Sunday, October 14, 2012

Latinos–too lazy to vote?

Very important op-ed by Greg Palast on Latino voting—or non-voting, as the case may be—because of voter suppression. 
Indeed, the statistical survey shows Hispanics the most committed of any ethnic group to attempting to register. While the Times article tediously quotes those Hispanics who say their vote won’t make a difference, the Census shows that whites express that view twice as frequently as Hispanics.
Important corrective to the view that Latinos do not vote.


Latinos–too  lazy to vote?

Thursday, October 11,  2012
by Greg Palast for Utne  Reader

It’s  lookin’ bad for the old white guys. Eleven  million Hispanic
citizens remain unregistered,  Americans all, and 15 million kids between the ages 
of 18 and 24 who can’t be pried away from Facebook  long enough to register—
at least so the tally of  vote registries say.

Now,  add to that 16 million ex-cons who can vote  but think they can’t. (It
’s only in three states in  Old Dixie where those who’ve served felony
sentences  are barred from voting.)

All  these un-voters, if they suddenly registered, could  rock the planet.

You think the Old World  Order hasn’t thought of that?

So,  then, how do they stop Americans from taking over  America? Easy:
first, make registering voters a  crime.
In  a swing state like Florida with its huge new  Hispanic population (no,
not Cubans, Puerto Ricans),  you make it illegal to register citizens at 
welfare offices, churches, or voter-registration  drive meetings. (Suggestion:
sneak voter  registration forms into handgun barrels. Guns are  allowed at
all these locations.)

Second,  make registering voters as risky as a derivative  from JPMorgan.
In Florida (I love using Florida for  vote suppression examples, don’t you?),
Governor Jeb  Bush made it a crime, with vicious fines, to turn in  voter
forms more than forty-eight hours after they  were gathered, or with itty-
bitty errors in them.  He successfully put the League of Women Voters out  of
the registration business until June 2012 when a  judge enjoined Florida
from sentencing registrars to  hard time. But with ACORN’s corpse still fresh,
the  League and others remain fearful of going into the  streets of Miami
with clipboards.

Still,  why is the Hispanic voter registration rate so  absolutely dismal?

According  to the New York Times, it’s first and  foremost the Latinos’ “
entrenched pattern of  nonparticipation.” In other words, they’re just 
lazy, don’t give a taco, and treasure their siesta  more than their vote.
Nowhere in the long,  front-page article does the Times writer veer  from the
racial profile of Chicanos as unengaged if  not hostile to registering to vote.

If  the Times checked the stats instead of  relying on stereotypes from an
old Cantinflas movie,  it could have found from the detailed survey by the 
US Census Bureau that white voters are one-third  more likely than Hispanic
voters to say they don’t  register because of disinterest.
This is an  excerpt from Greg Palast's brand new book:  

Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal  an Election in 9 Easy Steps
Indeed, the statistical survey shows Hispanics  the most committed of any
ethnic group to  attempting to register. While the  Times article tediously
quotes those  Hispanics who say their vote won’t make a  difference, the
Census shows that whites express  that view twice as frequently as  Hispanics.

The biggest problem identified by  Hispanic citizens themselves in
registering is  “difficulty in English.” D’oh! The Times no  piense de eso, los

But  there’s another explanation for the drop in  Hispanic voter
registration: Hispanics do  register, by the millions—only to have their  registration
forms rejected, or, if they sneak onto  the rolls, have their names purged.
And The  Times said nothing about the Purge’n General,  Donetta Davidson,
who removed one in five  voters from the registry when she was Colorado’s 
Secretary of State.

The  Times, if their reporters weren’t too lazy to  check the facts, would
find out that the majority  of registration forms submitted by legal voters
of  color in California had been rejected.
For  several years, Hispanics have filled out the forms  and the state has
thrown them out.

It  was the Republican Secretary of State Bruce  McPherson who rejected
nearly half (42 percent) of  new registrations out of hand in California, over 
fourteen thousand voters in LA County alone. (He  didn’t, by the way,
bother to tell the voters. He  wanted to make it a surprise on Election  Day.)

Only  the County of Los Angeles questioned this alleged  avalanche of phony
voters. The county called each  rejected voter and every one reached was in
fact  legit, but their names were input wrong by the state  clerks or
simply rejected as “suspicious” to the GOP  official. (NB: Asians vote
Democratic, and their  registration rates are worse than for  Hispanics.)

And  that’s yet another way to kill your registration:  about 2.2 million
names have been misspelled or  contain other errors made by government 
clerks. McPherson’s replacement Bowen told me  that they couldn’t handle the
hyphenated and  unfamiliar spellings of new voters; but the GOP  officials
tagged clerical errors of the state as  “fraud” by voters.

When  the voters arrive, in most cases they’ll be told,  “Tough luck,
Chuck!” or handed a provisional placebo  ballot.

And  as California goes, so goes the nation. Several  states now require
that proof of citizenship be  mailed in with the form. Dear reader, do you 
have proof of citizenship that matches your  registration name, signature, and

It’s  crazy, but only two states, Maine and Michigan, have  more than 50
percent of eligible Hispanic citizens  registered. Michigan’s former Governor
Jennifer  Granholm told me that was only possible because she  teamed with
the NAACP to fight the Republicans’  creepy purge campaign.

Yes,  there are fewer Hispanics and African Americans on  voter rolls than
in 2008, but it’s not for lack of  trying. With 20 million registrations
purged each  year under the Help America Vote Act, plus the  massive
rejections, plus the state errors, it’s  surprising that there are any voters of color
left  at all.

Those  who attempt to register get defeated in an  impossible game of
chutes-and-ladders, a maze with  trap doors and lions and tigers and bears. In
the  swing state of Indiana, new ID laws have kept three  out of four Hispanic
citizens from  registering.

And  despite the federal law requiring states to make  voter registration
forms available at government  offices, in some states like Florida, the
papers  have been yanked from welfare offices and  outlawed in high schools.

It’s  worked damn well too. The number of voting citizens  with incomes
less than $15,000 has actually  declined. Mission Accomplished! In Florida, 
registration is down by eighty-one thousand in May  2011 compared to May 2008.

So  get ready for the bottom line: the number of black  and Hispanic
registered voters in the USA has fallen  radically since 2008, by two million in
these four  years.

The  Obama campaign, squeamish about making race an  issue, is literally in
denial—casting doubt on  the US Census registry figures—rather than 
confronting the cybernetic resurrection of Jim (and  José) Crow.

And  that’s why, by the way, I’m telling you to steal  back your vote
yourself. Relying on political  parties didn’t work for Martin Luther King, and
he  won a Nobel Prize. You have to defend yourself, not  wait for a
politician to protect you. (Self-defense  weaponry downloaded free at
( : 7 Ways to  Beat the Ballot Bandits
and resource  groups.)

But  let’s consider the strange notion that Hispanic  voter registration is
falling because the illegal  aliens on the voter rolls are running back
over the  border, back to Mexico.

In  the swing state of Arizona, that is the official  line. (Warning: while
other states have official  flowers, Arizona has official delusions. It’s
the  heat.) Anyway, about a hundred thousand Hispanics  have had their names
removed from the voter rolls in  Arizona, and Rolling Stone thought I should
go catch a couple of these aliens in the act of  voting.

Read  the rest in _Billionaires & Ballot  Bandits_
( .

Greg  Palast is the author of the New York Times  bestsellers The Best
Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed  Madhouse and _Vultures'  Picnic_
( .

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