'The most inhumane of all of Donald Trump's policies'
The show we did nine stern on m._s._n._b._c. happy to have you with us this fine wednesday night first things first. We must poof. One of the record breaking things about the democratic presidential field this year is that there are more women running for president in this field than have ever run run for president in any field before it's it's been a landmark thing. It's been kind of an inspiring thing to see six women up on the stage among the the democratic contenders at the first two presidential democratic debates six women running and they are a diverse bunch. They run the gamut in terms of their places on the audio logical number line their political style their experience the platforms they're running on honestly run the gamut in terms of their ultimate chances of winning this thing thing as far as we can predict that at this point i mean from marianne williamson to congresswoman tulsi gabbard two senators kirsten gillibrand and amy klobuchar dr elizabeth warren and kamala harris. I mean this has been a history making six women tableau in terms of women's political power our political aspirations in this country the last presidential nominee of the democratic party who after all did win the popular vote by several million million votes was a woman named hillary clinton the most powerful democrat in washington right now the most powerful woman ever elected in the history of the us government is the current current democratic speaker of the house nancy pelosi and these six democratic women all running for president in the same field similarly that is a a way yeah of melting down the glass ceiling and top tier american politics but contending that lovell also inevitably entails some off ramps and so now tonight for the first time we have a woman candidate dropping out of the democratic race for president of the six women who who made the first two democratic debates. Only three of the six are gonna make it on stage for the next update the third debate those three are senators amy klobuchar kamala harris us and elizabeth warren of the three other female candidates who made the first two debates but they're not gonna meet the criteria to get onto the third debate stage <hes> <hes> well among them. It looks like marianne williamson and congresswoman. Tulsi gabbard are staying in the race. They are keeping their campaigns going forward. Presumably there are hoping to make it onstage agent debate number four with actually might be a little bit easier for candidates to get into the debate number three for a variety of reasons that are too boring to discuss right now but we will get to the mall all in great detail at some point but that still leaves the sixth female contender in this pioneering field democratic new york senator kirsten gillibrand today senator gillibrand announced that she is taking herself out of the running for the presidential nomination of her party she made the announcement with this tweet in this campaign video and and also with a missive from her campaign manager summarizing what they saw as the successes of their campaign to gillaibrand remains a popular u._s. Senator from the state native new york she was just re elected by overwhelming margins to the senate last year among other things that means she's not up for reelection again for her senate seat in new york until twenty twenty four for should she choose to run for re election as senator again which presumably she will senator kirsten gillibrand in other words in her political career will be obsolete they just fine but she is the first female candidate to close her campaign and so we must poof i to go of course was eric swallow. Oh poof john hickenlooper than it was jay inslee washington who go on there you go right after jay inslee it was ready ready ready sophomore and now three to one senator kirsten gillibrand who thank thank you senator unless someone miraculously invents and conducts and then releases the results of brand new qualifying poll basically right now as i speak at the second we now know the final field of candidates qualifying for the debate. That'll be hosted by a._b._c. news next month in texas. Is these ten folks. It's it's interesting. I didn't really think about this in these terms before we got to today's deadline and got this confirmation about who's in and who's not for that debate but the democrats did end up with this round number of ten candidates qualifying for the houston debates and we know that if more than ten candidates had qualified the plan would once again have been to split up the field into two successive nights. It's for debate like we had in detroit like we had in miami now that we know though that only ten candidates qualified that means they are going do the whole thing on one night and apart from the separate and individual consequences for all the individual candidates and their campaigns right right what that means for us the public planning to watch that next debate looking forward to that debate helping us understand the differences between the candidates and who might make the strongest democratic graddick nominee to go up against trump for all of us in the country who are going to watch that third democratic debate the fact that a nice round number of ten democratic candidates has qualified for that night means that once again just like the first two debates. They're going to have ten freaking podiums up there all at once i had been thinking thinking about it in these terms but yeah there's going to be ten candidates on stage at once again all fighting to be heard which means take it for me. No matter how many moderators raiders a._b._c. puts up there to try to handle the ten candidate all at once field. All of those moderators will have twenty years added to their non crawl non chronological age by the the end of the night trust me they will all have new elements and new gray hair. I mean numerically. It's just weird and coincidental that the d._n._c. debate qualifying the criteria made the field go from exactly twenty candidates for the first two debates two exactly ten candidates for the next debate but by happenstance that is how i would has worked out and that means by happenstance once again. It's going to be ten freaking podiums up there. All at once the ten portia standard for the twenty twenty twenty democratic debates which honestly is just logistically a terrible thing. I mean nobody planned it that way but yeah and that is essentially now l. settled that debate is in two weeks. It's two weeks from tomorrow night in houston texas. It'll be just one night all ten podiums all at once so i wanted to get that out there right off the top democratic presidential field saying goodbye to senator kirsten gillibrand but the lead story that i really wanna focus on tonight. Is something very different. It's something the thing that we started covering here on last night. Show and this is something that a other than our coverage here last night in there tonight. This is not something that's really had. A lot of national press coverage other than what we've done here. At least as far as i can tell but i do think this is a really big deal and today it took a big unexpected turn what this is a new and importantly unannounced program from the trump administration. I say unannounced because they never put out. Some statements saying this is what they were going to do. The only way we learned about this new thing the trump administration is doing is because individual families around the country started getting letters from the trump administration letters from the federal government and the letters were so shocking in their implication and so surprising and so out of the blue comport with anything the trump administration had said publicly they were going to do these letters were so shocking and upsetting that some of these families who got these letters as best as we can tell they took these letters to lawyers and advocacy groups to local public officials to try to get help help in understanding what exactly these letters met and whether the u._s. government could really be trying to do what these letters said to their families and particularly to their kids the panic and upset of these individual families who got these letters started to come to the attention of the local press where these families live that is how we became aware of this at all and this has been particularly focused thus far in massachusetts. It's the public radio station w. b. u. r. in boston and the boston globe. I picked up the story over the last couple of days. The globe story as you can see here carries this very stark headline quote. I feel like i'm signing. My son's death warrant children at boston hospitals face deportation. The inset photo there in that photo is a five year old boy named samuel kosta who has a rare condition that inhibits his body his body's ability to absorb nutrients from food and so he's a little five year old kid he has to have a feeding tube that goes directly into his torso can't take by mouth but he gets regular expert very a delicate medical care for this rare dangerous condition that he's got. He gets that care at boston. Children's hospital boston children's hospital by some measures the number one pediatric hospital in this country country. Here's the lead of the globe story quote severely ill immigrants including children with cancer cystic fibrosis and other grave conditions are facing deportation under a change in trump administration policy that immigration advocates are calling cruel and inhumane beginning last week citizens citizenship ship immigration services u._s._c._i._s. started sending out boilerplate letters to these families with sick kids quote telling the families that if they didn't leave the united states in thirty three days they would become undocumented and face deportation so we covered this story last night and the response we got to our reporting was frankly was overwhelming and to be honest pretty enraged up in boston austin the boston. Globe editorial board was clearly outraged by their own news divisions reporting on this story. You can see the globes editorial on the subject bears this headline can the trump administration sink any lower than threatening to deport sick kids. Here's the lead in that editorial step by militias step the trump open. Ministration has turning the immigration system into an apparatus of appalling intentional cruelty. The latest case in point is a relatively small program known as medical deferred action russian in which immigrants without legal status who are suffering from serious medical conditions are granted a reprieve from deportation so they can have access to much needed medical treatment in the united states trump halted the program this month threatening to deport these patients including children with leukemia children with muscular dystrophy children with cystic cystic fibrosis. The program's termination means suspending or interrupting. The children's medical care which in some cases is virtually a the death sentence democratic senator. Ed markey of massachusetts attended a press conference with a number of these families who have just been told to take their kids out of medical treatment treatment and get out of the country senators senator. Marty's take on this last night as we as we highlighted on last night show. Is this quote it is unconscionable. It is just wrong long. We have now reached the most inhumane of all of donald trump's policies. You said quote the trump. Administration is literally deporting kids with cancer. There are few things that are at least at this point unusual or unknown about this story without a lot more reporting on this nationwide. I think it's it's gonna take us a little time to get to the bottom of this but as we are trying to figure out what's going on here. It's particularly interesting that this is a policy change that hasn't been announced which which i think ultimately starts to become important in terms of how well the trump administration is coping with what they're trying to do to these kids and they just started sending letters to parents whose kids are receiving leaving lifesaving medical care that they can't get anywhere else. They just started sending these letters to those kids parents telling them that they need to get out now right now. You've got thirty three days these yes. We know your kid is receiving ongoing lifesaving medical treatment. We don't care stop the treatment and leave now. It's possible hustle as i said the news that we've been getting about. This for the first few days has been out of massachusetts and i don't know why that is. I mean it's conceivable that massachusetts has maybe been targeted here because they've got boston children's hospital right. They've arguably the best children's hospital in the country so boston. Children's hospital is a place where a lot of kids kids who have life threatening illnesses and super advanced delicate medical needs. A lot of kids are getting treated at that hospital so maybe that's why this new trump administration policy surfacing there in this concentrated way. We don't know exactly but these initial reports do come from the boston area massachusetts in massachusetts. There's was an organization called the irish international immigrant center that doesn't just serve irish immigrants serves everybody. They happen to have a whole bunch of clients who have sick kids who have kids who are getting advanced lifesaving medical care clients who have received these letters now ordering them out of the country well. Here's what their legal director told us last night here. They're saying that they have the power to just eliminate it altogether. Which is what they've done and that there is no appeal. I don't know why they came up with thirty three days <hes> <hes> but <hes> yeah they're they're telling these people that they need to leave on their own and i don't know how they expect parents to pull their children from hospital beds disconnect disconnect them from life saving treatment and go somewhere where they know the child's gonna die but that's what they're telling them to do. So that was here on this show last night this emerging news the trump administration has quietly without announcing it implemented a new policy that specifically targets kids with cancer and other terminal life threatening illnesses. There's no telling their parents they must stop medical treatment for their kids and get out immediately within thirty three days with no right to appeal can see why imagine that this is the kind of story that ultimately will get a lot of national news coverage even if it hasn't yet as our coverage here last night most of what we were able to learn about what's been going on in. This story is out of massachusetts out of the boston area specifically but now today the miami herald has the story miami herald has story because they say now they too are seeing some of the same in things happening to families in south florida quote the trump administration is ending a federal program that removed the threat of deportation at least temporarily for immigrant families facing using serious illnesses such as cancer the herald says they have obtained several of these letters that have been sent to families or somebody in the family's receiving lifesaving medical care quote the herald reviewed the case of miami man whose child was diagnosed with metastatic stage four neuroblastoma type of cancer that develops nerve tissue. The man received a rejection letter for his application to the medical deferred action program on august thirteenth. The man tells them herald he is desperate to stay in the country and to remain with his daughter now as i said we are just seeing these initial news reports that these cases of this news stories emerging locally the families are telling advocates. They're telling the local press their in some cases telling public officials that they have received letters from the trump administration <unk> essentially demanding the depths of their children right demanding that their children stop receiving medical treatment that saving their lives stop trying to get out of this country. We we are seeing these cases emerged so far in massachusetts over the last couple of days now in florida today we have every reason to believe that this is happening all over the country as we have been trying to further the report this story today what emerged over the course of this afternoon was no further clarity on why the trump administration has decided to prioritize you know kids is with cancer and tumors in terms of going after next to my surprise. We also got no further clarity today on where else in the country this may be happening still these reports that we've got our from massachusetts and florida and we're not seeing news reports from other places at least that we could find today. We are looking for that local coverage because i think that's going to be how we figure out what the scope is of what the trump administration is trying to do what did emerge today though is that as this new trump administration policy targeting sick kids kids has started to receive just the first little bit of scrutiny. It's essentially already blowing up what the trump administration is trying to do. Honestly there has been a lot of national pressure on the store yet. I think we are the first national outlet to be covering this at all but as the trump administration has just tried to answer basic questions about what they are doing doing here about why they're sending these letters what this means and why they brought about this change in policy that's going to have such dire specific humanitarian consequences and potentially essentially fatal consequences for kids in this country as local radio stations and the first newspapers start to call the administration to figure out what is going on here just to get comment meant for their stories. The trump administration is already completely flailing on this. They have no idea what to say about it and apparently they didn't really understand what it was. They were launching thing when they started this program attacking these kids and when people finally started to ask them to answer for it and i will show you what i mean after w._b. You are the the public radio station in boston posted their groundbreaking terrifying initial story about these kids in boston. Being targeted kids being treated at the children's hospital in boston. Kids with rare genetic disorders cystic fibrosis kids with seizure disorders after w. b. u. R. published their first story. They apparently hours after publication received a whoa. Whoa whoa whoa whoa kind of comment from the u._s. Customs and immigration service that had sent out these letters to these families these death sentence letters to these families with sick kids customs and immigration told me you are after they published their first story but they wanted it to be known that this medical deferred action program that had been allowing all these kids to stay alive despite what you might have seen in these letters. That program isn't ending per se. It's just being shifted to a different part of the trump. Administration asian quote medical deferred action pests are now submitted to ice different agency for consideration. Oh okay that's their first explanation when they get their first hard questions. Yes yes family in the boston area. You've been told you have to get out of the country and stop providing lifesaving treatment to your ill child but what we didn't mention is that some other part of the trump administration might be able to help you out so you can keep staying. Go did not mention that to you. That was their first explanation right. You know it turns out the other agency that is supposedly picking up this program the other agency inside the trump administration that supposedly is going going to process these requests for dying children to stay here in order to receive medical care. That's keeping them alive now. Find out. That agency actually is not doing this. They have no intention of handling these kinds of requests for kids in this kind of circumstance. They have no program like this and they say today. They have no idea why some other agency in the trump administration has been telling reporters now that they do great. Here's how this today in the miami herald you can see it play out quote three officials with ice who asked not to be named due to fears of speaking outside official channels. Tell the miami herald today that the agency was blindsided by the move quote high level sources said that management at the agency had no idea u._s. Customs and immigration was transferring over deferred action responsibilities noting that ranking officials were scrambling ambling to respond to the unexpected move. That's how it played at the herald. Here's how played at w._b._z. You are and their follow up story today. Quote an ice official told w._b. You are or that. The agency was not informed by us customs and immigration that that agency would stop processing the deferral requests quote. There is no program at ice. That's going to take over that function isis not going to implement any sort of a program or procedure or policy to take over that function we'd like u._s. Customs and immigration to clarify what they mean. That's how it played at w._b._z. Are here's how it played today at n._b._c. News quote an ice official speaking on the condition of anonymity said ice was blindsided by the u._s. customs and immigration decision to refer all immigrants applying for deferred action to them. Ice currently has no plans in place to review. These applications. Quote ice does is not have a program for this nor do we plan to at commonwealth magazine in massachusetts which has done some great reporting already over the past couple of days on this there reporter got this quote ice and u._s. Customs and immigration service officials allegedly had a meeting for the first time about this policy. See this morning meaning this morning wednesday morning. Ice is one hundred percent punting this back to customs and immigration. Take just take a step back from this for a second. We're going to talk to a lawyer who is right in the middle of this fight is trying to represent some of these families and keep some of these kids alive. We're gonna talk about that in just a second but just take a step back from this for a second imagine being in charge of the federal government of the richest and most powerful nation on earth and deciding that what that government ought to work on is figuring out where all the really good pediatric hospitals in this country and then trying to figure out if there might be kids in those hospitals who are currently receiving ongoing treatment that is saving their lives so you can somehow figure out a way to force a stop to that treatment and kick those kids and their families out of this country so that they can no longer get the care. That's keeping them alive. Kids with cystic fibrosis kids cancer. It's with rare diseases imagine being in charge of the u._s. Federal government and choosing to use it for that purpose to target the power of the the u._s. government at children with cancer then imagine that once you've decided to do this you what hope nobody would care are nobody would notice because heck. It's just immigrants and you're not planning on announcing it and so therefore your figure you're never going to have to answer for it so you come up with no plan for how to explain this. When people local officials local reporters local news outlets outlets local advocacy organizations people inevitably come to you asking questions about what the heck you're doing in the name of the american people and so having come up with no way to explain this your makeshift responses to say oh actually no big deal. Some other agency will take care of it yeah. We're not doing this anymore but we're sure somebody else's got. It sounds terrible when you say that we're going gonna be sending kids with cancer to their deaths. We're sure somebody else's taking care of it right some other agency you guys. They're doing it and the trump. Administration has no idea what it is doing or how to handle the inevitable reaction to this from the american people all they have no idea what they are doing here except for the fact that they have decided to tell parents that they must withhold lifesaving ongoing medical treatment from their seriously. Ill kids on orders from from the u._s. Government so that they could get out of this country because president trump wants them out imagine being u._s. Official who's been doing that kind of work doc and now imagine being the parent of a sick kid who's holding onto one of these letters sent to you by those officials and realizing that this is now what you are up up against and that this is the exact way your child's life is being put at stake in the very short term over the next thirty days <music> by by this president by this president by this administration and the people who work for them and their priorities imagine here's some local coverage from massachusetts from mass live dot com on how the families of kids receiving lifesaving saving medical treatment have been told over the last few days that they would have to pick up and returned to their home countries and stopped this crucial medical treatment for their kids quote. Quote attorneys and doctors started hearing from clients late last week that they received the notices in the mail. There was no announcement other than the letters giving patients thirty three days to leave the country. Many of those letters arrived in patients mailboxes halfway through that grace period one attorney representing some of those families telling mass live quote our government government should focus its limited resources on truly dangerous people not on the most vulnerable joining us now. Is that attorney just quoted. Ramos masa can bobby. She's the head of the new england oakland chapter of the american immigration lawyers association this can bobby is representing some families who may be forced out of the country <hes> do this unannounced change in policy from the trump administration restauration miskin bobby. Thank you very much for giving us some of your time. I appreciate being appreciate you being here. Yeah thank you rachel. It's a pleasure to be here. Let me ask you. I if i've if i've explain lean this right i've been trying to piece this together from local news coverage and a couple of different locations now have i basically got this right in terms of what your clients are up against right now absolutely absolutely yes. You described it perfectly today. This story got a little bit strange when u._s. Citizenship and immigration started saying that some other other agency in the trump administration is going to keep running the medical deferral program and then that other agency. I said oh no. We're not we don't know what you're talking about. Do you have any clarity on this. Have your clients been able to figure out what that might be about. The trump administration seems to not know what it's talking about on this anymore. Yeah no sadly there's really been no explanation nation of what we can expect as attorneys or what our clients can expect in terms of what they should be doing. There's been no guidance. It's been totally silent. <hes> <hes> from the government and frankly like you said i think they really didn't care to even put a plan in place to try to help these really desperate invulnerable people or to even explain to the public what they're doing. I mean the part of it. That is rising to me is that there's been no announcement. There's been no no plan to explain this. I mean obviously this is such an inflammatory thing. There are going to be hard. Questions asked people are going to want an explanation and justification for what they're doing and it. It's just a gaping ping mall over there from administration. I'm sorry i don't mean to put that on you but let me let me just ask you in terms of your your clients what you're learning about this. What can you advise. Your clients wants to do it. This time yeah i mean sadly i think we're really just trying to figure out the best way to move forward for our clients and whether or not applying to ice is <hes> is a valid option or not i mean ice obviously is really not known and being a friendly <hes> humanitarian type of agency see that would be willing to take these really sensitive cases seriously <hes> and so i think it's it's really frightening for a lot of people and that's part of what the administration has has been trying to do over these last two years is too so a lot of fear and panic among immigrants and hope that they'll just kind of quietly go away and and not apply and not make a fuss about this because they're scared and really i mean not only worried about their safety here but about their child's life are you in fact facing cases in terms of your own clients in which this is a potentially life threatening situation for <hes> for children on these families for other family members here where they're getting treatment here that they can't get other places that if they are forced out of the country that their lives will be endangered. Yeah i actually have have a couple of clients that just got denial notices over this past week. I have one young man really nice. Young man who sadly okay has some mental health issues. He came here on a visitor visa to <hes> get some treatment and sadly his condition deteriorated significantly and and he's actually been hospitalized now but he's getting the best care that he can get for his condition. <hes> and the government has now told them no sorry. You need to leave in thirty three days. I mean there's no way this young man is going to be able to leave a hospital. He's he's committed there because of the seriousness of his condition and my other client is this young girl fourteen eighteen years old who has a very serious heart condition she had heart surgery and she's recovering now but he's going to need follow up surgery and constant the monitoring and care and again. She came on a visitor visa. She came here illegally applied for this and sadly has now been told no sorry you need to leave in thirty three days. She's literally between heart operations. She's had one. She is recovering. She has another one ahead of her and they're trying to force out of the country. That's right and i honestly i rachel. I'm not shocked. This administration has tried to dismantle legal immigration over the last two years on on a number of different fronts. When you look at it the travel ban i mean that's a perfect example of again of the inhumanity of this administration and not caring that are that there are people people that need urgent lifesaving care to come here for that or to come here to see a family member that may be dying to other avenues avenue's like the h. One b. program being targeted or international students being targeted <hes> and the morale at the state department for example is terrible because of the conditions that these political appointees have created in these agencies and also bobby chair of the new england chapter of the american immigration lawyers association news representing <hes> some of these families who are up against this unannounced change in policy from the trump administration misconduct. Thank you for helping us with this as i said there's not often a lot of national coverage on this yet applause. Please do stay in touch. We'd love to for you to keep us apprised as this continues to develop thank you. I'd love to much more to get to tonight. Stay it was it was election night in mississippi last night a runoff election to pick the republican nominee to run in this year's governor's race the current mississippi lieutenant governor tate reeves won the election last night. He'd beat a former state supreme court justice named bill waller. This wasn't a a high profile race at least not on the national level not until this okay now how did is not letting voted. I'm from this video was posted to facebook yesterday appearing to show someone trying to vote in that mississippi run off a four bill waller one of the two republicans in the run-up but the machine will not let him cast that vote every time it pushes the screen vote for waller. It takes the box for the other guy. Now we do not know exactly what caused that one machine in that one video two seemingly malfunction but what is interesting about this video out of mississippi yesterday is that we we know for sure. This was not a one off problem. Local elections officials in mississippi told the clarion ledger newspaper today that vote-switching glitch happened on at least these three different machines spread across two different counties one official telling the clarion ledger quote. We're doing what we can to rectify the situation. How would louis rectify that. I mean particularly when the elections just been called me when the state's admitting this is happening in multiple locations. How do they make voters. Feel confident the next time they touch their finger to voting machine what we don't know exactly but in mississippi's not quite neighboring state state of georgia in georgia they're still trying to figure out what happened and their last statewide election in two thousand eighteen last year november two thousand eighteen while the country was electing a new house of representatives resentatives and a whole bunch of new senators in the great state of georgia last november. They were electing a new governor. This was this big marquee national attention race you remember the democrat stacey abrams ultimately refused to concede to republican brian kemp brian kemp both ran the election for the state of georgia and he ran in it himself <unk> as the republican candidate for governor stacey abrams didn't concede a lot of democrats still don't concede that she lost that race because of widespread reports about voter suppression and anomalies in the election that disproportionately affected minority democratic voters that overall controversy about that georgia race has been well documented what generated way fewer headlines though was a truly weird phenomenon that happened one notch down the ballot in georgia and and as people are starting to think ahead about the election integrity of twenty twenty <hes>. We just got new details today on what happened one not stay on the ballot in georgia last november which is an absolutely bonkers story and if you have not heard it yet you will want to. We've got it here next the same night election-night last year. When georgia had its big marquee governor's race and stacey abrams narrowly lost brian camp and then refused to concede and there's all that attention on what was going in georgia that same night enjoy that was lower-profile race that has never been a matter of national focus the way that stacey abrams governor's race was but it has turned into a mystery ever since that is getting weirder and more difficult with each passing month lieutenant governor's race that night in georgia last november remember in the lieutenant governor's race last election night. The republican candidate won that race too but when people started sifting through the results from the lieutenant governor's race the numbers did paint an odd picture. This is a sample ballot from georgia last year typically in statewide elections. There is a drop off in the number of votes that are cast s. People make their way down the ticket so if you're just using this ballot as a guide state wide races what i mean is that more people the most people tend to vote in the governor's race six more people voted in the governor's race then vote in the lieutenant governor's race more people tend to vote for the lieutenant governor's race then vote in the secretary of state's race where people tend to vote for the secretary of state than vote for the state attorney general and this trend usually happens all the way down the ballot and statewide elections. It's like the opposite of a trickle down effect or maybe it's a trickle down effect. It's kind of decay in turnout as you make your way down the ticket more people vote for top of the ticket stuff then vote down the bottom people sort of run out of steam and stop filling out. The bubble says they go down on their ballot. That's almost always how it goes. That is not what happened in georgia last year of all the state wide races on the ticket last year. Fewer people voted for lieutenant china governor second on the ballot then any other race and by a lot going on there around eighty thousand fewer people voted in the lieutenant governor's governor's race than in other races even further down the ballot like votes for labor commissioner. More people voted for labor commissioner than voted for lieutenant governor. The state's number two elected official. That's weird that drop off in the lieutenant governor's race vote has been a mystery since november two thousand eighteen and it has led local reporters to try to figure out why and how that happened in georgia well today. We got this from the atlanta journal constitution. The paper took a look at one crucial social precinct in georgia a precinct that had seven voting machines in that precinct. The democrat won every single race on every single machine except for one machine quote to find out a clue. Excuse me to find a clue about what might have gone wrong with georgia's election last fall. Look no further than voting machine number. The three at the winter ville train depot outside athens georgia on machine number. Three republicans won every race but on each of the other six machines in that precinct zinc democrats want every race the odds of an anomaly that large or less than one in a million but there might be a simple explanation for it. If you took that one outlier machine machine number three and you switch to the vote tallies you awarded all its democratic votes to republican republican votes democrats that anomaly would disappear sapir and those results on machine number three with statistically fall right in line with the other six machines in that precinct so one machine had literally exactly opposite results than you would expect in terms of party line voting. It's like the results just got reversed in terms of the parties on that one machine. It would be like if you took all the votes from that. One machine held him up to a mirror before you counted them. This scoop from the atlanta journal constitution was born out of documents that were unearthed by public public records requests. The paper says those same documents have been given to the oversight committee in the house of representatives which is investigating what happened in georgia's election last year. More than fifteen eighteen thousand pages of records have been turned over to that committee but if what's in this fifteen thousand pages or evidence like from that one precinct with the one phantom voters machine which seems to have taken every vote backwards. What's the oversight committee gonna do about that evidence. What should they do about it. Joining us now is kristin clark president and executive director rector of the lawyers committee for civil rights under law miss clark. Thank you very much for being with us tonight. Thanks for having me so there is always a low level of sort of low level rumble rumble of worry in this country about whether our elections are running right. There's also a well-founded concern that people might be discouraged from turning out to vote at all if they don't have confidence that it will no matter that their vote will be properly cast and and properly counted given that sort of that balance that concern on both sides what is your take on these problems that we saw yesterday and mississippi and that we saw last year in georgia that these are red flags of democracy that is broken and and screaming out for repair. These are not conspiracy theories that we're talking about. Rachel eliezer real issues that voters have been facing with intensifying defying degree over the last several years and georgia is kind of the in the belly of the beast if you will when it comes to all things that are broken in our democracy see we we see widespread voter suppression but we actually just sued the state of georgia in federal court over these very issues the fact that across across the state of georgia they are using outdated vulnerable machines that are hackel bowl and in the course of our trial. We talked about the drop off that you just highlighted rachel. A federal contractor actually looked at that dropped off and there's a one in ten thousand chance that you'd see see a drop off for the lieutenant governor race that spikes back up when you go down to those races at the lower end of the ballot in our case there was evidence presented by the state's own expert whenever you put this evidence before any reasonable person they come up with the same conclusion georgia's own expert dr shame ohs agreed that georgia's equipment is outdated and antiquated and hackel that they fail l. to conduct audits and they actually use a version of microsoft for their software that hasn't been updated in ten years microsoft soft actually no longer <hes> updates or creates security patches for this this software and so from georgia zone expert. This is broken system. The judge in our case issued a ruling about two weeks ago. <hes> declaring georgia's system null and void loyd georgia has to go back to the drawing board and put a new system in place at all deliberate speed. This is the first time a federal court has actually struck struck down an entire states voting system <hes> because they are violating the fundamental right to vote but it's time for states like mississippi be in south carolina and texas and florida that are using these paperless antiquated systems. That can't be audited. It's time for them to to modernize systems and we've got to do it before twenty twenty. Is it feasible logistically to get the systems. Even let's just focus on georgia for a second. Is it logistically feasible to have that whole system not only installed but tested and audited running up to snuff in time for an election russian. That's coming around the bend november twenty twenty. They don't have any choice. I mean they've cried about the expense involved and the time involved but at the end of the day we're talking about the most sacred right in our democracy the right to vote and at every turn in georgia for two decades. We've seen a system that is broken and we've seen problems problems that are intensifying so you know it's time that they stepped up there are they are supposed to put a new system in place in twenty twenty but what that means is that for voters right now who are going to the polls in georgia for municipal elections they have every reason to have grave concerns about the integrity already <hes> of their ballot so this is a moment that requires vigilance. We know that these problems are nationwide. We know that we are up against threats both domestic domestic and foreign when it comes to <hes> the hacking of our systems in our country so our plan now is to take this victory in in georgia in federal court and to hold other states accountable. They're failing to update and modernize their systems and give voters the confidence that they deserve when they go to the polls cast a ballot christian clark president executive director of the lawyers committee for civil rights under law this clock. I really appreciate you being here with us tonight. Thanks thanks and come back soon. Thanks for having me. We'll be right back. Stay with us so we've been following hurricane doria and all over the course of over the course of today and into tonight as you can see from these images the u._s. Virgin islands saint john saint thomas newest virgin islands took the brunt front already <hes> during the virgin islands is a category one hurricane and as of right now thousands of people in the us virgin islands are without power because the strength of this storm and what it was able to take out just two years after the disaster of hurricane maria puerto rico that killed nearly three thousand americans there was real concerned about what this the storm might do if it hit puerto rico full on puerto rico has taken a more glancing blow avoided a direct hit. The storm is now on its way toward florida. It's it's on track to make landfall along the eastern coast of florida sometime over this weekend the thing to keep an eye on is how quickly dorian powers up as it closes in on the florida coast meteorologists say this has been a hard one to forecast but dorian could become a major hurricane could become a category three storm by the time it's bearing down on florida in anticipation of that a state of emergency has been declared across the state but as you as much as you'd imagine in florida tonight they are bracing for what looks like it could be a super serious hurricane this holiday weekend stay with us. That is going to do it for me tonight. I do have one correction to make <hes> earlier in the show for a reason that i don't understand those buried somewhere in my aging brain <hes> i kept referring to u._s. Customs and immigration services <hes> when the correct name for that agency now is u._s. Citizenship and immigration services. I was just <hes> conflicting different things and saying the name of that agency wrong because of what its surname used to be back in the day. I apologize for having said that wrong. I will try to never do it again. I'll see you again tomorrow. The meadow show weeknights at nine eastern on the m._s. n._b._c. Hey this is rachel. Motto the way you spell my first name is r. h. E. l. and the reason you need to know that is you should text the word rachel goal to six six eight six six to subscribe to our shows newsletter for clips from the latest episodes and updates from motto blog and all that other good stuff text rachel two six six eight six six.