Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Monday, September 26, 2016

We Have To Watch These Bastards Every Second

I was encouraged by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recent ruling against Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted's attempted illegal purge of Ohio's registered voter rolls.  If you hadn't voted in 6 years, Husted assumed you were dead or had moved, so he just deleted you, and maybe others as well with names similar to yours.

Under Husted, Ohio joined with twenty-seven other states in using a "system" called the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, developed by Kris Kobach, arch-conservative Kansas Secretary of State.  The states share their voter lists and Crosscheck's database searches for voters registered in multiple states.  It compares first, middle and last names, dates of birth, and the last four digits of SSN's.  All this is done in the name of the Great Republican Myth:  preventing "voter fraud."

Crosscheck has flagged an unbelievable 7.2 million suspected names!  Wow!  That's a lot of double voters!  Of course, a grand total of only four people have so far been charged with voting twice or intentionally registering to vote in more than one state.  Four out of seven million.  But what the hell.  Crosscheck dutifully sends it lists of potential duplicate voters to the states, for them to do what they will with them (like purge them from the lists of voters).

The reality is that Crosscheck's program is deeply flawed and their data is bogus -- middle names, birthdates, SSN's, Jr.'s and Sr.'s are ignored or not even provided.  Mark Swedlund, a database expert from eBay and American Express, called Crosscheck's methodology "childish" and said, "God forbid your name is Garcia, of which there are 858,000 in the U.S., and your first name is Joseph or Jose.  You're probably suspected of voting in 27 states." 

Essentially, all Crosscheck does is spew out a bunch of common names -- Jones, Washington, Hernandez, Kim.  "I can't tell you what the intent was," says Swedlund.  "I can only tell you the outcome.  And the outcome is discriminatory against minorities."

In Ohio, Husted has used Crosscheck to flag almost half a million voters.  One of them is Donald Webster, an African American from Dayton.  Crosscheck shows him registered in Ohio as Donald Alexander Webster Jr., and registered a second time as Donald Eugene Webster (no "Jr.") in Charlottesville, VA.  Webster says he's never been a "Eugene" and has never been to Charlottesville.  Even so, both Dayton Donald and his Virginia "twin" are in danger of losing their right to vote.

Ohio voting-rights attorney Bob Fitrakis puts it bluntly:  "Husted doesn't want to match middle names because he doesn't want real matches.  They're targeting people with clearly defined ethnic names that typically vote for the Democratic Party.  Husted wants to win Ohio the only way he knows how -- by taking away the rights of citizens to vote."


Source:  http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/the-gops-stealth-war-against-voters-w435890

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