Ep. 19: The Screw-the-Vote Folks
On Monday night’s Chris Hayes show, Marc Elias – the election lawyer and founder of Democracy Docket – mentioned that throughout the nation ReTHUGliQans are deliberately flooding local election offices with requests that divert local resources from focusing on processing voter registrations, setting up voting locations, and carrying out the multitude of tasks for a free and fair election, hallmarks of our democracy.
Let’s talk about what’s unfolding in Georgia.
Those Confederate MAGA ReTHUGliQans are challenging the right of thousands and thousands and thousands of U.S. citizens to cast their ballots. It’s another Jim Crow, and it’s on steroids.
An easy way to explain what they do is to liken it to the child’s game of “I Spy.”
The MAGA ReTHUGliQan version of this is “I spy people who will vote for candidates who will carry out the unfolding of the Promise of America with liberty and justice for all rather than for knuckle-dragging, cave-dwelling, Confederate MAGA ReTHUGliQans. Waaaaaaahhhhh!”
But unfortunately, this isn’t a game.
Remember Michael Flynn – the disgraced retired general who betrayed our nation? Well, he and Patrick Byrne – the founder of Overstock.com – they are financing a group that right now is challenging the legal and sacred right to vote of 37,500 U.S. citizens in Gwinnett County. Gwinnett County is an Atlanta suburb that is home to an increasingly diverse population – U.S. citizens who are Asian or Hispanic.
The county went Democratic in 2016 and in the 2020 elections, voted for President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as well as both Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate – Jon Ossoff and Rafael Warnock.
A film from Academy Award winning producer Maria Florio and Executive Producer Martin Sheen.
From the Greg Palast YouTube Account:
In his upcoming film, Vigilante: Georgia’s Vote Suppression Hitman [out Fall 2022], Greg Palast and his investigations team bust the most brazen, racist attack on voting rights yet — engineered by Georgia’s Brian Kemp to ensure victory in his rematch with Stacey Abrams. You’ll meet Kemp’s army of vigilante vote challengers — one who dresses up like Old-West vigilante Doc Holliday and is fully armed.
Back in May of this year, a single individual challenged the sacred, legal right to vote of 13,000 citizens living in Forsyth County – also a suburb of Atlanta.
During the 2020 U.S. Senate runoff in which we – I say “we” because for years I lived in the state working as the communications director of the ACLU of Georgia – we elected Rev. Rafael Warnock as our U.S. Senator on January 5th, 2021.
But several weeks prior in December 2020, an organization named True the Vote – which I think “Screw the Vote” accurately reflects their mission – the Screw the Vote folks challenged the sacred and legal right to cast ballots in the U.S. Senate race for – are you ready for this? Nearly 365,000 citizens.
Sean J. Young, legal director of the ACLU of Georgia and one of our nation’s top voter rights attorneys, immediately went into action. He sent letters to the state’s elections officials “to demand they reject the groundless, baseless assertions.”
The Screw the Vote folks lost their round in December of 2020. But they and others like them are back. The Screw the Vote folks of all stripes assert that they are using the U.S. Postal Service change of address information to stop citizens from voting. Really?! Hmmm.
Honey, that is nothing more than a bunch of recyclable garbage! The U.S. Postal Service website clearly states “The NCOALink data” – NCOA meaning National Change of Address. “The NCOALink data is provided on a regular basis to companies that have been licensed by the Postal Service.”
Those license fees easily climb into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are very few who possess those licenses here in the United States.
Are the Screw the Vote people licensed? Hell no!
The U.S. Postal Service says it provides the information for a fee “to licensees who facilitate relationships with business mailers.”
You know, companies like American Express, Amazon, Ebay. They employ these licensees so that when they send out packages, the packages will arrive at the correct address.
It’s expensive when you have customers saying, “I ordered this. It went to the wrong address. I put in the correct address.” Yaddee, yaddee, yaddee. So, they use the licensee to be able to ensure that the addresses are accurate.
Now, in terms of the contract between the business and the U.S. Postal Service, directly above the applicant’s signature on their form is this sentence. “I also understand that the sole purpose of the NCOALink service is to provide a mailing list correction service for lists that will be used for preparation of mailings.”
On the same form, applicants also affirm that their clients only use the lists to verify the address. Period. Vendors could lose their license if clients use the list for anything else such as to whiten the voter rolls.
And additionally, the feds can come knocking at your door if you breach your contract. I don’t know anybody who wants the federal government coming knocking at your door.
There is no way that the Screw the Vote folks are using a licensed vendor from the U.S. Postal Service to get an NCOA list and then turn around to use it to whiten the voter rolls. That means that the lists that they are using are crap.
That is in addition to the entire notion that anyone – public official or private citizen – should be able to swindle us out of our sacred right to vote.
Right now, they’re getting away with this sucking up precious time and resources because in their Jim Crow 2.0 revenge law, Georgia ReTHUGliQans included a provision that actually encourages these mass challenges of voter eligibility.
Look, the local boards are caught between a rock and a hard place.
That Georgia Jim Crow 2.0 law authorizes the state to take over local election boards if they don’t like what the boards are doing. There’s nothing democratic about this. Nothing American.
From Greg Palast’s YouTube Account “Meet Gov. Brian Kemp’s army of vigilante vote challengers — one who dresses up like Old West vigilante Doc Holliday and is fully armed. But it’s not joke, “Doc”, chairman of the Muscogee Republican Party has challenged four thousand voters including Major Turner, the US military’s expert on future warfare. From Greg Palast’s new film Vigilante: Georgia’s Vote Suppression Hitman.”