Journalist Greg Palast was the guest on Politics Done Right (PDR) recently. He pointed out several inconvenient truths about past elections. Most importantly he said once again voter suppression could cost Democrats the election in 2020 and pointed out that many of our elections were stolen.
So who is Greg Palast? He is the author of several New York Times bestsellers including The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Armed Madhouse. He has done investigative reports for BBC Television, The Guardian, Democracy Now! and Rolling Stone. And he is the creator of the film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Case of the Stolen Election.
Palast's website is a treasure trove of information. The man is in the field "digging in garbage" unlike many reporters who chase their tips conventionally. But most importantly, it is a centralized place where one can search to see if they were purged from voter files or if they are registered in any state.
We all know the headlines about Trump's win. We know Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes. I asked Palast if Trump really won the Electoral College.
"No," Palast responded emphatically. "That is if you counted every vote that was thrown away; if you let everyone vote who was improperly denied the right to vote. … I know we use the term voter suppression. But you know when someone steals your car you don't say my car was suppressed. You say it's stolen. People's votes were stolen by the hundreds of thousands in key states."
Palast said if it wasn't for the theft of the African American, Latino, Asian vote, and young voters, Trump would have lost Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Arizona, and shockingly Georgia and North Carolina.
Palast reports are not readily available in American major newspapers like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others. Yet, major papers and news outlets like the BBC, Rolling Stone, the Guardian, and Democracy Now! frequently carry his material. Why?
"We have a great myth," Palast said. "That we have a great Democracy and any journalist that dares break that BS myth is persona non grata. That's just the darn truth."
Greg points out the following inconvenient truth at his site:
Two months before the 2016 election, Palast released his film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, and predicted that Trump would win by means of a Republican-connived theft. Post-election, he jumped into the fray, pursued the story relentlessly, and uncovered numerous cases of fraud — enough to change the results. His work is very well-documented but the implication — that US elections are not as free or fair as people would like to think — is a hot potato for both the mainstream media and the political establishment, including the Democratic party leadership, so we haven’t heard enough about it.
But you, Democratic rank-and-filer, can be more honest and forthright; you can educate yourself on what happened and what’s going on, the better to kick out the orange menace.
What went down in Michigan is a case study of malfeasance, and much of what happened there was repeated elsewhere.
At least 75,355 ballots were not counted there in 2016. What’s more, most of these were from Detroit and Flint, both majority Black cities (82+% and 55+% respectively). According to CNN exit polls, 92% of Black voters in Michigan voted for Hillary. So if half these uncounted ballots were cast by Black voters at that ratio, an additional 34,662 votes would have been tallied in Hillary’s column and given her the state by a margin of 23,958 votes.
These ballots were not counted because they were unreadable by machines. When the oval next to a candidate’s name on the paper ballot was not filled in correctly — i.e., it was checked or was marked with red ink — the machine did not register it and the ballot was set aside. In other cases, no voter error occurred and the machines simply didn’t work.
The thing is, the GOP are masters of this type of chaos and voter suppression techniques. As an example, Palast sued Georgia for their purged voter files. He said after they went through the list they found over 300,000 voters wrongfully removed from the list.
Palast points out that Stacey Abrams hired his team of experts to work with her new organization Fair Fight.
"They will steal the 2020 election," Palast said rhetorically. "They will steal it."
Palast said he has spoken to President Obama on various occasions on voter suppression. He said while Obama acknowledges voter suppression, he tended to put more responsibility on the voter. For the most part, if one overwhelms the vote, voter suppression is less successful. Palast provided an example that did not fit that profile, like an older citizen who was wiped from the roles. It is a hardship for her to reregister.
Palast is sounding an alarm for all that will listen. He knows the different forms of voter suppression, some not readily visible from the surface, and he is intent on sounding the alarm for all to hear. We can all do something about it. Make sure everyone in your sphere of influence is registered to vote. Most importantly check your registration status frequently.