clearn.png
Monday January 18th, 2021 5:21AM

Trump election challenges sound alarm among voters of color

By The Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — When longtime Detroit community advocate Frank McGhee watched two Republican canvassers vote against certifying election results in the majority Black city, he was furious.

McGhee, 58, has spent more than two decades working with Detroit youth and educating them on the electoral process. He said it was “outrageous” to see hard-fought Black voter-mobilization efforts threatened.

"I thought, these are the ultimate executioners, if you will, put in place so that quietly they could take what belongs to us,” he said.

President-elect Joe Biden was in part powered to victory in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia by Black voters, many of them concentrated in cities such as Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta where he received a significant share of their support. Since Election Day, President Donald Trump and his allies have sought to expose voter fraud that simply does not exist in these and other overwhelmingly Black population centers.

Such a plainly racist strategy to contest the election could erode Black voters’ trust in elections. Voting-rights advocates say they stand ready to beat back any efforts to water down the Black vote. But fears persist that Trump’s allies will undermine democracy and disenfranchise Black Americans and other voters of color.

Trump renewed his attack on Motown voters Thursday, tweeting without evidence, “Voter Fraud in Detroit is rampant, and has been for many years.”

The GOP effort in Michigan came to a head Tuesday, when the Wayne County Board of Canvassers initially deadlocked on a vote to certify election results that included ballots from Detroit, the nation’s largest Black-majority city.

Two Republican canvassers tried to block the routine certification, which provoked an outcry from people attending the meeting and civil rights leaders who questioned whether race was a factor. The two GOP board members eventually reversed their votes and certified the results. They later tried to revert to their original position and were rebuffed by state officials who said the certification could not be rescinded.

“I think it’s a dose of reality of the times that we are living in,” said Nicole Small, vice chair of the Detroit Charter Commission, who believes the vote was a “blatant attempt at voter suppression.”

“I do not believe that Trump has created racism amongst people, but I do think he was the safety net and the vehicle for people to be more active in practicing their racism and their prejudiced beliefs publicly,” Small said.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel blasted the Trump campaign and other groups for filing election-related lawsuits that were frivolous and lacked evidence.

“The themes we see that persist here are this: 'Black people are corrupt. Black people are incompetent, and Black people can’t be trusted,’” she said on a call with the nonpartisan Voter Protection Program.

Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said the Republican canvassers’ conduct was part of the ongoing effort "to disenfranchise voters on a scale that is simply unprecedented in modern times.”

Beyond Michigan, the Trump campaign sought a partial recount in Wisconsin — in Milwaukee and Dane counties, which include the majority of the state’s Black population. On Thursday, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani renewed unproven claims of voter fraud and impropriety during mail-in vote counting in Pennsylvania, naming Philadelphia and nearby Camden, New Jersey, which is also predominantly Black.

In Philadelphia, state Sen. Sharif Street said Trump’s attacks on the city are neither new nor surprising, given his “abject failure” around COVID-19 and the resulting economic fallout.

“This is an attempt to delegitimize our voters, but it only served to delegitimize himself.”

During a news conference Thursday in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden said Americans are “witnessing incredible irresponsibility. Incredibly damaging messages are being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions.”

Black voters are not the only targets. A Trump-allied group behind challenges in four states, True the Vote, filed a lawsuit alleging officials relaxed voter ID requirements for absentee voters in Menominee County, Wisconsin, which is essentially the Menominee Nation Indian reservation. Most of the group’s lawsuits have been tossed out or withdrawn.

Another lawsuit seeks nullification of votes in Nevada over fraud and irregularities. The Trump campaign and Nevada Republicans alleged the Nevada Native Voter Project illegally enticed Native American voters with gift cards, gas cards, raffle tickets and T-shirts if they voted early or on Election Day. That lawsuit has been dismissed.

And in Arizona, the Trump campaign and the state Republican Party jointly asked courts to halt certification of votes in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and a significant portion of the state’s Hispanic population. The lawsuit sought a hand-count of a sampling of ballots from the county. A judge dismissed that lawsuit on Thursday.

The rate of dismissal proves “there’s really no there there to the challenges,” said Anne Houghtaling, deputy director of the Thurgood Marshall Institute, which houses the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's voting rights projects.

“It’s all sort of tilting at windmills,” Houghtaling said.

Black voters and other voters of color were guaranteed free and fair access to the polls through the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. Prior to its passage, Black voters, primarily in the South, were routinely subjected to intimidation and deadly violence for simply registering to vote. In places where they could register, some voters faced literacy tests and poll taxes that effectively left them disenfranchised.

In some states, voter discrimination complaints worsened after a 2013 Supreme Court ruling gutted a section of the voting rights law requiring states with a history of discrimination to get federal approval before changing voter regulations. States have passed strict voter ID requirements, carried out voter roll purges and limited early voting in places where minority voters were disproportionately affected.

Election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the 2020 election went well, and international observers confirmed there were no serious irregularities.

“It’s not the use of the word ‘legal’ vote, it’s the constant insinuation that there are so many illegal or fraudulent votes out there,” said Rick Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California Irvine and author of the Election Law blog. “There’s no evidence produced by the campaign to support there has been a lot of fraud.”

___

Morrison reported from New York, Stafford reported from Detroit, and Fernando reported from Carmel, Indiana. Associated Press writer Colleen Long in Washington contributed. Morrison, Fernando and Stafford are members of AP’s Race and Ethnicity team.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump team requests recount of Georgia's presidential race
President Donald Trump’s campaign has requested a recount of votes in the Georgia presidential race, a day after state officials certified results showing Democrat Joe Biden won the state
12:03AM ( 10 hours ago )
Trump team requests recount of Georgia presidential vote
President Donald Trump's legal team says his campaign has requested a recount of votes in the Georgia presidential race after results showed Democrat Joe Biden winning the state
10:48PM ( 11 hours ago )
In blistering ruling, judge throws out Trump suit in Pa.
A federal judge has dismissed the Trump campaign’s longshot effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania
9:54PM ( 12 hours ago )
U.S. News
Vlhova keeps winning run going as Shiffrin slowly returns
Petra Vlhova has beaten Michelle Gisin Sunday to clinch her second World Cup slalom win in two days
9:53AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Pompeo touts Iran policy in Gulf ahead of Biden presidency
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is defending his tour of Arab Gulf states and the Trump administration’s continued efforts to squeeze Iran, even as a new U.S. administration led by Joe Biden prepares to enter the White House in January
9:43AM ( 38 minutes ago )
UK leader to end England's coronavirus lockdown on Dec. 2
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced plans for strict regional measures to combat COVID-19 after England’s lockdown ends Dec. 2, sparking a rebellion by members of his own party who say the move may do more harm than good
9:28AM ( 53 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Asia Today: Seoul tightens virus rules, shuts nightclubs
South Korea says it will impose stricter social distancing rules in the greater Seoul area to fight a coronavirus resurgence, as the country registered more than 300 new cases for the fifth straight day
6:57AM ( 3 hours ago )
Thousands march in Taiwan against US pork imports
Thousands of people have marched in Taipei's streets demanding the reversal of a decision to allow U.S. pork imports into Taiwan, alleging food safety issues
5:55AM ( 4 hours ago )
Asia Today: Cases in Japan hit record amid holiday travel
The daily tally of confirmed coronavirus cases in Japan has hit a record for the fourth day at 2,508
5:54AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP National News
Protesters torch Guatemala's Congress building amid unrest
Hundreds of protesters have broken into Guatemala’s Congress and burned part of the building amid growing demonstrations against President Alejandro Giammattei and the legislature for approving a controversial budget that cut educational and health spending
10:08PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP source: VanVleet staying with Raptors; Hayward to Hornets
A person with direct knowledge of the discussions tells The Associated Press that guard Fred VanVleet has agreed to a four-year, $85 million contract to remain with the Toronto Raptors
9:59PM ( 12 hours ago )
Protesters burn part of Guatemala's Congress building
Hundreds of protesters have broken into Guatemala’s Congress and burned part of the building amid growing demonstrations against President Alejandro Giammattei and the legislature for approving a budget that cut educational and health spending
7:50PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online National News
The Latest: Italy hits nearly 35,000 new daily virus cases
Italy registered 34,767 new cases on Saturday, about 2,500 fewer than the previous day
3:27PM ( 18 hours ago )
Judge rules against Trump global media chief after firings
A federal judge has ruled against the head of the agency that runs the Voice of America and other U.S.-funded news outlets who was accused of trying to turn it into a propaganda vehicle to promote President Donald Trump’s agenda
2:00PM ( 20 hours ago )
Week offers snapshot of how Trump, Biden approach presidency
Joe Biden spent the past week at his Delaware home carefully trying to build a government and preparing to take on a pandemic
1:20PM ( 21 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Burkina Faso votes amid ongoing extremist violence, threats
Voters went to the polls Sunday in Burkina Faso for presidential and legislative elections that have been marred by ongoing extremist violence in this landlocked West African nation
7:55AM ( 2 hours ago )
Polls open in Burkina Faso for election marred by violence
Polls opened in Burkina Faso early Sunday for presidential and legislative elections marred by ongoing extremist violence in the landlocked West African nation
4:34AM ( 5 hours ago )
Sen. Loeffler quarantining after mixed COVID-19 test results
U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler is quarantining after receiving mixed results from recent coronavirus tests
11:32PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Elections
Who needs Russia? Loudest attacks on US vote are from Trump
In the weeks before the presidential election, federal authorities warned that foreign countries could spread false information about the results to discredit the legitimacy of the outcome
12:24AM ( 1 day ago )
US Rep. Mike Garcia claims win in swing district north of LA
Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Garcia claimed victory Friday in his back-and-forth contest with Democrat Christy Smith in the 25th District north of Los Angeles
10:31PM ( 1 day ago )
Georgia governor certifies presidential electors for Biden
Georgia’s Republican governor and top elections official have certified results showing Joe Biden won the presidential race over Republican President Donald Trump
7:06PM ( 1 day ago )
General Election News
What a debut! Daniels' 401 yards, 4 TDs leads No. 13 Georgia
JT Daniels made quite a debut between the hedges, throwing for 401 yards and four touchdowns as No. 13 Georgia held on for a 31-24 victory over Mississippi State
12:19AM ( 10 hours ago )
Streb leads at Sea Island as Zach Johnson closes the gap
Robert Streb was happy to get away with pars at the start of his round
5:19PM ( 17 hours ago )
Georgia residents, doctor, lawmaker helped in vaccine effort
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Savannah’s Dr. Paul Bradley, who in July dosed the first patient in biotechnology company Moderna’s U.S. phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial, on Monday celebrated the...
12:01AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
Trump, allies make frantic steps to overturn Biden's victory
President Donald Trump and his allies are taking increasingly frantic steps to subvert the results of the 2020 election, including summoning state legislators to the White House as part of a longshot bid to overturn Joe Biden’s victory
9:30AM ( 2 days ago )
EXPLAINER: A look at Trump's long-shot legal challenges
As President Donald Trump continues to push falsehoods about the election he lost, his legal team has failed to gain any traction in court, without evidence of widespread fraud, which experts widely agree doesn’t exist
1:04AM ( 2 days ago )
Criminal probe, legal fights await Trump after White House
President Donald Trump’s legal entanglements are likely to intensify when he leaves the White House and loses immunity from prosecution
1:01AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Trump team requests recount of Georgia's presidential race
President Donald Trump’s campaign has requested a recount of votes in the Georgia presidential race, a day after state officials certified results showing Democrat Joe Biden won the state
12:03AM ( 10 hours ago )
Trump team requests recount of Georgia presidential vote
President Donald Trump's legal team says his campaign has requested a recount of votes in the Georgia presidential race after results showed Democrat Joe Biden winning the state
10:48PM ( 11 hours ago )
In blistering ruling, judge throws out Trump suit in Pa.
A federal judge has dismissed the Trump campaign’s longshot effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania
9:54PM ( 12 hours ago )
Judge throws out Trump bid to stop PA vote certification
A federal judge in Pennsylvania says he won’t stop officials from certifying election results that show Democrat Joe Biden winning the state by more than 80,000 votes
8:43PM ( 13 hours ago )
COVID-19 deaths of Serbian clerics highlight virus worries
The coronavirus-related deaths of two Serbian Orthodox Church clerics in Europe are highlighting concerns about what religious institutions and the faithful are doing and not doing to spread of the deadly virus
6:49PM ( 15 hours ago )