Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jay Ashcroft Enables Voter Suppression Commission

by Pa Rock
Missouri Voter

Today marks the first time that Trump's "Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity" will meet, and while the idea of promoting election integrity sounds laudable, particularly after what appears to be an atrocious amount of interference by the Russian government in our last national election, many suspect that the commission's true aims are likely as sinister as those of the Russians.

Mr. Trump's "non-partisan" commission is actually quite partisan and is being headed by Vice President Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, both Republicans - and both with histories of actively seeking to suppress the votes of minorities in their home states.  The make-up of the commission, in fact, would strongly indicate that it will be far more concerned with suppressing votes than it will with the concept of election integrity

Kris Kobach joined the Trump transition team last fall with an eye toward pushing voter suppression efforts nationwide.  Trump's popular vote loss by nearly three million votes set the whiner-in-chief to wailing that he must have been cheated, an idea that folded nicely into Kobach's nefarious schemes to relieve minorities of their constitutional right to vote.  Hence, the creation of a problem which never actually existed, and the establishment of a commission to resolve it.

One of the first acts of this commission, an act that occurred before the commission ever actually met, was to issue a call to all fifty states for a list of voters along with a wealth of information on each.  A few states complied in full, some complied in part, and several refused to play along with this thinly veiled assault on democracy.  Mississippi's secretary of state, in fact, suggested that the committee could take a flying jump into the Gulf of Mexico, and suggested that his state would be a fine place from which to launch that leap.

Three states, however, saw fit to not only comply with the sweeping request, but to also commend the feds on their blatant overreach.  Colorado, Tennessee, and (sadly) Missouri thought the national gambit to control who votes was an endeavor worthy of effusive praise.

I sent a letter to Missouri's secretary of state, Jay Ashcroft, on July 1st, stating my displeasure with the effort of Pence, Kobach and company to suppress voter turnout on a national level.  Ashcroft had recently been on a state tour promoting Missouri's new voter i.d. law that had been passed by the Republican legislature and signed into law by our new Republican governor - another tool in the state's war on minority voting.  My letter, eight paragraphs, was thoughtful and carefully crafted to explain my arguments against the state surrendering volumes of voter information to a national committee whose true aims were, at best, unclear.

A response arrived two weeks later.

I'm not sure what I expected Jay Ashcroft to say in regarding my request, but I did expect him to at least read my letter and respond to the points I made.  Instead, I received a form letter saying that he was complying with state law - so there!  The "Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity" is to be commended, and a concerned voter from West Plains is to be mollified by a form letter stuffed into an envelope by an intern working for a lazy state politician.

Hey Jay - and Kris - and Mike:   Roll up your sleeves and begin working for the good of the nation and all of her people - not just the white ones with money and privilege.  Earn the respect and trust of Americans and you will have their votes - without having to rig elections.   Instead of fantasizing about election integrity, show some personal integrity and work to open the voting franchise to everyone.

Let people vote!  It's a concept called democracy and it is what America is all about!

(A copy of my original letter to Secretary Ashcroft appears in the July 1st posting of his blog.)

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