A conversation on air america with Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Mike Papantonio
September 23, 2008
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: There are about 30 scams the Republicans are deliberately using, particularly in the swing states to get Democratic voters off the rolls. These scams originate in the so-called Help America Vote Act, which was passed after the Florida debacle in the year 2000. It was originally suggested by Democrats and Republicans, but it was passed by a Republican Congress with a Republican senate and a Republican president. And instead of reforming what happened in Florida it basically institutionalized all the problems that happened in Florida. And institutionalized a series of impediments that make it very difficult for Democrats to register, for Democrats to vote and then for Democrats to have their votes counted.
One of these requirements under HAVA is called ‘the perfect match,’ and what that does is little known but it is devastating. A quarter of the voters in Colorado have just been removed from the rolls because of this–[and] just this one scam. And what it does is, they use a computer system to compare your registration application to all [your] other government records in the state. So they’ll look at your Social Security records, your Motor Vehicle records, and any time you’ve had any interaction with the government, and if there is any information on your voter registration that is different than the information on another government record that they find, they remove you from the voting rolls.
For example, if I registered as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and yet my motor vehicle license said Robert Frances Kennedy Jr., I’d be removed from the rolls. If your initial is different, if you leave an initial out, if you leave a “Jr.” out, if you leave a hyphen out in your name. And what they’ve done is a study in New York that said 80% of the errors are errors by state clerks taking down this information. And particularly [in] immigrant communities, [where] people tend to vote Democratic, people have names spelledl Muhammad with an “o” instead of a “u”
Papantonio: Are the Democrats suing to stop this?
RFK, Jr.: No, the Democrats are doing nothing to stop it. In New Jersey, which is a swing state, 300,000 voters in New Jersey were just sent letters saying that they are now ineligible to vote. New Jersey is nice enough to actually notify them–most states will not even notify them. And New Jersey intends to send out 870,000 letters so that is three quarters of a million people off the voting rolls in a state that could decide this vote by 50,000 votes. And these are Democrats that are being pushed off the rolls.
Let me tell you about one of other scams people should know about. If you’re a newly registered voter–and of course the Democrats have done these gigantic registration drives–12 million people on registration–if you’re a new voter, you MUST include your license or some other state I.D. when you come to vote. What that means is that if you’re a college kid–and college kids now, they’re sending in absentee ballots, they’re not going to the voting place, they do everything online or they do everything remotely. They don’t dream of going to the precinct house voting on election day and waiting in a long line. So if they send in the absentee ballot, and they don’t include a color copy of their [driver’s] license, their vote is going to be thrown into a trash can. And none of these people know this, because you had to have to read the law in order to know it. There is no notification [of this requirement] when you fill out your registration form, so all of those 12 million people that the Democrats have registered–those ballots are going to be just thrown out.
Papantonio: And if Democrats won’t talk about this, how the hell’s anybody gonna know about it? I’m involved with this kind of thing every day–I didn’t know that until you just told me. The media is not talking about it. How in the hell is somebody gonna find this out? It’s just incredible.
RFK, Jr.: Hopefully–Obama is getting $66 million a month–hopefully somebody in the Democratic organization is going to pay some attention to this before Election Day.