I wish that headline contained hyperbole. I wish it were made up. It is not. The man President Donald Trump has placed in charge of “election integrity” recently lauded the laws from the Jim Crow era designed to keep blacks from voting.
Before you scream, “What the fuck!” allow me to clearly explain. See ... umm ... well ... actually, you know what? There really isn’t a decent explanation. There’s no caveat or subtle fact you need to know. According to the New York Times, New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardener, hand-picked by Trump to serve on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity that Playskool Putin has impaneled, recently said that voter restrictions like poll taxes and literacy tests worked in the past. The Times reports:
Mr. Gardner said he did not necessarily favor imposing new qualifications for registering and voting, but he added that when burdens like poll taxes and literacy tests were imposed on citizens and registering often required a trip to the local courthouse, voter turnout was far higher than it is now.
Until the 24th Amendment was passed in 1962, poll taxes were enforced in the Jim Crow South to prevent black people from voting. The U.S. House of Representatives’ Office of History, Art and Archives explains that “the poll tax exemplified ‘Jim Crow’ laws, developed in the post-Reconstruction South, which aimed to disenfranchise black voters and institute segregation.” Literacy tests were outlawed in the Jim Crow South with the Voting Act of 1865, although they weren’t abolished nationwide until 1970.
But apparently, Gardner thought such restrictions worked well.
You may remember the Election Integrity commission from its leader, Kris Kobach, who was called the “most racist politician in America” and “the king of voter suppression.”
You might remember the commission from its asking states to hand over voters’ names, addresses, voter information and private data. You may know the commission from the 3,000 voters who turned in their registrations rather than allow the Trump administration to have their information. You might remember the group for making baseless claims of voter fraud in California, Colorado and New Hampshire.
The worst part of this is not that the man in charge of voting in New Hampshire said this. The bad part has nothing to do with the fact that the president has assembled a voter-suppression Dream Team. It isn’t even worrisome that Trump has selected someone affiliated with white supremacy, a hate group and eugenics to look into voting.
The worst part of all this is: No one is remotely surprised.
Read more at the New York Times.