Voter fraud panel is gone, but threat isn’t

first_imgPresident Donald Trump has dissolved a commission he established that was predicated on the fabrication that American elections are rife with corruption.As the institutional embodiment of one of the president’s more outlandish lies — that voter fraud accounted for Hillary Clinton having received 2.9 million more votes in the 2016 presidential election — the panel, known as the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, convened just twice.It was sued repeatedly, met with contempt from state election officials of both parties, had no impact on the conduct of elections and will be little missed.It would be comforting to say that’s the end of the story, and that the absence of evidence of significant voter fraud discredits the entire issue.In fact, even though his voter-fraud panel was exposed as a fraud itself, Trump and some others in his party show no signs of dropping their unfounded contentions, for one big reason.They provide a pretext to rationalize voter suppression.Restrictive voter-ID laws and other such stratagems are the GOP’s main means of fighting the electoral consequences of long-term demographic trends empowering minorities and other constituencies that tend to favor Democrats.By mid-century, whites are projected to make up less than half the U.S. population, a chilling prospect for Republicans. Most prominent Republicans have tiptoed around Trump’s vitriolic crusade to delegitimize the nation’s electoral system.Even Vice President Mike Pence, who chaired the voter-fraud commission, seemed content to keep it at arm’s length and firmly in the hands of the vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.Kobach is a Republican notorious for his rabid voting fraud conspiracy theories and immigrant-bashing.Nonetheless, phony fears of voting fraud have had a very real effect on Republican state officials, candidates and especially lawmakers across the country.Emboldened by the president’s hyperbole, they have continued to press for more exclusionary voting laws and to lend credence to nonsense about corrupt elections.That’s just one example, but a particularly toxic one, of how Trump debases his own party. Trump himself made no bones about the pretext he hopes his baseless assertions will provide.“Push hard for Voter Identification!” he tweeted Thursday after he dissolved the commission, while also repeating the falsehood that U.S. voting is “rigged.”In service of perpetuating that fallacy, the president announced he had instructed the Department of Homeland Security “to review its initial findings and determine next courses of action.”Thus did Trump make clear his intention to politicize an executive agency with 240,000 employees.The test for Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, sworn into office a month ago as the sixth person to hold that job, is whether she’ll permit it to happen.If Homeland Security officials are deployed to comb through voter registries, they may find minor, statistically insignificant cases of illegal voting.In the process, they also will do grave damage to their department, giving Americans ample reason to believe they have been coerced into running an overtly partisan errand.center_img Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe following editorial appeared in The Washington Post: More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Windies Women crash to fourth World Cup defeat

first_imgTAUNTON, England (CMC) – West Indies’ misery at the ICC Women’s World Cup increased yesterday when they produced yet another docile performance against New Zealand Women to lose by eight wickets and crash to their fourth straight defeat.In what has become the norm during the campaign, the Caribbean side meekly surrendered for 150 all out off 43 overs after being sent in at Somerset County Ground and then watched helplessly as the Kiwis stormed to the target in the 19th over.Veteran opener Rachel Priest slammed the fastest-ever Women’s World Cup fifty en route to a stroke-filled 90 while Suzie Bates struck an unbeaten 40, to take their side to five points and fourth in the eight-team standings.West Indies, meanwhile, continued bottom without a point with virtually all hope extinguished of making the final four.Once again, their batting proved shambolic. Kyshona Knight, batting at number seven, top-scored with 42 while tail-ender Afy Fletcher finished on 23 not out and captain Stafanie Taylor and wicketkeeper Merissa Aguilleira both got 20.They were undermined by off-spinner Leigh Kasperek (3-17) and seamer Lea Tahuhu (3-39).West Indies’ promises of an improved showing came to nothing as they slumped to 10 for two in the fifth over with Tahuhu removing both openers cheaply.Left-hander Kycia Knight, who only arrived earlier this week as one of two injury replacements, had a miserable start to her campaign when she edged a low catch behind without scoring in the third over.And the in-form Hayley Matthews followed with one run added, top-edging a pull back to the bowler to depart for nine.Taylor and Chedean Nation (17) then revived the innings with a 43-run, third-wicket stand but the partnership required 71 deliveries and put the Kiwis under little pressure.The right-handed Taylor, without a significant score in the series, struck four fours in 32 balls at the crease while Nation hit three boundaries in a 43-ball knock.Kasperek returned to trap Taylor lbw, sweeping at the first delivery of a new spell and her dismissal triggered a slide where West Indies lost three wickets for no runs in the space of eight deliveries.Deandra Dottin’s horror run continued when she drove the very next delivery back to Kasperek to perish for a first-ball duck. In the next over, Nation’s vigil ended when she clipped leg-spinner Amelia Kerr to short mid-wicket where Amy Satterthwaite took a simple catch.Tottering on 53 for five in the 18th over, Kyshona Knight and Aguilleira combined in a 38-run stand to stablise the innings.The left-handed Kyshona, Kycia’s twin sister, looked composed in an innings lasting 60 deliveries and including seven fours while Aguilleira, in her 100th ODI, struck two fours and a six off 30 balls.The former skipper had just cleared the ropes at mid-wicket with Kasperek when she was unfortunately given out stumped off the next delivery even though replays showed her foot was grounded behind the line.Her dismissal signalled the end of the last bit of resistance. Shanel Daley missed a heave at off-spinner Satterthwaite and was bowled in the 33rd over for her second consecutive duck. Kyshona perished in the 40th over, bowled by pacer Holly Huddleston also missing a wild swing at 135 for eight.Fletcher struck four fours in her 37-ball innings but Anisa Mohammed (5) and Akeira Peters (0) failed to stay with her.In reply, Priest raced to her ninth half-century off a record 29 balls and all told belted 17 fours and two sixes, as she put on 120 for the first wicket with Bates who counted five fours off 43 deliveries.The right-handed Priest was in sight of her third career hundred when she picked out Daley at cover with a firm thump off off-spinner Mohammed in the 15th over.last_img read more