The GOP has been trying to tip the scales on U.S. elections for a long time, but efforts are becoming more brazen.
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors. It will be updated.
Donald Trump: This will be the most corrupt election in the history of our country.
Jaisal Noor: Welcome to The Real News, I’m Jaisal Noor. This week, Donald Trump took a short break from defending officer, accused of police brutality to tell his supporters to commit a felony and attempt to vote twice.
Donald Trump: But send in your ballots, send them in strong, whether it’s solicited or unsolicited, the absentees are fine. We have to work to get them. It means something and you send them in, but you go to vote and if they haven’t counted it, you can vote. So that’s the way I view it.
Jaisal Noor: Voting more than once in an election is illegal. In some States, including North Carolina, it is a felony, not only to vote more than once, but also induce others to do so. In a series of tweets on Thursday, Trump again, urged his supporters to vote early by mail and then follow up by attempting to vote in person. Trump has repeatedly asserted, without evidence, that mail-in voting expanded by some States because of the coronavirus pandemic would increase fraud and disrupt the November election. Although experts say voter fraud of any kind in the United States is virtually nonexistent.
While all of this is deeply concerning the election faces another threat that’s gotten far less attention, but could pose a potentially far greater danger, voter suppression. Our next guest, Greg Palast, an award winning journalist and author has been exposing and fighting voter suppression for years and just coauthored a new report with the ACLU of Georgia that found close to 200,000 Georgia voters were wrongfully purged from the voting polls as part of a scheme to steal the election.
Well, we’re now joined by Greg Palast so we want to talk about your new report, which follows up on the work of your book, How Trump Stole 2020, which we recently interviewed you about, but start off by responding to Trump’s comments, where he encouraged his voters in North Carolina, and then in Pennsylvania, to vote twice.
Greg Palast: Well, it’s fascinating, first, that it’s North Carolina. I actually have a chapter in my book about the issue of the accusation of double voting by the Republicans in North Carolina. I actually went there. You just have to understand the GOP has been saying that Democrats have been voting twice for years and they got to the point where they actually hired an FBI agent, spent millions of dollars to hunt these fraudulent voters, these Democrats, obviously Democrats of color, voting multiple times, including by mailing in ballots and then showing up in person, exactly what Trump is telling his supporters to do.
So they were on the hunt to arrest people and they got exactly zero. They did find one 90 year old man, who was senile, who had mailed in his ballot, forgotten, walked to his polling station and voted again. But they’re able to stop the count of the second ballot. So one guy, 90 years old, who’s senile. But now Trump has decided to make it instead of have a felonious act into a way to make America great again because he can’t win in North Carolina without playing these games.
This is one of the problems, North Carolina is a swing state. It went from Obama to Trump. How did that happened? A lot of it was because of the mass purge of voter rolls. Interestingly, and disgustingly maybe, is that one of the reasons that they removed tens of thousands of voters of color from the voter rolls of North Carolina was that they were accused of voting twice or registering twice. So that’s how Trump won the state, by accusing other people of doing what he just encouraged you to do, and they removed people from the voter rolls. By the way, none of them were criminal … We don’t have … Again, except for the 90 year old guy, there’s no case in North Carolina of a double voter.
Jaisal Noor: Now Trump’s point, I guess, if there is one, is that, if voting is so secure with mail-in ballots, then these voters will not be allowed to vote twice. Is there such a safeguard in place?
Greg Palast: Yeah. I mean, they keep track of if you’ve voted. That’s how we found that 90 year old senile guy. I mean, he voted twice, “We got him, we got this 90 year old crime wave,” right? So it’s very easy to catch. I used to work for the justice department, by the way, this is so easy to catch. That’s why when they hired an FBI agent to hunt down double voters and they couldn’t find any, the answer was because there ain’t any. But now, Trump is encouraging this.
But here’s the other side of this, which people aren’t picking up. People aren’t going to vote twice. It is a felony crime. I know he’s being too cute by half, but here’s the issue. I’m very concerned that we’re going to have an election with a hundred million mail-in ballots, several million in North Carolina, which is not prepared for this.
What he’s doing is he’s setting up a situation where he’s going to have Boogaloo Boys, these schmucks in Hawaiian shirts go in and challenge your ballot, and say, “Oh, we think that that person has already voted.” “Oh, look, a Jose Garcia has already voted by mail so don’t count this Jose Garcia’s mail-in ballot.” “Oh, Jose Garcia walked in so don’t count as mail-in ballot.” It doesn’t matter if it’s a different Jose Garcia with a different middle name, and I ain’t kidding because I looked at the purge list in that state of North Carolina, they’re removing people named Jose Garcia.
I actually talk with these voters where there they’re two voters with different middle names, but because it’s ethnic names like Garcia or John Black, I had Antonio [Hayes 00:00:05:52], an African American from Durham who was matched, his middle name was Charles, and he was matched with someone in another state whose middle name was Edward, but they had the same first, last name, common African American name.
So these are the games that they’re playing so that they can challenge the mail-in vote. Remember 141,000 mail-in ballots in 2016 were challenged over signature. We just had the Democratic Party challenge thousands of votes because they lacked a postmark or they had scotch tape on the envelope. So we’re going to have this whole gotcha game. That’s what Trump is setting up for people to challenge the ballots, that’s what’s being missed here.
Jaisal Noor: In your new book, you argue Trump has stolen the election, which is what you warned us about the last time you were on. Now you and the ACLU of Georgia have just uncovered another scheme where nearly 200,000 voters, you allege, had been wrongfully removed from the voting rolls, you argue because of a lazy job by the state trying to determine who has moved, and out of some 300,000 … So tell us about what you found. Out of 300,000, 200,000 of these voters had not in fact moved-
Greg Palast: Let’s not exaggerate 198,131 voters were removed from the voter rolls because they supposedly moved from their homes. Look, if you don’t live in Atlanta, you left the city, or you left Georgia, you can’t vote in Georgia if you don’t live there anymore, that’s fair enough. So they came up with a list, they said they got it from the post office, mostly 313,000 people. Well, I hired the post offices’ address lists licensee, this is the company that the post office designates to go into their deep files and verify for you, you have to pay them for this, verify where people live.
That’s, by the way, also in federal law, you can’t remove someone’s registration unless you use the official licensee of the post office. It’s right in federal law. I hired the guy, the company, it’s a billion dollar corporation called Merkle, and they came back and they said, “We don’t know where the Republican Secretary of the State of Georgia got these people that have moved,” he said, “From the post office.” But according to the post office, it wasn’t true.
We went through name by name, by name. I even brought in the experts who know exactly where you are every single day down to the minute. It’s called Amazon, it’s called Netflix. Believe it or not, all your files of Netflix and Amazon, et cetera, are public, not public … There are specialized address verification companies, which keep track of where you are, sorry to tell you that, but they do. We hired them to also check peoples’ addresses and they didn’t move.
So you’re talking about almost 200,000 people who the GOP said have moved. So the State of Georgia, the GOP secretary of state has said that almost 200,000 people moved, who didn’t. He said he got them from the post office, he didn’t. We verified this with every expert and the post office.
So what was he doing? What was the problem with these people? Did they move? No. Their crime, to an overwhelming extent, is that they were attempting to vote while black, or vote while young, or vote while Asian American. These are the targets of the list, and low income voters. This is the target of this purge, this basically Jim Crow scrub operation.
It’s the only way that they can win Georgia because you have to understand, George has just turned into a white minority state. The polls show neck and neck, Biden may be up a point or two, there’s two Senate seats at stake. Georgia may decide this election and they’re panicked so they have to remove legal voters of the wrong color. That is, they’re not orange.
Jaisal Noor: So you’ve had this expose, I know it’s been picked up, especially in the local press in Georgia. What are the next steps? Are there plans to fight this and take it to the courts and get these voters reinstated in time for the election?
Greg Palast: One of the problems is that if the ACLU goes to court, and I appreciate the ACLU putting out my report, getting it out, and what we are very concerned with, myself, and the ACLU, we’ve created a website called savemyvote2020.org. savemyvote2020.org. There we will have up the … Right now, we have the purge list in Georgia.
So if you’re in Georgia, go to savemyvote2020.org, if you’re on the purge list, re-register, and I’m sorry, if you’ve been voting at the same place 30 years, I don’t care. Almost no one on this purge list know that they’ve lost their vote. For example, I was at the Atlanta polling station when Martin Luther King’s 92 year old cousin went in to vote for her 50th year, it was 50 years since her cousin was murdered, she’s been voting since that year, at the same school house, and they told her, “Get out, you’ve been removed from the voter rolls, get out.”
And why? Because she supposedly moved out of her house. Well, I went to the house she supposedly moved out of, and there was a picture of her having dinner with Martin Luther King there more than a half century earlier, he would come to dinner after church every Sunday. If they can remove King’s cousin after 50 years, they can remove you and this is happening … If it were only Georgia, it would be serious enough because the Senate, control of the United States Senate, is up to Georgia right now. Two Senate seats.
The second is that it is a swing state, it could determine the presidential election. But if it was just Georgia, I would be worried, but not as worried as the fact that Georgia’s system, as I point out in my book, How Trump Stole 2020, the Georgia system was taken on the road into Ohio and Michigan and Florida. These swing States are using the same ugly system of scrubbing the polls whiter than white. It’s an ethnic cleansing of the voter rolls that’s happening nationwide.
I’m on it with the ACLU. I’m also on it, as you know, I’ve been writing for … was writing for Rolling Stone, and I’m working with some major media right now to uncover this in other States as well, Wisconsin, very, very concerned about what’s going on there. So it’s many States, but it originated out of Georgia.
Jaisal Noor: All right, Greg Palast, it’s always a pleasure to have you on and for you breaking down these really important issues and keep up the great work. We appreciate everything you do.
Greg Palast: I appreciate the work you do too. Thanks a lot.
Jaisal Noor: Thank you for watching The Real News Network.