How Do Republicans Get Away With Voter Suppression?

There are statistically an infinitesimal number of people who fraudulently vote, including almost nobody who votes twice in the same election. How do the Republicans get away with charges that they are trying to prevent massive voter fraud, when the real voter fraud is disenfranchising people? Do the Democrats bear some responsibility for, as Garrison Keillor wrote the other day, walking around in the woods and bumping into trees?

How do Republicans get away with it? They shout “Voter Fraud!” We have a section of my movie called, “The Hysteria Factory” where you go to a virtual drive-in theater to watch the scary Dead Voters and Alien Voters and other fraudsters in this GOP fantasy world. Where are the Democrats? They’re learning how to purge voters from the Republicans. The mass rejection of nearly one million “provisional” ballots in the California primary gave that state to Hillary. Remember, Democrats invented Jim Crow.

Why is the provisional ballot such a farce?

I call them “placebo” ballots because they let you feel like you voted, but you didn’t. Officially in the 2012 [election], 2.7 million provisional ballots were cast — and a million thrown in the garbage (technically, “not tallied”). Usually, these placebo ballots are given to Black folk, but in California, in the June 2016 primary, one million independents were forced to cast their votes on provisional ballots, tons tossed in the electoral dumpster. Notably, three out of four independent voters preferred Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. So, Sanders voters got a taste of the punishment meted out to those “Voting While Black.”

What are a few of the other ways besides “Crosscheck” and fake felon purges that you have documented as voter-suppression techniques in states run by Republicans? They seem to be inexhaustible.

The movie has a cartoon segment on “10 ways to spoil your vote.” “Spoilage” is the technical term for votes cast but never actually counted. In the last official reckoning by the Election Assistance Commission, their data showed that 2,706,275 ballots were spoiled and never counted. One technique won Michigan for Trump (even if we ignore the Crosscheck voter purges). It’s about filling in bubbles on ballots. See my Truthout article. It’s also explained in my documentary.

Truthout Progressive Pick


The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits (DVD)

The irrepressible Greg Palast investigates and exposes the vote-suppression methods employed by the GOP and its cronies.

Click here now to get the DVD!


What is the role of the Kochs and other billionaires and millionaires in financing voter suppression?

You want an answer in a paragraph? No way. The subtitle of the film (and allied book) is “A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits.” I have this killer cartoon about the Kochs, including a tape by Billie Koch ratting out his brothers Charles and David for felony crimes, including illegal campaign contributions. (Koch called me a few times when I was a Guardian reporter in London, not realizing my tape recorder was on.)

And there are many other millionaires and billionaires. To name a few, I go undercover with my sidekick Leni Badpenny (yes, that’s her name) to confront Trump’s sugar daddy, JP the Foreclosure King. And I also jump “The Vulture,” Paul Singer, top donor to the GOP and the puppeteer who moves the strings of that puppet pinhead, Paul Ryan.

So, if you want to meet the billionaires who now own your government, you’ll have to see the movie — which you can get, in a DVD, by making a ridiculously small tax-deductible contribution to Truthout. (Notice: I don’t get a dime from these contributions.) I do get the satisfaction of knowing you’ll keep open the one media eye that doesn’t blink in the face of threatening power. Donate now.