One Person, No Vote

One Person No VoteA new book was released today.  No, I’m not talking about Bob Woodward’s Fear:  Trump in the White House, although I did start reading that last night … actually this morning around 4:00 a.m.  No, the new book I’m talking about is by Carol Anderson, and the title is One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy.

From Amazon …

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of White Rage, the startling–and timely–history of voter suppression in America, with a foreword by Senator Dick Durbin.

In her New York Times bestseller White Rage, Carol Anderson laid bare an insidious history of policies that have systematically impeded black progress in America, from 1865 to our combustible present. With One Person, No Vote, she chronicles a related history: the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Known as the Shelby ruling, this decision effectively allowed districts with a demonstrated history of racial discrimination to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice.

Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby, Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans as the nation gears up for the 2018 midterm elections.

Carol AndersonMs. Anderson is Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University and well-qualified to write on this topic.  One example from her book is astounding, and not in any good way:

Jeff Sessions, for example, when he was Alabama U.S. attorney, referred to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as an “intrusive piece of legislation,” then “rounded up twenty elderly blacks and had Alabama state troopers drive them away from their community into a predominately white area to be fingerprinted, photographed and grilled before a grand jury” to intimidate them out of voting. – From an interview published in Kirkus Reviews

And, as if to prove the point, just yesterday the Editorial Board at The Washington Post published the following:

The GOP finds yet another way to suppress the vote

IT WAS 5 p.m. on a Friday, just as Labor Day weekend was starting, when, without warning, faxes arrived at North Carolina’s state board of elections and 44 county election boards. The faxes contained a demand so outlandish — and so blatantly in violation of state privacy laws — that several officials assumed they were a hoax. A federal subpoena demanded practically every voting document imaginable, going back years. Absentee, provisional and regular ballots. Registration applications. Early-voting applications. Absentee ballot requests. Poll books.

In fact, it was no hoax. The subpoena sought a list of items which, if satisfied, would force state and local officials to produce at least 20 million documents — in less than four weeks. Prosecutors also demanded eight years of records from the state Division of Motor Vehicles, through which voters are allowed to register to vote. No explanation was provided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement or federal prosecutors, who sought the documents. It is a fishing expedition by the Trump administration to support the president’s repeatedly discredited assertions that voting fraud is widespread, especially by noncitizens casting illegal ballots.

The effect of this expedition, led by Robert J. Higdon Jr., the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, is easy to foresee: This is one more in a long line of GOP efforts to suppress the vote. Members of the state board of elections, split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, voted unanimously to fight the subpoena, which would overwhelm local boards’ administrative capacity. It also would intimidate voters who, with good reason, would fear their votes and other sensitive information were being handed over to federal officials.

Faced with an outcry from state and local officials, prosecutors dropped their initial, preposterous demand that the records be handed over by Sept. 25, a deadline that would have played havoc with preparations for the fall elections. They also said state officials could redact voters’ choices on some 2.2 million early and absentee ballots — a clerical task that would consume untold hours of work. (More than 3.3 million regular ballots cannot be traced to the voters who cast them.)

The absurdity of the document demand, and the president’s broader assertion that the U.S. voting system is “rigged” and marred by massive fraudulent voting and the participation of illegal immigrants, was underscored by indictments announced last month, also in the Eastern District of North Carolina. The indictments charged 19 foreign nationals — from Japan, Italy, South Korea, Germany, Poland, Mexico, Haiti, Grenada and several other countries — with voting illegally in the 2016 elections.

Nineteen illegal votes, out of more than 4.5 million ballots cast in North Carolina that year, is minuscule. Far from justifying a demand for millions of documents, it underscores the conclusion by dozens of reputable scholars and other investigators that illegal voting is exceedingly rare. That the administration pursues its crusade to show otherwise is an exercise in unicorn-spotting, but it is also something far more sinister. The real agenda is to discredit American democracy and to scare away Democratic-leaning voters. It represents an abominable misuse of law enforcement powers.

It would seem that the GOP is fairly certain they cannot maintain their majority in Congress in a fair and honest election, so the next best thing is to stifle the voters’ voices.  Trump’s claim of the system being rigged may be prophetic, rather than historical.  The North Carolina subpoena reeks of corruption, but it also appears to signal panic within the GOP.

Anderson’s advice for overcoming the challenges is to “Be engaged. Register and vote. Get the people around you to register and vote. Really engage with the issues. Understand the position of the Secretary of State in your state who sits over election machinery. Donate to the ACLU and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, who are fighting to open up the ballot box, to rid the nation of unequal democracy.”

The election on November 6th is our last best hope to curtail the rampant corruption that defines the Trump administration.  Spread the word …

24 thoughts on “One Person, No Vote

  1. Dear Jill,

    The republicans are getting desperate and so they have to cheat as the demographics are against them. This is so frustrating because they are looking to rob good hard working citizens of their right to vote.

    The template laws to restrict peoples from going to vote, like requiring voter IDs have been on the books for ages. Republican led states started right to enact this kind of legislation the day after the 2013 supreme Court ruling did away with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, they are in panic mode, and no holds barred on what lengths they will go to in order to maintain their majority. As I was telling Keith a bit ago, every win for the democrats in November will have been against great odds, for the republicans are playing a game of dirty pool. Y’know who I most want to see go down? Ted Cruz … I hope Beto wipes the Texas floor with him! He is such an arrogrant pr***.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, being a NC citizen, this hits home and I have shared my concerns. Quite simply, taking advantage of Obama’s first midterm in a census year, the GOP swept into office on the state and proceeded to change the rules to restrict voting and gerrymandering. I have read and heard every reason, but this is orchestrated cheating. The past two years, the focus is stripping powers from the governor.

    Most Americans are unaware of ALEC, but their move to provide cookie cutter legislation to GOP majority legislature is profound. My reference to “organized cheating” is apt and based on many examples. When Sinclair broadcasting’s influence is added to that of Fox’s, their more conservatives viewers don’t get the unvarnished truth – the only pronounced voting fraud is in state legislatures like NC”s. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Quite so, my friend. And North Carolina isn’t alone … even many northern states are guilty of biased re-districting. The Penssylvania Supreme Court made them change theirs, but other states are still heavily biased in favour of the Republican Party. And then there are restrictive voter ID laws, and a few other tricks they’re pulling out of their hats. If the democrats fare well in November, it will have been against great odds. You know one candidate I really hope goes down? Ted Cruz. I would love to see Beto wipe the floors with Cruz. Sigh.

      I only heard of ALEC last year, and as you say, I think the average citizen is unaware. The average citizen is, I believe, also unaware of the bias in Sinclair Broadcasting networks which, as you say, combined with Fox, gives conservatives a narrow view of events. Politics has always been a dirty game, but today it seems so much more like … mud wrestling! With only one side gaining all the points. The minority actually calls all the shots these days. Needs to change!

      Keep safe, Keith!


  3. Sadly the republicans noticed 40 years ago they were losing members in the overall population. Their response was to draw in and narrow their tent of members. The democrats did the opposite. Now the most bigoted wing of the party has emerged as its base in the last decade or two. So as their white members aged and died off, they had to find ways to counter the loss. Republicans are not interested in winning with ideas nor are they interested in winning the majority of the people in the country. To do that they would need to listen to and follow the wants of the people. No they are interested in their own single party rule, so they rigged the elections as best they can. They gerrymander, they restrict voting, the cut voting places where they think mostly dem’s vote, they enact ever restrictive ID laws trying to keep even college kids fro voting. One last thing I noticed here in Florida, the idea of keeping convicted felons from getting their voting rights back is totally on the fear that most of the prison population is black as are most former prisoners and they do not want a bunch of pissed off black people voting as they will vote against the republicans. Hey what gives one party the right to rule the country of the people for the people, disregarding the people entirely. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  4. After recently reading several reviews on the Woodward book “Fear”, I had decided to go with fiction for reading material…I love a good mystery and found one. I’ve been feeling a bit Trumped-out anyway! The reviews of “One Person, No Vote” make it sound a compelling read and it has moved to the top of my list. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I surely understand that “Trumped-out” feeling! Stick to the mystery! Stephen King has a new one coming out sometime soon. Who’s your favourite mystery/suspense author? I started One Person, No Vote tonight (I always have 3-4 going at a time) and got hooked. It is an excellent book, albeit maddening, of course.


  5. Such bully boy tactics in the past by Jeff Sessions was a blatant misuse of the State Troopers whom I hope won’t be used again to intimidate voters at the polls in predominantly black or Latino areas. The State Troopers must resist being used in such a way if they don’t want to be tainted by rumours of being corrupt. The GOP must win by fair means or not at all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with you, but unfortunately the State Troopers are like anybody else … there to do the job they’re told to do, and if they refused, they would only lose their jobs. Plus … this was in Alabama … home to a majority who are still fighting the Civil War and believe that blacks are somehow substandard. Sigh. If the GOP has large-scale wins in November, it will be because they cheated in one or more ways, for I don’t think on the whole they are very popular at the moment. But… they have their bag o’ tricks and should not be trusted any further than you can throw a feather. Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

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