Republicans Spread Illegal Vote Squashing and Intimidation To Arkansas

We already know that because Republicans have nothing to offer and their rhetoric and actions alienated all but the wealthiest and most bigoted people in America, they can’t win free and fair elections.  Sarah Jones and Michael Wells documented voter intimidation tactics designed to suppress the vote, how people feel when they are subjected to it and the long term effects.

As Michael Wells said about these tactics in North Carolina, “What the future holds for voting in North Carolina is unknown. What is known is that the damaging and chilling effects of this law will be felt for decades, even if the law is overturned this summer.”  Sarah Jones observes relatedly that Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “did what his campaign seems best at doing this election cycle — they took a long walk down Fail Avenue. McConnell’s campaign went dirty and by many accounts illegal.”

That’s what made the SCOTUS conservative wing’s willingness to allow vote suppression in North Carolina and Texas so odious.  Eventually, if constitutional law prevails and these laws are struck down as unconstitutional, the damage will have already been done.

The Koch Brothers and other plutocrats threw unprecedented amounts of money at people like Mitch McConnell and Thom Tillis, who believe in an election system that’s about as free and fair as the “democracy” of the Soviet Union.  Aside from strict voter ID requirements, McConnell and Tillis have resorted to other tactics more consistent with the practices used by totalitarian regimes to create an illusion of popular support for their regimes than anything resembling the democracy of an exceptional America.

Several states that passed vote suppression “laws” also, by coincidence, encouraged the Republican friendly gestapo to actively intimidate voters through Election Day and even challenge their votes in a legally questionable process called “vote caging.”

Voter Caging  schemes can involve sending mass direct mailings to registered voters by non-forwardable mail, then compiling lists of voters called “caging lists.”  Vigilante operatives use the lists to formally challenge people’s right to vote on that basis alone.  More recently, officials or members of the Republican Party have used other methods like database matching to compile lists of voters to be targeted for disenfranchisement.

Vote caging by Republican operatives is nothing new, and after Arkansas’ Supreme Court struck down that state’s vote suppression law, Republicans and their friends at the Koch-friendly Americans For Prosperity returned to vote caging and threw in other voter suppression tactics.  Part of the sleaze is a creepy pseudo-scientific research mailer.

SCIENCE EXPERIMENT: Americans for Prosperity wants you to participate! - BRIAN CHILSON

“Dear Voter, You’re being studied for scientific research during the upcoming general election!” it begins and “After the election, your voting record will be examined for completeness” then, “you may be contacted after election day to explain why you did or did not vote.”

Deconstruct those things.  They aren’t really rah-rah-rah go out and vote.  Instead, they sound a chord of ancient memory:  the instinctual fear of prey feeling the attention of a hungry predator.   If you knew that someone bent on reducing your rights was going to watch you vote, it would creep you out, right?  In short, you would be intimidated, maybe intimidated enough not to vote.

Oh sure, the flier doesn’t exactly threaten physical harm.  It doesn’t threaten to report illegal voting.  It doesn’t burn crosses on any lawns.  And we’d expect AFP and its fellow travelers to recite a similar litany of  ”it’s not bad thing X.”

But we defy that whole rotten bunch to explain how something so creepy could actually encourage voting.  They can’t deny the stench of intimidation.

Good thing neither of us votes in Arkansas.  No doubt we or anyone else who recognizes the tactic for what it is and calls out Republicans and AFP would be placed on the cage list.

Poll taxes, laws that allow gun fetishists and ammosexuals to vote but not World War II vets, voting gestapo squads, cage lists, and prison-threatening fliers are not merely a nightmare from the past.  As articles by Sarah Jones and Michael Wells attested, this is what happens when Republicans have what Chris Christie called “control over the voting mechanism.”

 

14 Replies to “Republicans Spread Illegal Vote Squashing and Intimidation To Arkansas”

  1. “Explain” why I did or did not vote?!?! None of your damn business, you treasonous liars and hypocrites.

  2. Candidates that are winning do not have to cheat, but candidates that are losing, cheat. So much for the media and polling saying ALL the Republicans are winning.

  3. No honor among Roaches. That’s what they do. These American warts on the ass of society cause nothing but oppressive practices on the people that elect them.

  4. Are any of you messengers voting? It would be curious to know how many people come these sites and don’t like this party or that party and vote!

  5. A wonderful comment. Blessings…

    I’d like to add that it is unconstitutional to suppress anyone’s vote. My question is this: where is the DOJ when you need them?

  6. You mean like the democrats do.

    “Who you vote for is your secret. But whether or not you vote is public record,” the letter says.

    “We will be reviewing voting records . . . to determine whether you joined your neighbors who voted in 2014.”

    It ends with a line better suited to a mob movie than a major political party: “If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not.”

    The letter and accompanying post card was criticized even by party members, with one Democratic consultant saying it was the wrong way to inspire votes.

  7. John, Please explain that to the democrats.

    The New York State Democratic Committee is bullying people into voting next week with intimidating letters warning that it can easily find out which slackers fail to cast a ballot next Tuesday.

    “Who you vote for is your secret. But whether or not you vote is public record,” the letter says.

    “We will be reviewing voting records . . . to determine whether you joined your neighbors who voted in 2014.”

    It ends with a line better suited to a mob movie than a major political party: “If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not.”

    The letter and accompanying post card was criticized even by party members, with one Democratic consultant saying it was the wrong way to inspire votes.

  8. Is that comparable to using the mail to tell voters they have violated election laws?

    Move along Kurt, it doesnt fly

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