You might never know it, given the way so many Americans abuse it, but the most precious of all our rights is the right to vote. Voting is our only means with which to protect our other rights. Failure to vote is the most heinous crime against ourselves that we can commit, followed closely by voting without due diligence. If what we do top ourselves isn’t bad enough, Republican Secretaries of State are Stealing our right to vote.
In most states, the power to expand or curtail the right to vote is largely in the hands of an obscure official, the secretary of state. Thirty-one of these secretaries are currently Republicans or aligned with the GOP. And four of them have gone to extraordinary lengths to make it harder to vote.
Jon Husted of Ohio: Husted, who is running for governor next year, has purged more than 2 million voters since he took office in 2011. Voters are deemed “inactive” if they fail to respond to “purge notices” from the state, which are sent to residents who either move or don’t cast a ballot for two years. In Ohio’s three largest counties, voters in Democratic-leaning neighborhoods have been purged at about twice the rate of people in Republican-leaning ones. This fall, the Supreme Court will hear a case on Ohio’s practice of targeting voters for inactivity. If it rules in Husted’s favor, his brand of purging could catch on in other Republican-controlled states.
Brian Kemp of Georgia: Another 2018 gubernatorial candidate, Kemp recently came up with a similar way to remove poor and minority voters from the rolls. He instructed local election officials to mail notices to more than 380,000 registered voters, targeting people who had recently moved. Those who failed to respond within 30 days were placed on the state’s inactive voter list; they’ll be purged from the rolls if they don’t vote in two consecutive federal elections. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition in court alleging that some of the notices violated state and federal laws and that the scheme disproportionately affected low-income and minority voters. In response to the lawsuit, Kemp said his office would make sure that nearly 160,000 people who improperly received the notice would remain on the active list; the ACLU, apparently unconvinced, responded that Kemp had to notify those people of the change and take further action…
Inserted from <Mother Jones>
I shared two of four with you. Click through for the other two. including Kris Kobitch.