Trump's Coming War on Voting

Donald Trump is setting the wheels in motion for a major crackdown on voting rights.

Just a few days after falsely telling Congress that illegal voting cost him the popular vote, Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday morning that he would soon ask for a "major investigation into VOTER FRAUD."

According to Trump, this investigation would "[include] those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and....even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time)."

The president then added this warning: "Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!"

It's pretty obvious what Trump means by "strengthening up voting procedure."

He means more voter suppression ID laws, more cuts to early voting, and more voter roll purges.

And why would Trump want more of these things?

Easy -- they put him in the White House.

That's the big irony here: If there's going to be an investigation into voting laws in this country it should be an investigation into the Republican-led voter suppression schemes and how they prevented millions of people from exercising their most basic democratic rights on Election Day.

Any meaningful investigation into those schemes would have to begin with Interstate Crosscheck, a program started by Trump advisor Kris Kobach, who you may remember from the "your papers please" "walking while brown" law in Arizona, and the Muslim registry that he designed for George W. Bush in the hysteria right after 9/11.

Although disguised as a tool to prevent people from double voting, Kobach's Crosscheck is essentially a glorified national voter purge.

Investigative reporter Greg Palast described how it works on a recent episode of my show.

Palast now estimates that Crosscheck kicked as many as 7 million people -- overwhelmingly people of color, off the voting rolls before Election Day.

In many key states, the number of people purged by Crosscheck was much, much larger than Trump's margin of victory.

In Michigan, for example, the number of people purged from the voting rolls -- 449,000 -- was about 40 times larger than Trump's margin of victory -- around 10,700 votes.

In other words, Crosscheck probably won Michigan for Trump.

It also probably won him Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

So if we're going to "strengthen" voting procedures," as President Trump we should start with investigating Crosscheck.


Legend 6 years 8 weeks ago

If there is as much voter fraud as Trump says, I want an investigation and another election. We cannot continue with a POTUS that was elected in a self proclaimed fraudulent election. Re-instate Obama and have a second election after a full investigation.

Legend 6 years 8 weeks ago

If there is as much voter fraud as Trump says, I want an investigation and another election. We cannot continue with a POTUS that was elected in a self proclaimed fraudulent election. Re-instate Obama and have a second election after a full investigation.

Donald J Ford's picture
Donald J Ford 6 years 8 weeks ago

If the Dems were smart, they would embrace this investigation and insist that it include the affects of voter ID laws, Interstate Crosscheck, outdated voting machines, long lines at urban polling places, provisional ballots that never get counted and all the other voter suppression tricks that keep winning elections for the Republicans, even when they lose the vote. Wake up, America. This is how Despots steal elections and maintain their grip on power forever!

Arrgy's picture
Arrgy 6 years 8 weeks ago

What will become of Rove getting WI, MI and PA flipped from the polls? Russia means nothing. Comey's big mouth and Rove's influence to go into the program and switch the numbers is EVERYTHING. Why do we have our eyes off the ball?

russ h's picture
russ h 6 years 8 weeks ago

While I agree with the bulk of your article, the sentence where you suggest that this is purely a Republican problem is **WRONG**. Both parties have benefitted from voter supression tactics - see Hillary's unexpected win over Bernie in Az (or was it NM?). This is an issue that ties more closely to "well funded" politicians than to any particular party.

And if you watch the Palast video you'll see that the voter supression you discuss is actually apolitical. It originates from the Koch brothers, who are behind it purely for their personal monetary gain.

russ h's picture
russ h 6 years 8 weeks ago

Yes LEGEND - I agree - we need a new election. This one was definitely flawed.

Old Kel's picture
Old Kel 6 years 8 weeks ago

I wonder how many of us will vote at the mid-terms...hopefully a tad more that 60%.

tduban's picture
tduban 6 years 8 weeks ago

I have heard from Progressives that object to making the voter registration accurate, and I cannot figure out why that position is taken. I personally don't care how many blacks or whites, or rich or poor are registered - I just want the accuracy. What is wrong with that position? If there are more of one type of person that is not registered, then so be it. I certainly don't want people taking on the identity of dead people and I wouldn't want people to vote twice. Is there anything wrong with making the whole process accurate, no matter what the mix might turn out to be?

Arlene Brayton 6 years 8 weeks ago

Thanks so much for your article, Thom. As a long time election judge who, along with my fellow judges in our area, has worked very hard to make sure that each person who comes to the polls gets all the help and opportunity he/she needs to express his right to vote, I can't begin to tell you how distressing this situation has become. I feel as though I just stepped 'through the looking glass', and everything is upside-down and backwards. Have I been naive all these years to believe so completely in our democratic election process? I don't think so. I still believe it's the right and privilege of every US citizen to freely participate in a fair and just election process.

Old Kel's picture
Old Kel 6 years 8 weeks ago

Faith, trust, and the fact that proven voter fraud is in the fives or tens out of tens of millions come to mind. In the mean time, Trump is doing stuff, so we should talk about that...unless he wants another election to prove his popular vote theory.

Uncle Ralph's picture
Uncle Ralph 6 years 8 weeks ago

Everyone needs to see the Palast film, so that you'll know what they are doing when they are "cross checking" different state's voter lists. You just have to see it.

wmleidy's picture
wmleidy 6 years 8 weeks ago

i'm at a crossroads on this one. a few weeks ago (or perhaps a hundred years, given the alarming pace of this new administration) thom h. revealed a brainchild of the koch brothers called crosscheck [sp] which removed hundreds of thousands of voter ballots in poorer demographics in the battleground states. if the donald chooses to go down this road of voter fraud would the illegal removal of that many votes not come to light? i.e. donald would be percieved as shooting himself in the foot and america would learn the election had truly been hijacked? i know it is impossible for this outcome to occur, but would like to know more about the illegally removed ballots as i begin my return to sixties activism in our stark new transformed realm.

mwalkerco's picture
mwalkerco 6 years 8 weeks ago

Didn't Bush2 try this already, and found something like 27 cases of minor "fraud"?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 6 years 8 weeks ago

The Fascists stop at nothing both in gaining and then holding on to their power, which is why we needed NATO to oversee our election. It looks like crosscheck has become the election fraud weapon of works well for them, there's no obvious confirmation of the fraud during a recount. Underground patriots had been thwarting the Fascist's flipping success, thus the new non digital tactic of crosscheck.

The thing that's very odd about crosscheck is the lack of loud outrage from the democratic side...I haven't heard Obama, Hillary, the justice department, almost all of our elected officials, and of course the entire corpse media even mention it.

In fact lately I haven't heard much at all about the fraudulent election that just took place. Why aren't we all screaming out.. ..Putin, Russian hackers , Crosscheck, Comey, Giuliani, exit polls, etc.? Why aren't we screaming louder than the Koch Teabaggers when they incessantly screamed out Benghazi, Benghazi, emails, emails, lock her up? In fact Benghazi seemed to dominate the god damn news for years, and then the day after the election, boom, complete silence on it. Fake investigation after fake investigation until almost half of the voting population was brainwashed into thinking Hillary belonged in jail...of course they didn't know why, but hey, she must be crooked....LMAO. Throw in crosscheck with this media propaganda, help from Putin and Comey, and presto we have Fascism.

Trump is simply trying to put voter suppression and crosscheck election fraud on steroids so in the next election he can brag to Vlad that he won with 99% of the vote, beating out Putin's 98% victory...!!! Like I said, now that they have it, the Fascists will never let go of this way in hell! Democracy is dead.

All I can figure is that people like the Obama's and Clinton's have the kind of wealth where the pain of complete economic collapse won't impact they're just leaving the scene in a contented and quiet fashion.

But the rest of us have to fight for our liberty all over again.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 years 8 weeks ago

@ russ h, post # 5:

With all due respect, it is simply **WRONG** to make a false equivalency case, or to assume that it is merely "apolitical" because rich people are just trying to get richer.

Of course! The rich always try to get richer, because there is no end to greed. But how is that not wildly partisan, especially now in the dark days of our expanding kakistocracy/plutocracy? The last time anyone and their dog checked, the Koch heads and their copycat billionaire bastards have been spending millions and billions on anti-Obama, anti-Hillary, anti-Democratic, anti-liberal smear campaigns forEVER, which are invariably 100 percent in favor of Republican, libertarian, Tea Bagger, or otherwise fringe-swamp wing-nuttery. To the obscenely wealthy "takers," fascists, and plutocrats money is politics!

Inasmuch as your claim that "Both parties have benefited from voter suppression tactics..." , yes, you are correct, but only to a minor degree on the part of the Democrats compared to the Republicans.

Sadly, there have always been, election shenanigans and vote-stealing throughout the history of the so-called "United" States by every party imaginable that has ever been caught up in the machinery of our highly competitive, winner-take-all, contentious local, state, and national weird and strange election processes.

Certainly, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Donna Brazile, and any other backroom, backstabbing operatives should be shamed and expunged from the party, either by more ethical party officials or by the rank and file in the next election.

Hillary and the Democratic establishment sure paid the heavy price for that little wink and nod, now didn't they? I'm sure every liberal/progressive/whatever dearly hopes and expects that every Democratic politician left standing will take this huuuge miscalculation to heart and will never forget the hard lesson.

However, to insinuate that the Republican voter suppression ID laws, that the "Interstate Crosscheck" con job, that deliberately dumping off faulty voting machines in heavily Democratic precincts in key states, that cutting polling stations, cutting poll workers, cutting early voting days and hours, and that carefully crafting similar election fraud schemes over decades -- conducted on such a massive scale, to the tune of millions upon millions disenfranchised Democratic voters, that it makes the more mundane, almost amateurish Democratic antics look like kids fighting in a sandbox -- is somehow not a "purely a Republican problem" is simply **WRONG** !

By all means, though, investigate both parties, and let the world see what shakes out.

I happen to have read all of Greg's Palast's books over the years and have watched all of his documentaries and most of his interviews, as well as the large volume of evidence that Brad Friedman and others have painstakingly brought to light. So, I'm not sure exactly what snippet from "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" was taken out of context to draw the conclusion that institutionalized Republican election fraud is anywhere close to being equal to the random high jinks of disparate Democratic operatives, or that it is somehow "apolitical" enough to discount the primary culpability of a formalized Republican initiative to commit extensive election fraud on an unimaginable scale.

Obviously, a much wider examination of the immensity of the problem is called for that should cause many grave concerns about the sorry state of our heavily battered democratic election process.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 years 8 weeks ago

@ tduban #8:

"Progressives" do not "object to making the voter registration accurate," so the entire premise upon which your argument hinges is totally wrong, insulting, and condescending -- even though you may not have realized that. (You are forgiven :--)). Please name one so-called "progressive" who objects to accuracy?

The reality is that local voter registration lists are never completely accurate in a large democracy of over 200 million potential voters, nor have they ever been nor ever will be. The reason is simple: The population is constantly in flux with thousands of people dying and moving every day, every week, every month, every year without someone notifying their respective election boards in a timely fashion. Life ain't always perfect and accurate in a bustling society.

In response to this very complex moving target, our many vigilant and highly honorable local poll workers and patriotic volunteers are continually updating their registration rolls the best they humanly can with the aid of ever-improving computer technologies.

Of course, there is always a lag time! How could there not be? But just because a name happens to appear erroneously on an outdated list, as it has not yet been duly purged, does not mean that particular person is going to vote in that particular precinct. In fact, such an outcome is virtually never the case.

Not too long ago, the FEC (I believe it was their study, anyway.) went back several elections and found only about 300 or so (maybe even less...?) errant "double registrations" and certain other illegal discrepancies involving active voters out of billions (a statistical irrelevancy), which maybe could be construed as fraud. Of those, however, most were adjudicated, for example, as misunderstandings about the hodgepodge of ex-felon restrictions in the different states, people who forgot they had already registered on a "motor-voter" card earlier and then inadvertently registered again at election time, or elderly people mistakenly believing that it was okay to vote for an invalid, housebound spouse still listed on the registration rolls.

Hilariously, most of the very few, very dumb criminals who actually did commit intentional double-vote fraud were found to be registered as Republicans. Go figure.

The other false assumptions inherent in your argument is that there are large criminally-minded hordes roaming the land who still might be registered in one place after registering in a second place, and who will spend an inordinate amount of their precious time bouncing back and forth in trains, planes and automobiles, voting in both their new precincts and their old ones. Now that is a hectic schedule for such minimal results!

Extraordinary accusations require extraordinary evidence. Show the proof. Can't? Didn't think so.

Or, more ridiculous yet: OMG, there are zombie herds of wild-eyed partisans slinking around the graveyards at night! They're hungry for dead people's brains and names, consuming and assuming identities for the purpose of casting a few extra votes here and there, which wouldn't make any statistical difference anyway, risking up to 10 years in prison for each violation.

What sane person would ever do that, pray tell? Don't you think if Republican liars and fanatic zealots, pushing the completely false meme of widespread "voter fraud," found even one, maybe even two, boneheads carrying out such a futile and bizarre suicide mission that their names would be plastered all over Faux Fox News, lie/hate radio, the far right-wing internet swamp, and Trump's Twitter feed every hour of every day?

The splashy chyron on corporate fake news TV would be screaming, "Aha! Evidence! Finally!"

Nope; didn't happen; won't happen, because...

There is NO voter fraud!

And no, meeester Truuump; neither are undocumented immigrants going to risk years in prison and/or deportation for all the reasons listed above, especially since every precinct in every state already requires legal documentation and an accurate signature that must match local registration rolls. (BTW, signatures are still the most reliable means of verification -- photos can be photo-shopped and ID's can be doctored much easier than a signature can be copied live by a stranger. Ask any handwriting expert.)

Sorry, those dang "illegal brown people" are just not stealing our elections, no matter how much lil' Trumpie, the spoiled brat, cries and pouts.

It is ludicrous to believe otherwise.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 years 8 weeks ago

Please do take seriously what Thom is speaking to in today's blog. It goes to the heart of our two-party democracy, which is wounded badly and barely standing.

There IS election fraud!

...It IS being unpatriotically perpetrated by Republican state legislatures and their Secretaries of State, with a wink and a nod from U.S. Congressional Republican politicians and their too-friendly appointed judges.

...It IS being disingenuously ignored by Democratic politicians fearful of scaring off even more of their skittish voters and of being tarred all over the corpse media with the career-ending label, "sore loser!"

...It IS the duty of every citizen -- for whom our Founders bled and died in battle and to whom they handed a People's constitutionally limited, representative, democratic republic -- to shout from the rooftops and to protest in the streets!

k. allen's picture
k. allen 6 years 7 weeks ago

There are so many vital concerns to consider, I do not believe any one person can grasp it all ..., a quick update, if I may:
<< >>

“These are attacks on our ancestral homelands,”

"... These orders demonstrate that he is more than willing to violate federal law that protects the environment and protects our communities and protects indigenous rights for the benefit of oil and gas.”

“You can’t drink oil. It’s so sad,”

<< >>
<< >>

"... Still, the tribal elder continued to hold out hope that his prayers would be answered."

“Have we as Native people ever been given a fair shake?” he asked.

“Nah. But this time, the whole world is watching.”

" . . . t h e . . . w h o l e . . . w o r l d . . . "

" . . . i s . . . w a t c h I n g . . . ."

<< >>

ckrob's picture
ckrob 6 years 7 weeks ago

The best suggestion I have heard lately was: 1) decide which issue or two you are passionate about; 2) find a local organization concerning those issues and physically show up and join; 3) if you have no local organization join and give online. Check out <>.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Screwed:
"If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the ‘cons’ have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American."
Eric Utne, Founder, Utne magazine
From Screwed:
"Hartmann speaks with the straight talking clarity and brilliance of a modern day Tom Paine as he exposes the intentional and systematic destruction of America’s middle class by an alliance of political con artists and outlines a program to restore it. This is Hartmann at his best. Essential reading for those interested in restoring the institution that made America the envy of the world."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning and When Corporations Rule the World
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"With the ever-growing influence of corporate CEOs and their right-wing allies in all aspects of American life, Hartmann’s work is more relevant than ever. Throughout his career, Hartmann has spoken compellingly about the value of people-centered democracy and the challenges that millions of ordinary Americans face today as a result of a dogma dedicated to putting profit above all else. This collection is a rousing call for Americans to work together and put people first again."
Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO