Is it Fake News, Voter Fraud or “Identity Politics”? It’s a Mix of All

logoBy Alex Gonzalez

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This is what happens when voters get their news from “fake news” outlets. This interview on CNN with Trump supporters show why “fake news” really shape political discourse in partisan politics.

Those Trump supporter in the interview ardently believe that 3 Million if “illegals” voted in California, but they cannot explain how this could be possible. But this is just partisan politics fueled by fake news. When people are fixated on lies that re-enforces their political partisanship – or the idea that millions of voters in California are illegal because there are too many Latino voters who voted against Trump – rational politics/policies are blocked from the voter’s mind.

The analysis by Phil Bump shows that only 80,000 voters in three states (Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) made it possible for Trump to win. If you were to tell the same people who claim that 3 Million voted illegally in California that voter fraud is more likely in those three states where 80,000 votes made possible for trump to win, they will withdraw to their subtle “identity politics” arguing that voter fraud only happens in states with large Hispanic populations and that voted against Trump. Somehow they strongly believe that if too many Hispanics register to vote, some of them must be “illegal.”

In California, in conservative circles and among party activists, due to the fact that the party has failed to adjust to the new demographics and shift job industries, and the fact GOP voter registration is only 26%, every time there is analysis showing the increase of Latino voter registration, party loyalists always argue that those are all “illegals” who somehow, thanks to Jerry Brown who made it possible for illegals to register, they can go to the DMV and register to vote, they argue. As an official party entity, the California Republican Party (CRP) does not officially promote these “fake news,” but it does allow for the flow of these fake news into party circles and doesn’t bother to correct the any misleading information. The mostly white seniors party base needs red meat; and fake news  about voter fraud is a form or party propaganda to appease the base and justify why voter registration for Republican party  keep declining. This is also a form of sublet “identity politics” pushed by Party loyalists.

In Texas, the voter fraud argument is different. Of the 93 cases of voter fraud filed with the Secretary of State, only one case (in-person voting) could have been prevented with the Voter ID Law that was deemed unconstitutional by the conservative 5th Appellate Circuit. However, most of voter fraud in Texas cases had to do with “assistance” to seniors in early voting and mail-in ballots.

Mail-in ballot fraud long has been the most prevalent form of election fraud handled by the attorney general’s office. Records from the agency dating to the 2004 primary election show the agency opened 93 cases of election violations, with almost half involving violations of mail-in ballot procedures. 

But there has never been an attempt by the Republicans in legislature to fix “assistance” early voting and mail-in voting to prevent fraud because about 60% half of all those who vote Republican are seniors who vote early and also use “assistance” and mail-in voters. But Republicans keep using the argument of in-person voter as real since these are voters who tend to be young and Hispanic, albeit there is not data showing that and the Voter ID law has been ruled it’s unconstitutional. Thus, Republicans in Texas are right that there is voter fraud, is small, but it’s real. But Republicans also are not trying to fix the real source of the fraud with the Voter ID Law because they don’t want to make it  harder for white seniors by creating more stringent requirement to vote via mail-in or with assistance.

But just as in California, in Texas, Republicans argue that voter fraud occurs mostly predominantly Hispanic areas like South Texas and San Antonio, but refuse to talk about mail-in and assistance voter fraud.

This is also a form is “white identity politics” and fake news has become a conduct of red meat for party activist and Trump supporters.

Alex Gonzalez is a political Analyst and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote. Comments to vote@latinosreadytovote.com or @AlexGonzTXCA

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