By Julianne Malveaux (NNPA Newswire Columnist)

I watched the Presidential debate on October 19 in both awe and horror. Awe, because I truly do not understand Mr. Trump’s temerity to lie, interrupt, sniff, sigh, and interject offensive comments (“such a nasty woman”) in lieu of disagreement. The horror came when Mr. Trump asserted that he would not necessarily accept the result of an election he has described as “rigged” (actually, in Trump’s world, anything that does not go his way is rigged – debates, primary elections, Emmy Awards). Trailing in the polls, Mr. Trump is playing the same racial games he has played throughout the elections, suggesting that there is massive voter fraud in cities like Philadelphia and Detroit, cities with large African American populations, that dead people are voting, and that millions of voter registration records are wrong.

There have been dozens of reports that refute the Trump claims. According to analysis by a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, Calif., only 31 of more than 1 billion votes cast since 2000 have been fraudulent. The Brennan Center for Justice, housed at the New York University School of Law has studied voter fraud and found that allegations are most often unfounded. Trump also cited a Pew Center study that indicated that one in eight voter registrations might be inaccurate. But Pew says inaccurate registration may not be fraudulent ones. As an example, some people have not changed their addresses, and will do so before they attempt to vote again. These folks aren’t committing fraud, they’ve simply moved. The Pew Center says that our nation’s voter registration system needs an upgrade. They have not identified massive voter fraud as a problem. Donald Trump, though, is the master of manipulative repetition. Just like he hammered on “Little Marco,” “Low Energy Jeb” and “Crooked Hillary,” now he is hammering on voter fraud, whether it is accurate or not. At least one fact-checker has detailed how wrong Trump is and has described his claims as “bogus.”

Claims of voter fraud divert attention from a more significant issue: that voter suppression makes it more difficult for many to vote. Too many states have instituted new voter ID laws, reduced the number of early voting days, consolidated precincts (forcing people to travel further to vote), and purged people from voting registration polls. Several organizations are providing backup for voters, including the website www.iwillvote.com that allows people to check their voter registration. But with registration deadlines closing in this handful of days before the election, it is likely that some people who want to vote will not have the opportunity.

This voter suppression has been deliberately, and it has had a partisan skewing. Why can a gun registration be used as appropriate voter identification, but not a student ID? Rule shifting has gained the attentions of conservative appeals courts. As an example, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas voided Texas Voter ID laws. Wisconsin’s voter restrictions were also disallowed. Most notably, a federal appeals court shot North Carolina down and, were uncharacteristically critical. The court wrote that, “Although the new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision, they constitute inapt remedies for the problems assertedly justifying them and, in fact, impose cures for problems that did not exist.”

Is there voter fraud? If only 31 cases, out of a billion votes, were found fraudulent, we can say that there is a bit of fraud, something that is less than a fraction of one percent. At the same time, voting restrictions imposed in 2014 and 2015 were set to block over 1.3 million voters in Ohio, Nor Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin, all swing states. Should we be more concerned about voter fraud (31 claims out of one billion votes cast) or the 1.3 million Americans who have been deliberately and “surgically” excluded from the voting process through voter suppression?

African Americans know rigged elections. Our voices have too often been rigged out of the electoral process. Fannie Lou Hamer was beaten to within an inch of her life because she dared organize people to vote. Medgar Evers was killed because he dared organize Black folks to vote. Our people overcame grandfather clauses, voter tests, and all kinds of other nonsense in order to vote. We know voter suppression. When Donald Trump talks about elections being rigged, he exhibits, again, his historical ignorance. Every time Black folks were excluded from the voting process, we accepted the outcome. We accepted the democratic process.

Now Trump has millions of rabid followers who inhale his every word. His irresponsible allegations of rigged elections may well mobilize his base to reject the integrity of the electoral process. Some of us know all we need to know about rigged elections. We know voter suppression personally and immediately. And we know that Mr. Trump has disqualified himself for leadership by saying he cannot commit to an electoral outcome that does not favor him.

Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest book “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy” is available via www.amazon.com for booking, wholesale inquiries or for more info visitwww.juliannemalveaux.com.

One Response

  1. Bernie

    Here are 20 reasons why I think Hillary Rodham Clinton would make a terrible President.
    1) I don’t trust her. The email scandal just about summed up her complete inability to tell the truth. An expert lawyer who became Secretary of State with multiple BlackBerries but didn’t have a clue how emails or servers work or what constitutes classified material? Oh please, Madam Pinocchio, do you think we’re all completely stupid?
    2) She’s greedy. I mean properly, outrageously, snout-in-the-trough avaricious. A woman who for decades has exploited her political status to fill her boots with tens of millions of dollars, fueled by $200k-a-pop speeches from her Wall Street chums like Goldman Sachs.
    3) Hillary’s a rank hypocrite. She bangs on ad nauseam about women’s rights but sucks up to and solicits cash for the Clinton Foundation from draconian regimes like Saudi Arabia that stone women to death and refuse to let them even drive cars.
    4) She’s a dangerous war-mongerer. The Iraq War was an unmitigated fiasco that led to turmoil throughout the Middle East and spurred the rise of ISIS. It was the biggest foreign policy disaster since Vietnam and Hillary voted for it. She was also heavily responsible for the dismal Libya invasion. When people say they don’t trust Trump with his finger on the nuclear trigger, I suggest Hillary the Hawk is far more likely to press it.
    5) She’s a flip-flopper extraordinaire. On endless issues from Iraq to gay marriage, Israel to TPP and the Keystone Pipeline, Hillary will say one thing but think nothing of saying the complete opposite later if it’s politically expedient.
    6) She has a chronic superiority complex. Never was this more vividly exposed than with her disgraceful comment that half of Trump’s supporters were ‘a basket of deplorables’. That’s tens of millions of fellow Americans she was insulting, many of them honest, hard-working people.
    7) She’s an embellisher of stories to make herself look better. We all remember her heroic tale of having to flee sniper fire in Bosnia with her daughter Chelsea in 1996. There was just one problem – she didn’t.
    8) She’s held lots of jobs but performed none of them particularly well. As Secretary of State she was widely considered inefficient, ineffectual and complacent – sometimes to lethal consequence as we saw with the Benghazi fiasco that cost the lives of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans. Hillary’s undeniably very experienced, but how valuable is all that experience if you’ve never excelled at anything you’ve done?
    9) She’s oddly charmless. I’ve watched her speaking at the debates and various rallies, and indeed at last night’s Al Smith dinner, and she exudes the warmth and wit of a sour-faced Pit Bull terrier. As for that perpetual creepy Jack Nicholson ‘Shining’ smirk she does.. UGH
    10)Her health remains a major concern. That video of her keeling over after leaving a 9/11 memorial service was deeply troubling. Particularly when we know she had a serious head injury after passing out in 2012. Hillary is 69 next week and doesn’t exude good health, fitness or vitality, which are fairly essential components of being a modern day President. Trump’s 70 but has extraordinarily impressive energy.
    11)She carries with her a dripping sense of entitlement based on her gender that is deeply irritating. Hillary may as well have two tattoos on her forehead proclaiming: ‘Born to be First Female President’ and ‘Vote for me – I’m a woman!’
    12)She wouldn’t inspire me to open a cookie jar, and I normally need no encouragement to do that. Contrast her oratory style with someone like Michelle Obama – whose fire and passion has electrified this race in recent weeks. Hillary’s a dull, lifeless, robotic speaker by comparison.
    13)She’s not Bill, one of the smartest, most brilliantly charismatic politicians America has ever seen. There’s a sense with Hillary that she’s riding on the coattails of her husband’s huge popularity. Would she be anywhere near winning the presidency if many Americans weren’t thinking this was a way of getting Bill back to the White House too? I don’t think so.
    14)I fear that beneath the constant, smug, apple-cheeked smirk lies a fairly unpleasant piece of work. Former Secret Service agents have painted a picture of a vengeful, mistrustful, abusive, angry, sarcastic, demanding, disorganized, unpunctual boss.
    15)She would push for a new cold war with Russia in an effort to prove her toughness with Vladimir Putin. You can tell this by the hateful rhetoric which spews from her mouth every time she mentions his name. This is a very worrying thing for the world.
    16)Republicans hate her even more than they hate President Obama. This will be a massive issue if she wins. Obama’s woeful inability to do business with the opposition rendered him incapable of even passing a single new gun law after Sandy Hook. What hope for Hillary, with all her Washington enemy-making over the past 40 years, to achieve any meaningful deals?
    17)Her baggage is horrendous. From Whitewater to Vince Foster, Hillary’s past is scandalously dubious and troublesome. Does this matter? Yes. It goes to the heart of her character. She’s dodgy, period.
    18)The way she attacked Bill’s lovers in the past leaves an unedifying taste in the mouth given all her lofty moral pronouncements about the way Trump treats women. Hillary didn’t just stand by her philandering man, she trashed the women he bedded. Very unfortunate for the self-styled Emmeline Pankhurst of US politics.
    19)She’s chillingly ambitious to the expense of anything else in her life. It seeps from every pore. This is a career politician who has repeatedly shown she will trample over anyone and anything that gets in her way, and who conveniently overlooks moral and ethical issues if they don’t suit her agenda or progression to power.
    20) Madonna has offered to perform free oral sex for anyone who votes for Hillary. I literally cannot think of a single more compelling reason not to vote for her.

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