Donald Trump attacks United States voting rights

This video from the USA says about itself:

Donald Trump’s Masked Efforts To Kill Voting Rights

28 August 2016

Want to become a “Trump Election Observer “ to “stop crooked Hillary from winning this election?” While it sounds funny to most of our audience, Donald Trump has ramped up his rhetoric that Hillary Clinton can only win by cheating in the election. According to our next guest, this is just another voter suppression tactic by the GOP to help overcome the country’s changing voter demographic that is trending more Democratic. Here to explain is voting rights expert, and author of the best selling book, “Give Us The Ballot,” Ari Berman.

By Larry Rubin in the USA:

Sinister Trump tactics at the ballot box put democracy under threat

Wednesday 31st August 2016

Donald Trump’s call for supporters to ‘watch and study certain areas’ poses a real risk to minority voter rights, writes LARRY RUBIN

ATTEMPTING to prevent Donald Trump-inspired vigilante terrorism at the polls this coming November, civil rights groups are calling for monitors to oversee balloting across the US.

Their call is particularly urgent because for the first time in 50 years, the federal government will not be sending observers to states with long histories of preventing minorities from exercising their constitutional and human rights to vote.

At his rallies, Trump has been urging his followers to “go down to certain areas and watch and study and make sure other people don’t come in and vote five times.”

He’s been continually whining that “the only way I’ll lose” is through “cheating” at the ballot box.

In Trump-speak “cheating” is a dog-whistle word for poor and minority people voting.

Trump is worried about this because, despite the fact that close to 20 states have passed voter suppression laws, courts in seven states have knocked down a few of the barriers erected to prevent poor people and minority communities from casting their ballots.

Trump’s supporters know that the “certain areas” he wants them to “watch and study” are areas with high percentages of minority voters.

The Trump campaign website asks visitors to sign up to be a “Trump Election Observer.”

If you do, then you’ll receive an email saying: “Someone from the campaign will be contacting you soon.”

Moreover, Zachary Roth reports on NBC that “a Florida-based Trump backer tweeted last Friday: “We gonna be watch’n fer shenanigans…& haul ya away,” above a photograph of a pick-up truck with a cage in the truck bed.”

In the past, harassment at the polls would be handled by the US Justice Department.

But the Justice Department will be off duty during the elections this coming November.

As Ed Kilgore explains in New York magazine: “In 2013, when a five to four majority of the US Supreme Court [gutted] the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in the Shelby County v Holder decision, it … also eliminated the basis for a separate Justice Department program providing for federal election observers …

“The main function of these federal observers was to deter by their presence and, if necessary, report on efforts to intimidate or otherwise discourage voting by minority citizens.”

For example, in the 2004 general election, the Justice Department sent 1,463 federal observers to monitor 55 elections in 30 jurisdictions in 14 states.

“This year,” Kilgore writes, “that number will be close to zero despite the fact that 17 states have restrictive voting laws in effect for the first time in an election cycle where the political rhetoric has been extremely racially charged at the national level.”

Lacking the ability to appeal to the federal government, civil rights and other progressive groups are turning elsewhere for help in preventing voter suppression, especially in light of the threats from the Trump campaign.

For instance, has announced it is launching an “emergency campaign with on-the-ground local leaders, working to convince their secretaries of state to take the necessary precautions to protect voters from Trump’s goons.”

The group explains that secretaries of state are the chief elections officials at the state level.

It is also asking the federal government to reverse its decision not to send observers to polling places.

Moreover the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has sent a letter to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to “greatly expand” its US election monitoring programme.

This past June, the OSCE, which is based in Poland, issued a Needs Assessment Mission Report, saying it plans to send 500 monitors to the US to observe elections in November.

In their letter to the OSCE, Wade Henderson and Nancy Zirkin, president and vice-president respectively of the Leadership Conference, urged the OSCE to target its resources on states where racial discrimination in voting or voter intimidation are particular threats.

The letter singled out Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Texas.

Henderson and Zirkin wrote that “a confluence of factors has made racial discrimination in voting a greater threat than at any time in recent history.”

They wrote: “The unprecedented weakening of the Voting Rights Act has led to a tidal wave of voter discrimination efforts nationwide and has required the United States to drastically scale back its own election monitoring programme.

“In addition, a leading presidential candidate who has made the demonisation of racial, ethnic and religious minorities a hallmark of his campaign has recently urged supporters to challenge voters at polling sites nationwide.”

21 thoughts on “Donald Trump attacks United States voting rights

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  3. Tell the Department of Justice: Stop voter suppression in 2016

    Sign the petition to the Department of Justice:
    “Take all necessary measures to stop Republican voter suppression in 2016. Investigate the Trump campaign’s ‘Trump Election Observers’ program and do everything in your power to stop Republican voter intimidation and suppression efforts.”

    Add your name:
    Sign the petition ►

    Stop voter suppression in 2016

    Donald Trump is laying the groundwork for massive voter intimidation and suppression in November’s election. After warning against “cheating” in “certain parts of the state” in a recent speech in Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign rolled out a new effort to recruit “Trump Election Observers” to “Stop Crooked Hillary From Rigging This Election.”1

    It’s a desperate attempt to suppress African-American and Latino votes and steal the election – and it might just be illegal under a 1982 consent decree that prohibits the Republican National Committee and its agents from engaging in election observation that intimidates voters or suppresses their right to vote.2

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) must investigate the Trump campaign’s “Trump Election Observers” program and crack down on any attempt to intimidate or suppress voters this fall.

    Tell the Department of Justice: Stop Trump’s voter intimidation scheme. Click here to sign the petition.

    Donald Trump’s plan to recruit “election observers” is just the latest example of Republicans attempting to shrink the electorate for electoral gain. The Republican Party has a long and troubling history of engaging in voter intimidation under the guise of preventing fraud, dating back to Jim-Crow era laws that were paired with poll taxes and literacy tests to suppress African-American votes.3 In fact, efforts to use armed “observers” to intimidate African-American and Latino voters in New Jersey in 1981 lead to the consent decree that prohibits the Republican National Committee from deploying election observers to this day.

    The fact is, widespread voter fraud is a myth that Republican politicians invented to justify voter intimidation efforts and make it harder for African-Americans and Latinos to vote.4 The real problem, the one that can affect the outcome of our elections if we’re not vigilant, is voter suppression.

    Tell the Department of Justice: Stop Trump’s voter intimidation scheme. Click here to sign the petition.

    As Trump’s polling numbers collapsed following the conventions, he began warning his supporters that the election would be rigged, telling Fox News on August 1 that “they are going to vote 10 times” and that “we’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged.”5

    With the Trump campaign now actively recruiting “election observers” and working to stoke fears among the extreme right-wing base about the prospect of widespread voter fraud, the DOJ should be ramping up its efforts to prevent voter intimidation tactics and protect the integrity of the election. But according to a DOJ fact sheet from July, its deployment of federal election observers this year will cover only five states and will be the smallest since the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965.6

    With Republican officials in control of the administration of elections in most states, the DOJ is our last line of defense for protecting the right to vote. We need it to remain vigilant, deploy all resources at its disposal and aggressively crack down on any attempt to intimidate voters or otherwise suppress the vote in 2016.

    Tell the Department of Justice: Stop Trump’s voter intimidation scheme. Click the link below to sign the petition:

    Thanks for taking a stand for voting rights,

    Josh Nelson, Deputy Political Director
    CREDO Action from Working Assets

    Add your name:
    Sign the petition ►


    Ari Berman, “Donald Trump is Encouraging Intimidation and Racial Profiling at the Polls,” The Nation, August 15, 2016.
    Rick Hasen, “Donald Trump May Be Violating RNC Consent Decree Aimed at Voter Intimidation,” Election Law Blog, August 12, 2016.
    Justin Levitt, “A comprehensive investigation of voter impersonation finds 31 credible incidents out of one billion ballots cast,” The Washington Post, August 6, 2014.
    Janell Ross, “How Donald Trump, defender of political incorrectness, is blowing a loud racial dog whistle on voter ID,” The Washington Post, August 3, 2016.
    Julia Harte, “Exclusive: U.S. curtails federal election observers,” Reuters, July 17, 2016


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