Ep. 19: The “Screw the Vote” Folks
On Monday night’s Chris Hayes show, Marc Elias — the election lawyer and founder of Democracy Docket — mentioned that throughout the nation ReTHUGliQans are deliberately flooding local election offices with requests that divert local resources from focusing on processing voter registrations, setting up voting locations, and carrying out the multitude of tasks for a free and fair election, hallmarks of our democracy.
Let’s talk about what’s unfolding in Georgia.
Those Confederate MAGA ReTHUGliQans are challenging the right of thousands and thousands and thousands of U.S. citizens to cast their ballots. It’s another Jim Crow, and it’s on steroids.
An easy way to explain what they do is to liken it to the child’s game of “I Spy.”
The MAGA ReTHUGliQan version of this is “I spy people who will vote for candidates who will carry out the unfolding of the Promise of America with liberty and justice for all rather than for knuckle-dragging, cave-dwelling, Confederate MAGA ReTHUGliQans. Waaaaaaahhhhh!”
But unfortunately, this isn’t a game.
Remember Michael Flynn — the disgraced retired general who betrayed our nation? Well, he and Patrick Byrne — the founder of Overstock.com — they are financing a group that right now is challenging the legal and sacred right to vote of 37,500 U.S. citizens in Gwinnett County. Gwinnett County is an Atlanta suburb that is home to an increasingly diverse population — U.S. citizens who are Asian or Hispanic.
The county went Democratic in 2016 and in the 2020 elections, voted for President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as well as both Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate — Jon Ossoff and Rafael Warnock.
Back in May of this year, a single individual challenged the sacred, legal right to vote of 13,000 citizens living in Forsyth County — also a suburb of Atlanta.
During the 2020 U.S. Senate runoff in which we — I say “we” because for years I lived in the state working as the communications director of the ACLU of Georgia — we elected Rev. Rafael Warnock as our U.S. Senator on January 5th, 2021.
But several weeks prior in December 2020, an organization named True the Vote — which I think “Screw the Vote” accurately reflects their mission — the Screw the Vote folks challenged the sacred and legal right to cast ballots in the U.S. Senate race for — are you ready for this? Nearly 365,000 citizens.
Sean J. Young, legal director of the ACLU of Georgia and one of our nation’s top voter rights attorneys, immediately went into action. He sent letters to the state’s elections officials “to demand they reject the groundless, baseless assertions.”
The Screw the Vote folks lost their round in December of 2020. But they and others like them are back. The Screw the Vote folks of all stripes assert that they are using the U.S. Postal Service change of address information to stop citizens from voting. Really?! Hmmm.
Honey, that is nothing more than a bunch of recyclable garbage! The U.S. Postal Service website clearly states “The NCOALink data” — NCOA meaning National Change of Address. “The NCOALink data is provided on a regular basis to companies that have been licensed by the Postal Service.”
Those license fees easily climb into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are very few who possess those licenses here in the United States.
Are the Screw the Vote people licensed? Hell no!
The U.S. Postal Service says it provides the information for a fee “to licensees who facilitate relationships with business mailers.”
You know, companies like American Express, Amazon, Ebay. They employ these licensees so that when they send out packages, the packages will arrive at the correct address.
It’s expensive when you have customers saying, “I ordered this. It went to the wrong address. I put in the correct address.” Yaddee, yaddee, yaddee. So, they use the licensee to be able to ensure that the addresses are accurate.
Now, in terms of the contract between the business and the U.S. Postal Service, directly above the applicant’s signature on their form is this sentence. “I also understand that the sole purpose of the NCOALink service is to provide a mailing list correction service for lists that will be used for preparation of mailings.”
On the same form, applicants also affirm that their clients only use the lists to verify the address. Period. Vendors could lose their license if clients use the list for anything else such as to whiten the voter rolls.
And additionally, the feds can come knocking at your door if you breach your contract. I don’t know anybody who wants the federal government coming knocking at your door.
There is no way that the Screw the Vote folks are using a licensed vendor from the U.S. Postal Service to get an NCOA list and then turn around to use it to whiten the voter rolls. That means that the lists that they are using are crap.
That is in addition to the entire notion that anyone — public official or private citizen — should be able to swindle us out of our sacred right to vote.
Right now, they’re getting away with this right now — sucking up precious time and resources because in their Jim Crow 2.0 revenge law, Georgia ReTHUGliQans included a provision that actually encourages these mass challenges of voter eligibility.
Look, the local boards are caught between a rock and a hard place.
That Georgia Jim Crow 2.0 law authorizes the state to take over local election boards if they don’t like what the boards are doing. There’s nothing democratic about this. Nothing American.
These critical pieces of this horrendous puzzle need a massive amount of sunshine — one of the planet’s best natural disinfectants. And it just so happens that on October 5th, Greg Palast will premier his latest and most powerful documentary titled “Vigilante: Georgia’s Vote Suppression Hitman.” This is very exciting. Martin Sheen — yes THAT Martin Sheen is the executive producer! It’s premiering in Atlanta.
You can see both of the documentaries’ trailers on my website, sassypoliticalcoach.com. You are just gonna love it!
In the trailer above, Palast introduces us to a guy who likes to dress up like vigilante Doc Holliday including a loaded six-gun on his hip. While this may seem funny, Palast writes, “he’s no joke. ‘Doc,’ Chairman of the Muscogee County, Georgia, Republican Party, challenged 4,000 voters including the US military’s expert on Warfare of the Future. Like most of the quarter million Georgians challenged by these GOP operatives, the Major is African-American.”
Dear God in Heaven!
What the ReTHUGliQans do is to say that you or I no longer live at the address that we listed on our voter registration. They have zero proof. To them what matters is simply to attempt to swindle us out of our voter registration so that they can whiten the election results.
Oh good grief. What a crock! Their actions are so fundamentally unAmerican.
When they do this, you and I are considered guilty, guilty of their charge unless we take time out of our lives to show up at the specific time and place to prove our innocence, to prove that we do, in fact, live where we say that we live.
This is horrifying, morally outrageous!
Look we could be out of town on business or have a very important meeting at work. We could be the primary caretaker for a family member or any number of things. And the fact of the matter is that it should never matter because this vigilante crap is just that. Crap.
Nevertheless we have to deal with this reality and take the necessary steps to rid our nation of these MAGA ReTHUGliQans being in any position of political power.
So here are some practical steps that you can take wherever you live in this nation.
Check your voter registration, and re-register if you need to. I make it really easy for you. Go to my website — sassypoliticalcoach.com/vote. You’ll see a big button that says “Check Your Voter Registration.” Click it, check it, and re-register if need be. All in one place.
Make sure that you download to your computer and have it on your phone as well as print out a physical copy — proof that you are registered to vote, especially if you are Black or Hispanic, Asian or First American. Also if you are a student living at college but voting at home like many of us have throughout our lives.
Next. Notices of these challenges come to us either through regular mail or email. When you check your mail, make certain that you look at every piece of junk mail because these notices often come in what looks like junk mail.
Bloomberg News also reported that these may come in your email. Check your email — including junk mail. Be sure to help your friends and family with this as well, because it’s important that everyone makes super certain that you are registered to vote. AND you have proof.
OK, that takes care of the immediate.
The permanent solution is for Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and for President Biden to sign it into law. We can make this as soon as the new Congress takes office in January 3rd as long as we have elected the right number of people in the U.S. Senate.
To make this happen we must help re-elect four Democratic U.S. Senators who need our help to get across the line in November. I mean, Roevember.
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada, Senator Mark Kelly in Arizona, Senator Rafael Warnock in Georgia, and Senator Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire.
You’ll find links to their campaigns on my website: sassypoliticalcoach.com. Scroll on the homepage. You’ll see their photos. Click on their names and boom! You’ll go to straight to their website where you can volunteer to help, donate money — one or both.
It’s very important to return these four Democrats to the U.S. Senate. That keeps us at status quo.
We need two more Democrats in the U.S. Senate so we have the votes that we need to do all of these kinds of things like pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
Luckily, right now, we also have FIVE flippable U.S. Senate seats. FIVE. 1–2–3–4-FIVE flippable U.S. Senate seats. How fabulous! Yeah, the fabulous flippable five!
Tim Ryan in Ohio, Cheri Beasley in North Carolina, John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, Val Demings in Florida, and Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin. It’s so very, very exciting.
We have an incredible opportunity to transform our nation in the direction of our ideals, our values, and our vision for the America in our hearts, where dreams take flight and hope finds fertile ground.
Look around. We are winning, so jump on the train and let’s win big!
Last week the Michigan State Supreme Court put its stamp of approval for two ballot measures. One a pro-voter rights measure, and the other, a pro-abortion care measure.
The week before that, in Alaska’s special congressional election, Democrat Mary Peltola beat the ReTHUGliQan former Vice Presidential candidate. Woohoo, baby! Wasn’t that SWEEEET!
The week before that Democratic candidate Pat Ryan won his seat in a special congressional election in New York. YAYYYY!
A few weeks before that, Kansas women and men went to the polls and defeated the abortion ban ballot measure by two-to-one. A very decisive victory. Wooohooohooo!
I told you. We are winning!
Those successes came from channeling fury and rage into effective campaign action. Hell Hath No Fury is more than a phrase out of Shakespeare. It is our rallying cry!
Let’s commit to channeling our phenomenal Hell Hath No Fury energy into proven, effective campaign tasks that produce election night victories like the ones in Kansas, Alaska, and New York.
I’ve created a number of podcasts to take the mystery out of key campaign volunteer activities. I give you step-by-step instructions all of which come straight out of my own extensive experience and expertise over my four decades on the frontlines in campaigns across the nation. I even provide handouts with instructions that you can download. You can get all of that on my website: sassypoliticalcoach.com.
Want to know how to use your cell phone to identify voters who will cast their ballots for our Democratic candidates? Great! Listen to Episode 3: Cell Phone Activism! It’s something you can do in your bunny slippers and from wherever you are in the nation. Although, I recommend doing it with your friends.
Want to know the steps — literally, all puns intended — to walking and talking to neighbors? Listen to Episode 9 titled “Walking & Talking to Neighbors.”
What about turbo-charging the chatter on the ground to create the big momentum for our Democratic candidates? Oh, you gotta listen to Episode 4.
What about that voter protection stuff we need? Well, Episode 14 is what you’ll want to hear.
And of course, if you or someone you know needs a little help refocusing attention on winning, take a listen to Episode 2 titled “Get Your Head in the Game.” Honey, it’s either in the game playing the game that’s on the field or it’s somewhere where the sun fails to shine. We all know where we want our heads to be.
OK, that ends this episode of Hell Hath No Fury™! Thank you for listening.
Be sure to follow and like, rate and subscribe wherever you follow this podcast. And of course, share it with your friends and your family.
You can find me across social media @SassyPoliticalCoach.
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This is Ana Maria. YOUR Sassy Political Coach™. Now go out and make “Hell Hath No Fury™” our political rallying cry that helps create OUR BIG BLUE WAVE!
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