Tom Arthur / Wikimedia

Though certain methods of interfering with Americans’ ability to participate in the electoral process are commonly referred to as “voter suppression,” investigative reporter Greg Palast finds that term inaccurate — to say the least.

“If someone steals your car, you don’t say your car’s been ‘suppressed,’ ” Palast said Wednesday as he prepared for a Memorial Day weekend trip to Roswell, Ga.

On Saturday, Palast will head to Roswell’s Eagle’s Nest Church, where he’ll be joined by voting rights activists from Atlanta-area and national organizations to kick off the Voting Rights Project, a nationwide effort to combat threats to democracy posed by the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, along with other tactics the coalition claims GOP leaders — all the way up to the top — are using to purge, steal, block or scrub out millions of Americans’ votes.

Not just any Americans: “This is a systematic, programmatic operation to remove the votes of voters of color and students,” said Palast, who has been tracking this story for years and lays out in detail how Crosscheck works in his latest documentary, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits.” (Click here to read Truthdig’s extensive interview with Palast about Crosscheck and his documentary.)

Sponsors of Saturday’s summit in Georgia are the Civil Rights Center and the Palast Investigative Fund; co-sponsors include the ACLU Voting Rights Project, Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, the Cobb County NAACP, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, among other organizations. The event will also be geared toward the June 20 runoff between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff in Atlanta’s 6th Congressional District to fill the seat vacated in February by Tom Price, Trump’s secretary of health and human services.

The Civil Rights Center’s executive director, Dee Hunter, said Georgia is a particularly active zone when it comes to voting-rights issues. “Georgia officials, led by Secretary [of State] Brian Kemp, have engaged in hostile racially and partisan-motivated persecution of voting rights activists throughout the state,” Hunter said in a statement.

Crosscheck’s principal mastermind is Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state whom President Trump recently tapped to lead his Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, a move Palast equates with “putting Al Capone in charge of investigating the mob.” Crosscheck works by dropping from voter rolls people who share names with voters in other states — common names like Maria Hernandez, for example — effectively treating them as the same person trying to register to vote in more than one state, even though, as Palast has found in his research, in some instances those affected have different middle names or other identification information that differentiates them.

As Trump, Kobach and other Republican leaders continue to push the issue of widespread voter fraud, the mainstream press hasn’t done its fact-checking duty thoroughly enough, in Palast’s estimation.

“The press has been very good at saying that Trump’s claim that there are millions of illegal voters is a lie,” Palast said. “But what they’ve been horrific in failing to cover and investigate is how those claims have been used to remove well over a million — if you look at the Brennan Center, they would say 5 million or more — voters from the voter rolls who are legitimate.”

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