Kris Kobach: May 11, 2017

Dear Mr. VP,

Look at this smiling face.

kriskobach

Gosh, what a jaw. If I saw him on the street I’d think, “Who’s that guy and can we get a beer?” Until he opened his mouth to talk, at which point I’d back away sideways with my eyes on him at all times. Like you’re supposed to do with a bear.

That’s Kris Kobach, who’s going to be vice chairman of the new Commission on Election Integrity. That’s doublespeak for “Commission to Suppress the Votes of People of Color”, and might I congratulate you on being the chairman!

Let’s learn about Kris Kobach, your new BFF.

And then there’s the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, a brainchild of Kobach that I decided deserved more than a measly bullet point. In my life, cross checking is a hockey penalty, and I could even go so far as to demonstrate the referee hand signal, so don’t ever question my sports knowledge.

go sports

But off the ice, Crosscheck is a program that compares voter rolls in enrolled states to look for duplicates, or people who are registered in more than one state. It’s one of those things that sounds sort of benign on the surface — make sure people aren’t voting twice! — but in actuality is a front for taking the ability to vote away from people of color. A Rolling Stone report said this: “According to our analysis, the Crosscheck list disproportionately threatens solid Democratic constituencies: young, black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters – with some of the biggest possible purges underway in Ohio and North Carolina, two crucial swing states with tight Senate races.” Crosscheck is really just about matching names — the lists Rolling Stone got didn’t even include Social Security numbers for actual validation. If you have the same name as someone in a different state, you might be flagged and removed from the voter rolls. 

Want to know more about who is on the Crosscheck lists? “One in six Hispanics, one in seven Asian-Americans and one in nine African-Americans in Crosscheck states land on the list.” Why? Because people of color are overrepresented in the most common last names in this country, and Crosscheck just makes a giant list of people who have the same names. So ultimately, an awful lot of people of color are threatened with disenfranchisement, i.e., Kobach’s wet dream.

All of this is to say that Kris Kobach has no real interest in electoral integrity, but instead an interest in keeping people of color, who disproportionately vote for Democrats, out of the voting booth. That’s how the U.S. will keep electing Republicans despite the demographic shifts happening in this country, and that’s terrifying.

If you have any integrity at all (and I’m pretty sure you don’t, because you were also accused of voter suppression while governor of Indiana) you’ll refuse to work with Kobach. 

But since that won’t happen, I’ll be making yet another donation to the ACLU (this one in Kobach’s name) and yet again, calling my elected officials.

D

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