Only Thing ‘Rigged’ Is Crybaby’s Excuses

Donald Trump's complaints about a rigged election is just a crybaby looking for an excuse to use when he loses the election.

Like so much of his ranting it is based on a lie told over and over, louder and louder, as if that made it so.

He used the same conspiracy theory earlier when he thought he might lose the Republican nomination, accusing his party of having rigged the vote.  Now he's blaming Hillary Clinton for more of his own self-inflicted wounds.

If he loses, it won't be because of voter fraud.  The real fraud in this election is racist Republican efforts to use a phantom crime as an excuse to keep African-Americans, Latinos, the disabled, the poor, minorities and others who might vote Democrat away from the polls.

Years of studies by academics and legal authorities across the country showed this is a phantom crime, Newsweek reported. Voter-ID fraud is virtually nonexistent. So there must be another reason 37 states – nearly all having Republican governors or legislatures — have enacted or proposed tough voter-ID laws?

The real voter fraud is the one being perpetrated on voters by state officials who are systematically trying to disenfranchise minority voters as the Republican base shrinks.

Iowa's Republican secretary of state, Matt Schultz, spent $250,000 and two years trying to show it was a widespread crime but came up with only six arrests out of 1.6 million votes cast, and not a single case of impersonation fraud at the polls.

Late last month a Federal Appeals Court ruled North Carolina's voter ID law was enacted with "racially discriminatory intent." 

North Carolina Republicans were simply looking for what the court called "an easy and effective way" of "identifying and restricting the ways African Americans vote." The court said the law focused on "African Americans with almost surgical precision."

One North Carolina GOP county precinct chair, Don Yelton, admitted as much.  He told The Daily Show in 2013 that if the state's new voter ID restriction "hurts a bunch of lazy blacks who just want the government to give them everything, so be it.

Trump knows that he will get few votes from blacks, Latinos, immigrants and many other groups, and he's busy constructing his excuses by trying to put the blame on Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, when his real enemies are his own divisive, racist, xenophobic campaign and his party's failure to reach much beyond angry white voters.

The GOP strategy in enacting voter ID laws around the country is as clear as black and white. Literally. Facing dramatic demographic shifts, the Republicans don't want blacks voting. That's what federal courts said recently in cases in North Carolina, North Dakota, Michigan Texas and Wisconsin.

It's not about voter fraud, a virtually non-existent crime. It's about race, the courts said, although African Americans aren't the only targets.  Latinos, other minorities, the elderly, the poor, the disabled and groups expected to vote Democratic are also on the GOP hit list.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman ruled “there is virtually no voter-impersonation fraud in Wisconsin.”  His colleague, Judge James Peterson, wrote, "To put it bluntly, Wisconsin's strict version of voter ID law is a cure worse than the disease."

Nearly all of these laws were enacted by Republican legislatures following the 2013 Supreme Court decision knocking down part of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which required states with a history of repression – mostly the Old South – to get Justice Department approval for changes in voting procedures.

With that requirement lifted, many have gone wild searching for schemes to prevent likely Democratic voters from getting to the voting booth.  It is a throwback to the pre-VRA Jim Crow days of poll taxes and literacy tests. 

Not all are in the South.  Ohio, a critical battleground state, is one of the worst offenders.  It cut down on early voting dates, hours and locations and added new restrictions to registration.

Fortune Magazine reports that 17 states will have new voter restrictions in place for this year's elections, all in the name of fighting a phantom crime, which Republicans are counting on to boost Trump and their Congressional candidates. 

The accelerating disenfranchisement campaign highlights the critical importance of this year's election at all levels. 

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.