It turns out that Donald Trump was right: the election was rigged. He would know, of course, because he and Louis DeJoy were the ones who rigged it.
Historically, “conservative“ (e.g. “white racist”) efforts to rig the vote were almost entirely focused on preventing people of color from voting. For almost a century, this involved literacy tests, guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar, and other low-tech, blatant strategies.
In the 1960s, William Rehnquist and friends launched “Operation Eagle Eye“ in the Southwest where they would send “poll watchers“ to threaten and intimidate Native American, Hispanic and Black voters.
By the 1980s, Republicans had rolled out “caging,” where they’d send a postcard to voters and if it wasn’t returned they’d remove you from the voting rolls; the Democratic Party got a restraining order against caging that just expired a few years ago.
In 2000, George and Jeb Bush, the governors of Texas and Florida, used the Texas felon list to purge mostly Black and Hispanic people from the Florida voter rolls. Jeb knocked 90,000 African-Americans off the rolls, just in time to steal the 2000 election for George.
Kris Kobach turned this into a system, called Interstate Crosscheck, and took it nationwide over the last 15 years, comparing states’ voting rolls in ways that would largely disenfranchise Asians, Blacks and Hispanics.
Finally, in 2020, Trump came up with a new scheme that benefited from the Covid virus, and the worse the virus got, the better his scheme worked.
Letting the pandemic run wild while telling his supporters they should only vote in person, Trump and DeJoy dismantled over 600 multimillion dollar high-speed mail sorting machines, hitting swing states the hardest, so mailed ballots would arrive too late to count.
Recent reporting suggests that if the courts had not intervened when and how they did, the mail would have been so slowed in several critical swing states that Trump would’ve been declared the winner. We were saved by a federal judge.
Now the scam Republicans are promoting is to challenge the signatures on the outside of mail-in ballots from big cities, and this has helped them throw out literally millions of ballots just this month.
Nobody is sure what the next conservative scheme will be to disqualify votes in American cities, but you can bet they’re working on it. Which is why we need a law or Constitutional amendment that unambiguously asserts a “right to vote.“
If Governor Brian Kemp wants to take away the home of a person who lives in Atlanta, he has to go to court and prove his case: our property rights are intact.
If Governor Ron DeSantis wants to take away a gun from a person who lives in Miami, he has to go to court and prove his case: the Supreme Court has recently affirmed Americans’ right to own a gun.
But if any governor wants to take away your vote, they don’t even have to tell you, they just kick you off the voting rolls, because right now voting is not a right in America, it’s merely a privilege.
America needs to join the rest of the developed world and put the right of citizens to vote into law. Since everything from pandemic relief to education to foreign policy flows out of the democratic process, this must be Job One in the new Congress.
Thom Hartmann is a talk-show host and the author of The Hidden History of the War on Voting and more than 30 other books in print. His most recent project is a science podcast called The Science Revolution. He is a writing fellow at the Independent Media Institute.