Sup­pres­sion or fraud?

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

On July 8, the Washington Post re­vealed that Arkansas was the only state to have sent in­for­ma­tion to the pres­i­den­tial com­mis­sion try­ing to col­lect per­sonal data on vot­ers. The story was mostly about a law­suit to block the com­mis­sion, but the on­line com­ments were al­most all about Arkansas. It’s im­pres­sive how many ways lit­er­ate peo­ple can say “stupid.”

The law­suit will re­view whether the pres­i­dent can legally or­der the cre­ation of a na­tional database of voter in­for­ma­tion and will ex­am­ine se­cu­rity procedures.

The com­mis­sion, I sus­pect, is not about salv­ing Don­ald Trump’s frag­ile ego over los­ing the pop­u­lar vote. The Repub­li­can Party has been sys­tem­at­i­cally in­volved in voter sup­pres­sion— un­like “voter fraud,” a real threat—for decades. The Supreme Court re­cently in­val­i­dated their schemes based on race and is look­ing at oth­ers. If Repub­li­cans can put to­gether a na­tional database of vot­ers’ per­sonal data, voter sup­pres­sion will be­come much eas­ier.

Al­most none of us has a unique name. Other peo­ple with my name, or yours, may be felons, and many have voted in other states. If I do not re­spond to a post­card sent to some Roger Webb, maybe I will be de­clared dead. I will not know I have been re­moved from the vot­ing rolls un­til I am pre­vented from vot­ing.

I wish I could at­tribute Mark Martin’s com­pli­ance with the data re­quest to stu­pid­ity as read­ers of the Post were ready to do. I sus­pect he was ea­ger to send data that would make it eas­ier for Repub­li­cans to keep me from vot­ing.

Since July 8, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette has printed one op-ed piece sup­port­ing the com­mis­sion, but I haven’t seen a sin­gle news story on what is go­ing on or our sta­tus as the one com­pli­ant state. Be care­ful guys, your bias is show­ing.

ROGER WEBB

Lit­tle Rock

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