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Palast writes: "Kris Kobach was spooning down vanilla ice cream when I showed him the thick pages of evidence documenting his detailed plan to rig the presidential election of 2016."

Donald Trump. (photo: AP)
Donald Trump. (photo: AP)

Trump Picks Al Capone of Vote Rigging to Investigate Federal Voter Fraud

By Greg Palast,

13 May 17


Kris Kobach is the GOP mastermind behind a secretive system that purged 1.1 million Americans from the voter rolls.

ris Kobach was spooning down vanilla ice cream when I showed him the thick pages of evidence documenting his detailed plan to rig the presidential election of 2016.

The Secretary of State of Kansas, sucking up carbs at a Republican Party Fundraiser recognized the documents – and yelled at me, "YOU'RE A LIAR!" then ran for it while still trying to wolf down the last spoonful.

But documents don't lie.

That was 2015 (yes, the ballot heist started way back). Today this same man on the run, Kris Kobach, is now Donald Trump’s choice to head the new “Voter Integrity Commission.”

It’s like appointing Al Capone to investigate The Mob.

How did Kobach mess with the 2016 vote? Let me count the ways—as I have in three years of hunting down Kobach’s ballot-box gaming for Rolling Stone and Al Jazeera.

Just two of Kobach’s vote-bending tricks undoubtedly won Michigan for Trump and contributed to his “wins” in Ohio, North Carolina and Arizona.

First, Interstate Crosscheck.

Kobach is the GOP mastermind behind this secretive system which purged 1.1 million Americans from the voter rolls.

When Trump said, “This election’s rigged,” the press ignored the second part of his statement: “People are voting many, many times.” Trump cited three million votes illegally cast.

The White House said Trump got this information from Kobach. Indeed, it specifically comes from a list of 7 million names—or, as Kobach describes it, a list of 3.5 million “potential double voters.” How did Kobach find these three million double voters?

He matched their names, first and last. And that’s it.

Here’s an unedited screen-shot of a segment of his list:

(photo: Greg Palast)

James Edward Harris Jr. of Richmond, Virginia, is supposed to be the same voters as James R. Harris (no Jr.) of Indianapolis, Indiana. Really? Note that not one middle name matches.

And here’s the ugly part. Both James Harris (in fact, hundreds of them) are subject to getting scrubbed off the voter rolls.

And these are Kobach’s lists, tens of thousands of names I showed Kobach, falsely accused of the crime of double voting.

And that’s why Kobach was stunned and almost dropped his vanilla, because he and his GOP colleagues kept the lists of the accused strictly confidential. (The first of the confidential lists was obtained by our investigative photojournalist, Zach D. Roberts, through legal methods—though howling voting officials want them back.)

In all, about 1.1 million voters on that list have been scrubbed already—and they don’t know it. They show up to vote and they’re name has simply vanished. Or, the voter is marked “inactive.” “Crosscheck” is not marked on the victim voter’s record. It’s a stealth hit.

And it’s deadly. Doubtless, Crosscheck delivered Michigan to Trump who supposedly “won” the state by 10,700 votes. The Secretary of State’s office proudly told me that they were “very aggressive” in removing listed voters before the 2016 election. Kobach, who created the lists for his fellow GOP officials, tagged a whopping 417,147 in Michigan as potential double voters.

And not just any voters. Mark Swedlund, a database expert who advises companies such as Amazon and eBay on how not to mis-match customers was “flabbergasted” to discover in his team’s technical analysis, that the list was so racially biased that fully one in six registered African-Americans were tagged in the Crosscheck states that include the swing states of Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Arizona and more.

The effect goes way beyond the Trump v. Clinton count. I spoke to several of the targeted voters on the list in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional district where the Democratic candidate fell just short of the margin to win a special election. Especially hard hit in the northern Atlanta suburbs were Korean-Americans, like Mr. Sung Park, who found he was tagged as voting in two states in 2012 simply because he had a name that is as common in Korea as James Brown.

And Kobach, in fact, tagged 288 men in Georgia named James Brown on his Crosscheck blacklist.

As Crosscheck spreads—and it was just signed into law in New Hampshire in the last days of a lame-duck Republican governorship—it will undoubtedly poison the count in the fight for Congress in 2018.

And that’s why Trump needs Kobach on his “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity”: To spread Crosscheck with an official federal endorsement and, likely, Congressional legislation.

And if Crosscheck isn’t enough to scare you, Kobach is also pushing Trump to require voters to prove their citizenship.

At first blush, it seems right to demand people prove they are US citizens to vote. But here’s the rub: We are not Red China and don’t carry citizenship cards. Resident Aliens holding Green Cards have, indeed are required to have, Social security cards and drivers’ licenses, if they drive or work.

The readiest proof of citizenship is a passport. And what is the color of the typical passport holder, their income—and the color of their vote?

The other form of proof, besides naturalization papers, is your original birth certificate.

And there’s the rub: the poor, minorities and especially new young voters do not have easy access to a passport or their birth certificates. Kobach took his citizenship proof requirement out for a test drive in Kansas. The result: 36,000 young voters were barred from voting… that is, until a federal judge, citing the National Voter Registration Act, told Kobach that unless he could produce even one alien among those 36,000, she was ordering him to let them vote.

Kobach’s response: a private meeting with Trump at Trump Tower where he proposed changing the Act.

All of this to eliminate a crime which does not occur. Besides Trump’s claims of alien voters swimming the Rio Grande to vote for Hillary, I have found only two verified cases of votes cast by aliens in the US in the last decade. (One, an Austrian who confessed to voting for Jeb Bush in Florida.)

Don’t laugh. The threat of “alien voters” – long a staple claim by Kobach on his appearances on Fox TV – will be the Kobach Commission’s hammer to smash the National Voter Registration Act’s protections. Based on the numbers from Kansas, and its overwhelming effect on young – read “Democratic” – voters, this shift alone could swing the election of 2018.

Indeed, Kobach’s Crosscheck con together with his “alien” voter attack,could mean the choice of the electorate in 2020 may already be trumped.

Greg Palast (Rolling Stone, Guardian, BBC) is the author of The New York Times bestsellers, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, now out as major motion non-fiction movie. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+16 # 2017-05-13 13:35
With apologies to Weird Al--Another crook rides the bus!
+33 # mashiguo 2017-05-13 13:42
Great article....
but RUSSIA!!!!! -not.

Our elections are being hacked by republicans, not by Russians.

Putting Trump in jail for being a Republican makes much more sense than playing chicken little with Russia.
-5 # Kiwikid 2017-05-13 22:07
What is it with you and the Russians, mashiguo? You seem very defensive of them, and I'm left wondering why.
+6 # Time Traveller 2017-05-14 03:43
Maybe BOTH Reps and Russkies, Guo? With this most fucking corrupt admin in American history, could such a thing be possible?
+23 # Jaax88 2017-05-13 14:21
More and more I think the ruling party and president are criminals. The people including working people who voted for trump and crooked Repugs need to be brought into the resisters group to cut trump and Gop's claim of wide support.
+44 # Elroys 2017-05-13 14:37
OK - this is now gone not only too far, but so far as to cross over to insanity. Trump, Session, Kobach and so many in this cabal are awful human beings doing everything they can to steal America from "the people" and handing her to the power and wealthy elite, with no care whatsoever about the 99% of Americans.
I am now BEGGING honest media professional to dig up everything about these people - especially Trump. He is clearly an out of control buffoon who cares only about his own / family profits,wealth and ego.
Willing to then deal with the other awful crackpot - Pence - clearly potentially more dangerous that the fool in the Oval office today.

Unite, America.
+18 # sjk642 2017-05-13 15:24
Next appointment: for director of the U.S. Humane Society, Cruella DeVille.
+37 # Barbell 2017-05-13 15:27
Kris Kobach was the author of the Arizona "papers please" legislation that the right wing Supreme Court shot down a few years ago. He also is partly responsible for the debacle that is currently the State of Kansas, along with his buddy, Sam Brownback. If there are any respectable Republicans left, they should be doing everything in their power to jail this idiot because he will do as more damage to their party than even Trump is doing. Kobach is committing voter fraud, which is a felony in most states and deserves to die in prison.
+45 # grandlakeguy 2017-05-13 16:01
It is America's national disgrace that our elections have become totally fraudulent theatrical exercises to fool the public into thinking that they are actually choosing their representatives.

We are not!

We are no longer a free nation because without free and honest elections we cease to be a free people.

The mainstream media is complicit in this treasonous theft of our elections and once the Republicans got away with the theft of the Presidency in 2000 they became bolder and bolder every election and we now have no elections that can be believed.

Not to be left out of the scam the DNC joined the party last year by operating a fraudulent primary which gave us the ONLY Democratic Party "Nominee" who could possibly lose to someone like Donald Trump!

Greg Palast and the other precious few election integrity advocates are to be applauded for being the canaries in the coal mine warning us that we have lost our freedom!

But is anybody listening?

Until the American people wake up to this fraud we will have the level of putrid corporate rule that has destroyed our middle class and now threatens the world with a mentally unstable maniac with his finger on the nuclear trigger.

It will take national awareness and millions of disenfranchised citizens in the streets to ever have the chance to force hand counted paper ballots into our polling places so we can have actual representative governance.

Thank you Greg and all of your fellow "conspiracy theorists."
+2 # chapdrum 2017-05-14 12:34
Right you are, glg. As to "putrid corporate rule," in my view, if we don't re-design or dismantle the corporate structure itself, we are destined to keep going in our entirely self-created circles.
+10 # davehaze 2017-05-13 16:12
Just like the two parties and the corporate media let's just pretend that we didn't read this article.
+34 # jussayin 2017-05-13 16:24
This tells you why you won't see R's making policy or laws which benefit the working class, middle class or poor. They don't have to earn their votes when they have the system rigged.

By stealing the elections of 2000 and 2004 they were able to take us to war based on lies. That benefited the defense contractors and oil companies to the tune of billions, which made it like pocket change to buy more politicians.

Environmental regs got you down? Or your bottom line? Not to worry. Buy enough pols and you can write your own regs and make those pesky ones that lower your profit disappear.

The wars rage on still. So does the dumping of oil from pipelines, the "venting" of methane, contaminants in our food and water, etc.

As long as enough people sit out the elections thinking their vote doesn't count, the crooks keep on keeping' on and we the people keep dropping like flies from poverty and poisons.

And enough of the people that do vote fall for the god, guns and gays trick again and again. Or the "freedom and liberty" slogans.

No wonder the corrupt politicians say the masses are asses. They easily play them and divide them.
+1 # Kiwikid 2017-05-13 22:30
Tragically ironic, jussaying - aren't the working class, middle class, and poor (howbeit white) the heart of Trump's base?
+5 # Saberoff 2017-05-13 16:38
Hey, you've got an unfortunate name there. What can I do? I'm just trying to uphold the law!
+20 # dquandle 2017-05-13 16:48
I'd bet there are more than 2 Kris Kobach's out there in the American wilderness. Someone ought to alert the requisite authorities that Kris Kobach is double voting and have him arrested for voter fraud.
+23 # chrisconnolly 2017-05-13 16:49
Talk about rigged elections. Our democracy is fast going the way of Pinochet's Chile. Are we to expect some of the same tactics to squash dissent?
+5 # Colleen Clark 2017-05-13 21:28
There are many many many common last names. I notice two "John Harris" one in IN and one in VA. I know someone with that name in MA.
My last name is Clark. There are two members of the extended family with common first names - "John" whose father's first name was "Robert." John has a sister named "Mary" but she got married and has a different last name now. Etc etc etc. There are only 26 possible different middle initials and some of those much more common than others. Surely, if your skin is dark then your probability of getting challenged is much greater than if your skin is white. It's preposterous. And who has time on Election Day to vote repeatedly?
+5 # elkingo 2017-05-13 21:49
Noooooooooooooo ooooooooo! If this is so, then it voids the whole"election" and the "winners"should be recalled immediately. How can we sit on our complacent asses when things of this magnitude are committed? Again, Kafka and Catch 22. But: there is an exception: those 228 guys in Georgia are indeed the SAME GUY! That's because they are all the Godfather of Soul. And this isn't funny. This doesn't threaten democracy, democracy is already gone. That was seen to by capitalism. It threatens civilization, which is on the way out too.
+6 # elkingo 2017-05-13 22:00
Not voter fraud, election fraud. The cultural preoccupation with money and power is psychotic and is killing the world. These guys who actually run things don't really care if this kind of insanity (election fraud) is transparently obvious. "Mama may have// Poppa may have // But God bless the chile whose got his own". Billie Holiday ?
+6 # bsimpich 2017-05-14 02:25
Greg did a movie about Kris Kobach's vote-rigging schemes that is dynamite. Well worth wafchinv if you hit the link to this story. Kobach had more to do with Trump winning the election than anyone else though I'm sure some Russians did their part. I've never met "the Russians" - have you? This is a great opportunity if we take it - this is a lot more important to organize around than almost anything I can think of. It can bring different sectors of the social movements in a very powerful way.
-2 # Cassandra2012 2017-05-14 15:59
Quoting bsimpich:
Greg did a movie about Kris Kobach's vote-rigging schemes that is dynamite. Well worth wafchinv if you hit the link to this story. Kobach had more to do with Trump winning the election than anyone else though I'm sure some Russians did their part. I've never met "the Russians" - have you? This is a great opportunity if we take it - this is a lot more important to organize around than almost anything I can think of. It can bring different sectors of the social movements in a very powerful way.

The 'Russians' - some of them at least- were three teenage hackers from Macedonia who hacked the election for "the money" (ca. $300,000 each, I was told)
+10 # ericlipps 2017-05-14 07:18
About that birth certificate:

I am a natural-born U.S. citizen born to U.S. citizens who happened to be living in Europe at the time. To land my first job I had to pay the State Department for a copy of my birth certificate (written in five languages!!) AND THEN for a special State Department form because a mere birth certificate wasn't enough. Years later, when I had to replace that form, I ran into trouble because it was obsolete, so I had to request a DIFFERENT form (and pay for it, of course).

I can only imagine what American citizens born to immigrants will have to go through ("Are you now, and have you always been, a citizen of the United States of America?") and Trump-era rules designed to deny the vote to people likely to vote Democratic.
+1 # CarolynScarr 2017-05-16 23:30
About Crosscheck --
When I was in college, I lived in a dorm with 65 other women. I was Carolyn Smith. There was another Carolyn Smith also living there. There were also two Carol Smiths. All this duplication in the relatively small sample size of only 65 young women.
Obviously the University of California should erase the records of all four of us, since we were there fraudulently.

Carolyn Smith Scarr

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