ACTION

ACTION: Combat right-wing talking points in US News & World Report

As Julia Ricketts remarked, this piece is a garbage article. But when a popular national magazine quotes right wing talking points, outdated stats and skewed interpretations, they must be combatted. US News and World Report is a bit more conservative than Time and Newsweek but falls under the rubric of middle America journalism.

ACTION: Read this piece; write letters both to the editor and to the writer of it at US News; recruit a friend, especially one in or near Kentucky, to do so. Write it in your own words; actions have effect in direct proportion to the time/effort they take.

The piece: http://bit.ly/KYpurge

Link to write a letter: https://www.usnews.com/info/features/contact

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Tl;dr: cover voting in a fair way and check your sources before taking Judicial Watch's claims at face value. Be fair and non-partisan instead of serving as a mouthpiece for biased claims.

In depth:

1. Infrequent voter purges are an inaccurate way of curing inaccurate voter rolls. That's why every Justice Dep't. administration before Trump's, including other GOP ones, fought them. Far more accurate, and cost effective maintenance practices exist, that don't risk becoming tools of partisanship.

2. IVPs unfairly impact eligible minority voters, who face more barriers, both deliberate and inadvertent, legal and illegal. Instead of thinking of this as a consequence of a turnout failure, we need to ask why they didn't get counted: whether they couldn't vote, or failed to try due to obstacles. In states that don't offer early voting, no excuse absentee voting, or vote by mail, and states that manipulate polling place locations to make it harder to reach them, not being counted in two elections is not an indicator that a record is outdated. Combine those barriers with a health emergency, a boss's last minute demand to work an extra shift or go on a business trip, a long line due to broken machines, or the transfer of your polling place to an inaccessible location, and you can simply make it too hard for voters. This is especially true for minorities, rural voters, young voters, and low income families.

3. Mail Theft is Real

This means citizens may not get their postcard. In Cincinnati, thieves signed up, as homeowners, for Google's "Informed Delivery" program. They were then alerted when stuff might be coming that they wanted to steal. http://bit.ly/mailstealingvoting

15 defendants who stole 6,000 checks via the mail were sentenced in GA last December. If tax refunds, Social Security and veterans checks can be stolen, so can these voter confirmation cards. http://bit.ly/checkstealingvoting

The theft of mail-in ballots was documented in NC last year, too. http://bit.ly/mailinballotstealing

4. Judicial Watch is a hard-right partisan organization with an agenda, not a "conservative watchdog" group. Calling Mueller's testimony a "smear", as JW recently did, suggests a propaganda mission, not a good government mission.

5. Don't quote outdated statistics. JW, as justification for its lawsuits, cites 2012 Pew study that concluded that one in eight American voter registrations is inaccurate. Since then, 17 states have adopted two wildly-more-accurate (and cost effective) methods of maintaining voter rolls: automatic voter registration, which uses more accurate info the state already has, and ERIC, an extremely accurate, double encrypted interstate voter roll comparer designed by the Pew Charitable Trust (which is non-partisan and non-profit). Our voter roll landscape isn't cured, but we now know that it can be, and states that have adopted these modernizations have far fewer inaccuracies than those that haven't. That statistic is no longer verifiably accurate.

6. Cherry-picked data: This article sets AVR at odds with accurate voter rolls, focusing on California, a state that did have issues. But it ignores the fact that over 12 states have successfully implemented AVR with overwhelmingly impressive results.

7. Alison Lundergan Grimes, KY's SoS, filed a cease and desist letter against Judicial Watch for inaccurately alarming voters (that is to day, JW's press release is a voter suppression tactic itself.
==> Grimes Press release: https://content.govdelivery.com/.../KYSOS/bulletins/25330e4

==> Article about it: https://forwardky.com/grimes-judicial-watch-spreading.../

==>The Cease and Desist Letter itself:
https://content.govdelivery.com/.../Judicial%20Watch%20.pdf

7. In sum: there are solutions: Combine AVR and ERIC, early voting and no-excuse absentee voting, and you have a system that achieves what should be everybody's overarching goals: accurate voter rolls that can be maintained cost-effectively; a system that makes it easy to vote for those who are eligible and hard to cheat for those who aren't.