChange will be on the trail with Greg Palast.
Weâ€™ll be traveling from Wichita to the next vote heist capital â€” Atlanta, Georgia, where Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp will also be served with a federal lawsuit to turn over to us the names of the 511,000 voters he purged from Georgiaâ€™s rolls. Kemp is running for Governor against Rep. Stacey Abrams, the first Black female candidate for Governor ever. Apparently, Kemp worries that, if all voters get to vote, he loses.
More info on the lawsuit.
Zach is co-produced Greg Palast’s full length documentary, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. He is currently working on a book about the #resistance of 2017.