Behold, the real face of voter fraud in America — a white woman from Iowa who wants Trump to win so badly that she voted for him twice.
This is the game that Trump is playing in the 2016 election. He is muddying up the process with vague, flimsy and unsubstantiated claims of a rigged election — no facts, just a suggestion of corruption will do. All the while, the GOP presidential nominee ignores the culprits of voter fraud in his own party.
Meet Exhibit A: Terri Rote, who was arrested for voter fraud for attempting to vote at two polling places in Des Moines. Rote has the distinction of becoming the first person charged with voter fraud this campaign season, in an election marked by Trump’s mantra that the election is rigged.
And it matters not that there is no proof, and he has no evidence of a rigged election, the way Trump claimed he had a team of experts looking into questions over the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate. Of course, the underpinnings of the Birther movement that Trump helped to build are about as sincere as a man who places a dead weasel on his head and expects you to believe that is his own hair. After all, if you repeat an outright lie often enough, people start to believe it, especially if they are gullible, untrained and racist.
Trump knows he can rely on his army of the unstable, sometimes violent, to heed his call and go into the inner city polling places — you know, where the people have “nothing to lose” — root out imaginary cases of a manufactured crisis of voter fraud, and scare the black folks in the process. Because Ku Klux Klan, that’s why.
White supremacists have been stealing and blocking the African-American vote since black people have voted in America. And 2016 is no exception, as Trump has promoted the idea that his “crooked” Democratic rival Hillary Clinton has rigged the election with the help of the “dishonest and distorted media.”
Throughout the campaign, Trump has warned of the potential for “shenanigans,” of “these horror shows” he claims he has heard about, and has urged his people to “go around and watch other polling places” to “make sure that this election is not stolen from us and is not taken away from us.”
And we know what he means by the “other” in those other polling places.
“But take a look at Philadelphia, what’s been going on, take a look at Chicago, take a look at St. Louis. Take a look at some of these cities, where you see things happening that are horrendous,” Trump said, fanning the flames of distrust and heightening fears of voter intimidation in communities of color.
And there is a website run by “professional dirty trickster” Roger Stone to mobilize Trump supporters to run exit polls of minority voters and monitor the polls in key states for so-called voter fraud. Their plan is to send poll watchers to Democratic-leaning cities, including Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Fort Lauderdale, Charlotte, Richmond and Fayetteville.
It matters little that the voter fraud that Republicans decry is nonexistent, because that is not the point. The whole point is to suppress the black and women votes, according to Trump advisers, in a strategy reportedly led by white supremacist Breitbart chief Steve Bannon.
And if anyone is committing fraud or attempting to steal the election, it is the GOP. And the election rigging is against black voters — in Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin and throughout the country.
For example, the NAACP has sued the state of North Carolina, alleging voter suppression, the reduction of early voting, and the cancellation of thousands of disproportionately black voter registrations by the state Republican Party. North Carolina Republicans even purged the vote of a 100-year old black woman named Grace Bell Hardison. Moreover, the Democratic Party has filed lawsuits against Trump’s campaign and the Republican Parties of Ohio, Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. The suits accuse Trump, Stone, and the Republicans of violating the Voting Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 by “conspiring to threaten, intimidate, and thereby prevent minority voters in urban neighborhoods from voting in the 2016 election.”
A federal appeals court just found that the purging of millions of infrequent voters by Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State was illegal. In Indiana — home of Trump running mate Gov. Mike Pence — the state police raided the offices of the Indiana Voter Registration Project (IVRP), which registered 45,000 people to vote in Indianapolis and the Chicago suburbs. The state’s Republican secretary of state accused the voter participation group of being a “nefarious operation.”
Meanwhile, it takes little imagination to conclude that things could turn ugly when armed racists, encouraged and emboldened by Trump’s voter fraud narrative, take matters in their own hands. Already, armed Trump supporters menaced a Democratic campaign office in Virginia in October.
The Trump campaign operates in the gutter, as we would expect of dirty rats. So, if there is any voter fraud going on, then Trump and his Republican enablers are the ones committing it against African-Americans. Then and now, the Klan can’t win unless black folks can’t vote.
Follow David A. Love on Twitter @davidalove