Like the popular subreddit “Explain Like I’m 5" (ELI5) which simplifies complex issues into easily understandable, digestible bites, our new “Explain Like I’m A Racist 5-Year-Old” breaks down complicated subjects on the intersection of race, economics and politics, making them so simple, even a bigoted toddler could understand them.
My dad says the darkies are trying to steal the midterm elections. Why would you do that?
Well hello again, Racist Baby! I’m afraid it’s a little more complicated than that. No one is trying to steal the election, people are just trying to make sure all the votes are counted.
So why does it seem to be happening in only places black people are running?
Well actually, that’s not true. Because we have a white nationalist president, those seem to be the only places he wants people to see.
Trump is not a racist! My dad says he’s a nationalist who just happens to be white, just like Brian Kemp in Georgia. That’s why they’re trying to steal the election from a good, white man.
Well, actually, the mess in Georgia is Brian Kemp’s fault.
Well, my little Ku Klux Kid, let me explain: Long before he won the nomination for governor, as Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brian Kemp has been suppressing the black vote, purging 1.4 million voters from rolls during his tenure.
One of the ways he did this was to use an “exact match” policy, which purged any voter’s registration who didn’t exactly match the state records. Well, studies show that this disproportionately affects minority voters.
But my daddy says that’s racist because it assumes that black and Latinx voters can’t correctly fill out voter registration forms.
Remember when I told you your daddy was not very smart? Well, this is an example. Because black and Latinx voters sometimes use paper registration forms, many times this is due to errors by the state’s employees. For instance, black voters might have an apostrophe in their names or an unusual spelling that is not caught by people manually entering registration forms. Hispanic voters are more likely to have hyphenated names. Any variation in this can cause a voter to be purged. We know that the voters who were purged from rolls were disproportionately black.
Also, voting in Georgia requires a state ID or a student ID from an approved list of colleges. But HBCUs such as Spelman, Clark and Morehouse aren’t on the approved list.
But what does this have to do with why it’s taking so long to vote? I heard that Georgia is on “CP” time.
No, my little newborn Nazi. If a voter is purged, when they show up to the polls, they have to cast a provisional ballot. Furthermore, if a voter’s information is different from what the works at the polls show, they too must cast provisional ballots.
When this happens, the voter is supposed to have the opportunity to rectify his or her ballot by “curing” the problem on a later date to ensure their vote is counted. They can present ID or they can prove their residency.
According to the Washington Post, in the 2016 presidential election, 16,739 provisional ballots were cast. In the recent midterm elections, at least 21,300 provisional ballots were cast, even though there were fewer voters for the midterms.
One of the reasons it’s taking Georgia longer this time is because the provisional ballots could send the extremely close race for governor into a mandated recount. Also, there is the fact that the race was called while people in heavily minority areas were still casting ballots because of long lines and lack of infrastructure.
Is that also what’s happening in Florida? Papa called Ron DeSantis a “good ole boy.” That means he’s really good, right? So why is a black man trying to steal the election from him? Is it because blacks like to steal?
Not quite, Racist Baby.
Ron DeSantis is running for Governor against Andrew Gillum, who is black. Axios reports that a Florida judge said there’s no evidence that anyone is trying to steal the race. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says the same thing. The only voter fraud that has been uncovered is on the part of Republicans.
However, there is something weird that happened in one of Florida’s most populous counties. According to the New York Times, when election officials counted the Broward County votes, there was a mysterious “undervote” for the Senate race. Some think that voters didn’t vote in the race because of the way the ballot was designed. Others think it was a machine error.
But I heard that Gillum conceded. Why didn’t DeSantis just say “no backsies?”
Because a concession is just a speech; it isn’t legally binding.
So what’s taking so long?
Because of the close race, election officials have to manually feed more than eight million ballots back into voting machines, which requires them to work 24 hours a day.
So what happens now?
Georgia and Florida keep counting votes.
Florida officials are trying to complete their recount before Friday, Nov. 16, when the Secretary of State must certify the election results. A federal judge just extended the deadline to certify Georgia’s votes to Friday.
If what you say is true, then why is there so much controversy? Hold on. Let me guess ... Racism.
No, it’s partially because no one, including the president, seems to know history.
Are you trying to tell me our president doesn’t read history books?
It’s not just Trump. Because of electronic ballots, social media and news networks, we have become accustomed to finding out the winner of most races on election night. However, the entire reason that election laws give officials a week to certify results is that it has historically taken a long time to determine who is the winner of an election.
This has happened numerous times in history, including in 1960, when conservative newspapers claimed Richard Daley Sr.’s Chicago machine stole the election from Richard Nixon by .2 percentage points. In 2000, it happened again, when the Supreme Court’s Bush v. Gore had to settle the election amid charges of voter fraud. As far back as 1948, the headline “Dewey Defeats Truman” signaled that even the media sometimes gets it wrong.
Oh, so this has nothing to do with race, or politics, then. It’s just a story of process and history.
Correct, you little white nationalist newborn! But it also has everything to do with politics and race.
Let’s be clear: Andrew Gillum, Ron DeSantis, Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp are all motivated by their political aspirations.
But only one side has resorted to documented, court-acknowledged attempts to suppress the vote. Only one side has tried to subvert the process. Only one side has a secretary of state and a governor who used their legal positions to insist that officials not count votes that were legally cast. Only one side has made baseless claims of collusion. Only one side has used the bully pulpit of the presidency.
And only one side has used race and ethnicity to make laws that disproportionately prevent non-white citizens from voting. There’s no way to definitively know, but it is telling that in the two political races that are still outstanding, one is in Georgia, where Stacey Abrams could become the first black female governor in history. It must be noted that Georgia is one of the few states where the percentage of black registered voters outnumber the percentage of registered white voters.
And in Florida, where Andrew Gillum could become the state’s first black governor, the votes being questioned come from Broward County, where more blacks reside than any other county in the state.
There’s only one reason why anyone would say we shouldn’t #CountAllTheVotes.
Let me guess ... Racism.
It’s so simple, even a racist baby can agree.