“If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured--
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both…” - 18 USC 241
In efforts to secure the White House for Donald Trump, major members of his campaign – including Trump himself – engaged in a coordinated voter suppression campaign the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Civil War.
In doing so these individuals and organizations – which include, Sheldon Adelson, Charles Koch, David Koch, Gregg Phillips, Kris Kobach, SOS for SoS (now disbanded), the Scaife Family foundations, the Immigration Law Reform Institute, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the government officials connected to the Interstate Crosscheck system and Donald Trump – may have triggered numerous violations of Constitutional law that were designed to prevent just such election manipulations and deprivation of rights.
Charges that can be brought against the individuals and organizations involved in these violations fall under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 18 USC 241, and 18 USC 242. The engagement in these criminal violations of the Constitution also threaten to disqualify Trump from becoming president.
“No person acting under color of law shall fail or refuse Prohibitions to permit any person to vote who is entitled to vote under any provision of this Act or is otherwise qualified to vote, or willfully fail or refuse to tabulate, count, and report such person's vote” - Voting Rights Act of 1965 Section 11
One of the most blatantly unconstitutional attacks on the rights of minority voters in the United States was the intentional purging of millions of eligible minority voters form the voting record. This purge was spearheaded by the late Richard Mellon Scaife and the Scaife family, Sheldon Adelson, the Koch Brothers, Gregg Phillips, Kris Kobach, the Donor’s Trust, the Immigration Law Reform Institute, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), SOS for SoS, and the government officials connected to the Interstate Crosscheck system.
At the center of the push to purge eligible minority voters from the system is Kansas Secretary of State and the Chair of the Kansas Republican Party – Kris Kobach. Greg Pallast, who is a leading reporter on the Crosscheck system writes,
“[Kobach] is best known as the author of Arizona's ‘Driving While Brown Law,’ which allowed cops to pull over drivers and ask for proof of their legal status. He co-wrote the ultraconservative 2016 RNC party platform, working in a recommendation that Crosscheck be adopted by every state in the Union. He's also the Trump adviser who came up with a proposal to force Mexico into paying for Trump's wall.”
The purge began in 2005 when four Secretaries of State, led by Kris Kobach, “signed a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate their offices’ efforts in several areas of election administration. Crosschecking voter registration data was one of the areas cited.” The first interstate crosscheck was performed in 2006. In the same publication, Kobach also admits to promoting and implementing a number of other illegal voter suppression tactics stating,
“Finally, in 2011 Kansas took the lead as the first state to combine three election-security policies: (1) requiring a government-issued photo ID for voting in person, (2) requiring either a Kansas driver’s license number or photocopy of a current photo ID for applying for a mail-in ballot, and (3) requiring a document proving U.S. citizenship when a person registers to vote for the first time. Consequently, Kansas elections are the most secure in the nation against fraud.”
By that same year, Kobach had secured 27 States, via agreements between Secretaries of State, for the Interstate Crosscheck program.
Arguably illegal, but largely uncontested, the alt-right and the GOP launched a full-scale effort to make sure that enough Secretaries of State would be elected in 2014 to ensure the interstate voting purge system would be functioning for the 2016 election. They also encouraged Secretaries of State to implement other forms of legally questionable voting restrictions such as those enforced by Kobach in Kansas. This 2014 effort was fronted by the PAC SOS for SoS.
The SOS for SoS was launched in 2014 to specifically to support the campaigns of Kris Kobach and other conservative candidates for Secretary of State that would adopt the Interstate Crosscheck system and adopt addition methods of illegal voter suppression.
The organization was founded by Gregg Phillips. Phillips had been tapped by funder Sheldon Adelson in 2012 to head the Winning Our Future PAC for the Newt Gingrich Presidential Campaign. And while Phillips has stated, “We don’t ever talk about any specific donors,” it is reasonable to assume that Adelson funneled money into this voter suppressions strategy through SOS for SoS.
Kobach is also associated with alt-right funders through his work at the Immigration Law Reform Institute and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The Immigration Law Reform Institute (ILRI) is the legal branch of FAIR. Kobach served as counsel for the ILRI and has been described as the “legal arm” of FAIR. The Scaife family is among FAIR’s top donors. FAIR has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. It’s founder, John Tanton, is recognized as being personally and professionally associated with members of the Klu Klux Klan.
Kobach has also received funding through the Donor’s Trust, which is largely supported by the David and Charles Koch. Notably, Kobach received money from the Koch Brothers through the Donor’s Trust for his work on Arizona SB 1070 – a law that has been called “the most racist law in modern American history.”
Backed by the Scaife family, Adelson and the Koch brothers, Kobach was securely positioned to administrate the Interstate Crosscheck System for the 2016 election cycle – and approximately 1.1 million voters were successfully purged from the system before Election Day.
“No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.” - Voting Rights Act of 1965 Section 2
The Interstate Crosscheck system targets voters by first and last name. They disregard other important identifiers that can also be used to match voters such as middle name and social security number. According to a report by Greg Palast,
“Mark Swedlund, a database expert whose clients include eBay and American Express, look at the data from Georgia and Virginia, and he was shocked….Swedlund's statistical analysis found that African-American, Latino and Asian names predominate, a simple result of the Crosscheck matching process, which spews out little more than a bunch of common names. No surprise: The U.S. Census data shows that minorities are overrepresented in 85 of 100 of the most common last names. If your name is Washington, there's an 89 percent chance you're African-American. If your last name is Hernandez, there's a 94 percent chance you're Hispanic. If your name is Kim, there's a 95 percent chance you're Asian.
This inherent bias results in an astonishing one in six Hispanics, one in seven Asian-Americans and one in nine African-Americans in Crosscheck states landing on the list.”
As a result, in the name of finding a few cases of voter fraud, over a million people were illegally stripped of their Constitutional right to vote in the 2016 election. These voters were overwhelmingly people of color and individuals more likely to have registered as Democrats.
It would be difficult to argue that the outcome of the election was not altered by voter purging in the favor of the candidate supported by Adelson, the Scaife family, the Koch Brothers, Gregg Phillips, Kris Kobach, the Immigration Law Reform Institute, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and the government officials connected to the Interstate Crosscheck system – Donald Trump.
Without voter purging in key states, Donald Trump likely would not have won the 2016 presidential election.
In Arizona, Trump probably would not have been able to secure the state’s 11 electoral votes without purging almost 271,000 voters. The difference between candidates in this state is approximately 85,000. In Michigan, the difference between candidates vying for the state’s 16 electoral votes was well under 11,000 – almost 450,000 voters had been purged. And in North Carolina, Trump won 15 electoral votes by approximately 177,000 votes. Close to 600,000 votes had to be purged from the system to accomplish this.
The voter purges planned and implemented by the alt-right network altered the outcome of the election in favor of the alt-right candidate. The purging of minority voters, though, led this network to potentially be in violation USC 241, USC 242 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Charges for potential violation of these laws can only be brought by United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch. As such, the Strategic Institute for Intersectional Policy is asking for people to call her at the Department of Justice at 202-353-1555 or TTY/ASCII/TDD: 800-877-8339 and leave a message asking her to press charges against the members of the Trump Campaign for voter purging.