Who Gets to Vote?


So the best way to get all of our stories without anything in between is just an Email in your inbox. Our investigations chains laws minds and sure we like to say the world be among the first read them to sign up just text newsletter, two, six, three, seven, three, five again, text the word newsletter, two, six, three, seven, three, five. I'll see in your inbox. From the center for investigative reporting in PR x. This is reveal. I'm outlet. Thank you so much. Thank you Ed. It's Saturday night in Atlanta. Final stages in one of America's closely watched elections. Stacey Abrams is speaking to a crowd gathered outside some restaurants in bars along Edgewood avenue. She's a democrat running for governor if she wins, she'll be the first African American woman to be a governor of any state. Abrams is called herself in unapologetic progressive, and she's all about making voting easier. There are more of us than there are of them people good heart in good spirits who want for all Georgia. So let together, let's get it done. Thank you so much. I appreciate you all having me this morning Republican, Brian Kemp is Abrams opponent. He's Georgia's secretary of state, strong supporter of President Trump and he's called himself a politically incorrect conservative. There are people on the left. They call literally have called me the secretary of suppression. Really. They don't like it. They, we keep our voter rolls, clean. So many demands commonsense. So we keep our voter rolls, updated, remove with the Democrats. I don't even want to remove dead people, but on Kim's, watch, Georgia has removed more than a million voters from the roles and not just at people. Now he's in a close race for governor. This is happening in the state with a long ugly history of keeping African Americans from the poles, but it's happening in other parts of the country to today. We investigate voter suppression in America with our partners at APM reports. That's the investigative unit. Of American public media. We're also teaming up with public radio station w. AB in Atlanta, Johnny Kauffman is w ABC's political reporter, and he gets a started in southern Georgia. It's weeks before the midterm elections. I mean, a small town called tree riding in the back seat of a Ford Focus. That's moving slowly down the street. It's getting dark and three women from a local chapter of the Democratic Party are peering at the house numbers. For get past. I'm looking for eighteen thirty three. So that's on this side. One of the women steps out and walks up to a house. The women are looking for likely, Democrats using a list. They got from the state party as the sun goes down and it gets darker no one's answering the door. It's getting close to eight o'clock, Sarah, Clayton decides to try one last house. The TV inside is turned to jeopardy, and someone's head is visible through the window. Nobody comes to the door. Miss Clayton turns around and walks back toward the road. What are we vote development? They sees. Really want them to come out and cast a vote, whether person of their choice. Her friends are waiting for her in the car, but she pauses for a second. If a person thinks that my vote not count a no vote is just like a yes vote you that's telling them that you don't care one way or the other, but as a responsible citizen and a person in the state of Georgia, you need to vote. You really do. You need to teach children the importance of voting. You go out and you'd beat the bushes and you complain, but you don't vote. More than one hundred million Americans of voting age didn't go to the polls in two thousand sixteen. So Democrats and Republicans are trying to get the numbers to work for their side. The Democrats are hopeful here in Georgia. A democrat hasn't won the governor's mentioned since nineteen ninety eight. But in that time, Latino Asian American and African American populations have been growing. And these are likely democratic voters as the state changes, Republicans are determined to keep control and Democrats claim. They're doing it by suppressing the votes of people of color. You know the best way to stop people from even trying to vote, let them know they're not welcome and make it hard, make it hard, Helen, Kim Ho is part of Georgia's shifting demographics. She was born in Korea and moved here with her parents in eighth grade. She founded a voter registration group called the Asian American legal advocacy centre in. Two thousand ten tennis you. You've video. Okay. I just found out was like, cried. This is a video called vote. Gangnam style Helen's group made it and it shows people signing up to vote outside Asian grocery stores in Atlanta's suburbs. At one point, a group of dancing teenagers is joined by congressman and civil rights icon. John Lewis. Helen says her group signed up more than fifteen hundred people, but there is a problem. Hundreds of them weren't showing up on the voter registration list. She contacted secretary state Brian Kemp's office, but Helen didn't get any answers. So she went public and got a swift rebuke from camp. Can you walk me back to exactly when you receive that letter from the secretary of state's office? I'm sure I read it and I got scared, you know, and then pissed Kemp's letter claimed some of the applications relate or didn't come in at all, and he turned the tables. He suggested Helen may have broken the law by photocopying the applications and keeping copies in Georgia that could lead to felony charges. So Helen turn to a prominent Atlanta attorney, Emmett Jopling Bonder in the second, the vast number of ordinary people are easily intimidated by exactly that sort of letter. Mr. Bonderman is eighty one. He's a successful corporate lawyer and also something of a voting rights legend way back in nineteen sixty three. He won his first case before the supreme court increasing the power of black voters in Atlanta after Helen asks for his help bond wrote a letter to the secretary of state letting him know he'd be representing Helen and her organization. And if you've got any questions about their activities, you direct them to me and we will respond to them. You wanna shoot at the ok corral you came to the right place and you think about that Kemp's office backed off and didn't file any charges, but he's investigated other voting rights groups, including one founded by his political opponents. Stacey Abrams Kemp says he's just making it harder to cheat Bonder in calls these investigations part of a broader playbook used by Republicans to suppress the vote. So what happened to Helen, Kim Ho. When I asked her, she told me that two years later, she went back to check on the people who group tried to register, half still weren't on the rolls. And then we try to phone Bank several of them, and many of them were no longer interested in working with us or going back to vote because they said they had been turned off so badly. The problem, Helen, Kim Ho faced hasn't gone away earlier this month, voting rights groups filed a lawsuit. It claims Brian Kemp's office has violated the Voting Rights Act. And the constitution and issue is a law that freezes applications. If a name or other info doesn't exactly match other government records, even if it's just missing a hyphen, d. people can still vote, but activists worry, they might be discouraged by the confusion. Emmett bond rinse says there's another voter suppression strategy that still has him stumped it. I Don Don him in twenty twelve. You read an article that the number of registered voters in Georgia had gone down this raised serious questions because we knew Georgia's population was growing. You knew there had not been the black death to kill off a third of the states adult population. And so we're head to be something else going on. So here's what's happening to bond, rinse missing voters, states routinely, purge hundreds of thousands of people from their voter, registration rolls. These are people who've died or moved away or gone to prison, but Georgia and at least eight other states have what you could call use it or lose it. Laws not voting can get you removed from the rolls. It works like this. If you sit out a couple of elections, you can get put on an. Inactive list. The state sends you a Mailer. If you don't respond and skip two more federal elections, you're purged and if you don't know, you're removed, you may show up your polling place only to find out. You can't vote under Kemp. There's been a massive jump in purchase. What's going on here? Brian camps job is to protect our vote. Listen ad from power pack, Georgia. It's donors promised ten million dollars to boost Stacey. Abrams campaign. We just can't trust that Brian camp. Cam's been on a bus tour around the state talking about his record. I went to a stop south of Atlanta outside sprayberry's barbecue restaurant. His regular campaign stop for Georgia Republicans. Kim steps off the bus and gives his stump speech. It's all about putting Georgia, I and protecting its values. Then he gets back on the bus. I get onto, I ask camp about the allegations that he's been aggressively, purging voters. He looks a little irritated. Well, I would disagree with that statement. What we're doing is within the law and required by the law. So your office hasn't been more aggressive than others in the past in terms of removing voters from the roles? No, I don't believe we have. I mean, we're just going through the process, but you know, having secure lessons, you gotta have secure, voter rolls. Kemp says, he's made it easier to vote by setting up online registration, but during his time in office, there's been a big jump in the number of people who've been removed from the rolls more than one point. Six million have had their registration cancelled. Right. Left on veterans Parkway. I decided to try and find people who've been purged without knowing it in multi, the small agricultural town in southern Georgia. There's some kind of signs over there. I'm with Angela Caputo. She's an investigative reporter from APM reports. We've got us sort of guide a database with the names and addresses of all five hundred thousand or so people purged in Georgia last year. And our analysis shows that in the county where mole trees and in more than two dozen others. The purchase are disproportionately affecting people of color. Nine hundred feet turn right on veterans Parkway. Multi is the county seat. We pass white columned homes with manicured lawns and lush magnolias in front on the other side of town. We drive over potholed streets along rows of one story. Ramshackle houses. When we get to the homes of people who are listed as per summer boarded up and the residents have moved away at some of the other addresses were told the people were looking for have gone off to college or the military. I, yeah, this woman tells us she doesn't vote for religious reasons. Oh, I see. So you're a new general? Okay. Okay, thank you. We're still looking for someone who wants to vote in November, but doesn't know they've been purged. So we go to see Cornelius ponder a member of mole tree city council. He's also a businessman and pastor at the real church that stands for restoration, edification and love. He says his family's lived in the area for generations grandparents. It was small sharecroppers Reverend ponder won his election last year by the slimmest of margins just nine votes. He says, while he was campaigning, he encountered people who'd been purged for failing to vote in previous elections that came across quite a few people, and then the election, Iranian. Some of them went down to vote and they couldn't. And then I had two people said that they got down there. They didn't have proper documentation in. It's on this confusion like that during the election, that's not good. He says with Trump in office, enthusiasm is low and mole Trie. In the last election, voter, turnout was below ten percent voters are also frustrated with all the obstacles, purges confusion over polling locations and long lines. The blight races failing might is no longer worth voting. Now. And I think that's what we're we're. We're trouble with van. Angela asks about a name. She spotted on the purge list, made the Kathleen hunter. Oh, yeah. Yeah, she's, she's Monte. Steve records, say, Kathleen ponder registered to vote in two thousand eight. Then earlier this year officials struck her name from the roles. Reverend ponder tells us he doesn't know about any of this, but does his aunt know that she's been taken off the voting list. Angela, and I find miss ponder living in a small house just outside military. Hey, miss ponder. Yeah. Hi, I'm Angela completed. I'm a reporter with public radio. We're working on a story about people who've been removed from the voter laced. I don't know if you've heard about this, but ngelo explains how Georgia cancels voters who don't turn out in multiple elections, and then in some places, blacks are being pulled off the rules at a disproportionate rate. So you registered to vote in two thousand and eight. Do you remember that Obama's running? Do you remember. My mind, you know the book, making sure do what I did. So then last July you were taking off the voter list. So it would have been on July twenty eighth of twenty seventeen. But you didn't get any notification that you'd it'd be from visiting your. Did you know that there is this policy that they take you off if you don't vote. Miss ponder tells us she had no idea. She'd been purged, although she didn't seem completely surprised. She says she hasn't been a regular voter, but she's thinking about turning out in November to support, Stacey Abrams for governor. Back Reverend ponders office. Angela gives him the news about his aunt. She still lives within the county, but she's been removed from the voter lists, and she had no idea. Interesting. She was never notified or anything. She doesn't recall ever getting anything from election officials. I think we need to get down to the bottom of it because if it happened to her the promise you she's not known the one. He says it just confirms his view that voter suppression is happening. It almost give people the mindset that this is a privilege, not a right and so now anything that is a privilege has to get permission. And so if you don't do our we, we won't give you the permission to use his privilege. He says, he'll take his aunt to reregister so she can vote in the governor's race. We analyzed all the people purged in Georgia just last year, and we found that about one hundred thousand were removed for not voting and not responding to notices. Now we don't know how it breaks down by race. But if you add in other obstacles like voter, ID law and closed polling places, all this could tip a close race for governor when it comes to the purges, Stacey Abrams, and other Democrats say there's a solution, let people register all the way to election day at least seventeen states have same day registration, but not in Georgia. Brian Kemp opposes it and same with other Republicans and states where you have same day registrations. It leads to irrational voting. Brian Robinson is a Republican strategist. I meet him in the marble halls of Georgia's state house. Brian sees voting as a right and privilege. So he disagrees with Reverend ponder who says voting is a right period, Brian, thanks registering. Ahead of an election is important because it shows someone's educated and engaged enough to deserve to vote. You won't people who have been following the lection to some degree who know what the issues are and what the candidates stand for. I don't believe in same day registration because I do think Senate ministry of headache because I do think it distorts the electorate a bit. How does it distort the electric. I don't know how you describe it. Frankly, I'm at a loss on that. But if you don't know October the first, there's a presidential election or a gubernatorial election in. The first two weeks of November, you're not an informed voter, Brian argues purging people for not voting isn't taking anything from them because they're not voters. Like if the presidential election and in fact two presidential elections don't get you out. I don't know what it's going to take to get you out and I don't care what coli war, what you're part of the ship is. I think that's a fair standard. Brian looks at the governor's race like this. It's all about who shows up at the polls, Kemp wins if the racial breakdown voters stays about where it's been in recent elections, Abrahams wins by getting more people of color to the polls. Both probably need to win over some voters who haven't made up their minds, but finding those types of voters could be really tough. You have to polarized angry tribes going at each other. You look at the polling today. There's almost no one decides. That story from Johnny Kauffman of public radio station w. AB in Angelo Caputo from APM reports. When it comes to voting something else distinguishes Georgia from most other states, it's voting machines are easy targets for computer hackers was what you are doing here, even chemically hacking? No, I would not count it as hacking, no. What was it then? It was. It was browsing a website that's coming up next on revealed. Reveal is supported by the all new SimpliSafe simply safe's brand new system is smaller, faster, stronger than ever before. Completely rebuilt and redesigned with new safeguards against power outages down WI fi cut landlines, bats, hammers and everything in between. It's the first security system that you might actually call the youthful. You should check it out and what's remarkable. You still get twenty four, seven protection for only fifteen dollars a month and no contract, but supplies are limited, visit SimpliSafe dot com. Slash reveal. Hey, hey, hey, you're listening to another episode of the podcast. Alison is currently binging and today's contestant is the threat by. So the threat is like revisionist history meets six degrees of separation. Sean Braswell turns back the clock on one story at a TIME TO REVEAL how various strands of history get woven together to create a historic figure and unthinkable tragedy or really big idea. So this new season traces the untold hidden connections between powerful idea, non violent protests from two hundred and fifty years ago tomorrow. Luther King junior and forward into present day the threads sees of three a history of nonviolence available now. So check it out at Ozzy dot com. That's osy y dot com and subscribe to the thread wherever you listen to podcasts. From the center for investigative reporting in p r x. This is reveal. I'm outlet up till now. We've been talking about all the barriers that prevent people from stepping into a voting booth on election day, like getting to the polling station in finding out your name is on the list. But even if you get into the booth, you vote might not be properly counted. Georgia is one of five states that rely solely on touch screen voting machines with no paper audit trail. Cyber experts have warned about these machines for years and recently. So as President Trump, one of the things we're learning is it's always good. It's old fashioned, but it's always good to have a paper backup system of voting. It's called paper, not highly complex computers paper. There's a real cost concern. Special counsel. Robert Muller has indicted twelve Russian agents for scheme to target county websites. Georgia. A lot of security experts are worried that when it comes to hacking Georgia is one of the most vulnerable states in the country, but are the people in charge of elections. They're actually listening reveals by Dunkin, picks up the story. Right now I'm plugging the machine in Logan. Lamb has a voting machine in his living room. This is what when looks like on the inside. So here's where the memory cards go. Lucan is a cyber security researcher in Atlanta, his specialty is finding new ways to break into wireless networks and new ways to keep the bad guys out the touchscreen voting machine he has is the kind Georgia uses at its polling places. The machine is Boehlke and book shaped with the big screen. It looks kind of like a cross between an intendo and bible. Logan booted up says, Accu, touch boot, loader, and then it's the compressing. The image is one funny thing I've been wanting to do is pull off that little chime at the beginning and use that as my ring tone. This is a direct recording electronic machine or Diori. It doesn't produce any sort of voter verified paper audit trail for Logan and other cyber security types. That's a major red flag. In fact, DARE's have been criticized by technologists basically since they were installed across the country in the early two, thousands, one alternative to these machines. Is paper ballots and in recent years, more and more people are pushing to start using them again, like last March at a Senate intelligence committee, hearing unelected security, Ron Wyden, a democrat from Oregon had some questions for homeland security, secretary. Kirsten, Nielsen you wanted to get her official position on electric voting machines, and I'd like to get your views for the record of whether you believe the continued use of paperless voting machines. In this country threatens our national security and the department is now prepared to recommend paper ballots. So yes, sir. If there's no way to audit the election, that is absolutely national security concern. Why didn't look satisfied? And you've now told us that the status quo is a national security threat. Actually started getting concerned about Georgia's elections back in August of twenty sixteen. He'd been reading about Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee elsewhere and he wanted to help. So he started snooping around the website. If something called the center for election systems at Kennesaw state university, the center had handled elections in Georgia for more than a decade in a very quickly discovered multiple voter, registration databases, some of which contained over six million records of Georgia voters and within those databases. Some of information that I saw there was full name. Address driver's license, number birthdate, less for digits of your social security number wasn't just that either. He found training videos, passwords, plus a series of all NRA -bility in the architecture of the site itself. This would have allowed a hacker to modify and delete files on the server without detection was what you were doing here, even technically hacking of, I would not count it as hacking, no. What was it then? It was. It was browsing a website. So at this point he sits down and composes an Email to the people at Kennesaw state. He says, look, I'm a local cybersecurity researcher. I don't wanna make a big deal out of this, but you should probably know that I turned up all the scary stuff. He doesn't hear back right away. So he gets the cell phone number for Merle king the guy in charge at chaos. You get them on the phone, but the more they talk, Logan says the weirder things get said that I should probably stop. Up doing this sort of work. Otherwise people downtown with crush me. What did he mean by that at the time I took that to mean politicians, right? And I also took that is more of a warning than a threat. But in hindsight, I'm not really sure Logan didn't get crushed by politicians or anyone else, though the FBI did pay him visit a few months later. Now he sitting at the center of a messy situation. One that says a lot about the state of election security in Georgia and across the country. About a month after Lugan. I finds the problem Georgia's secretary of state. Brian Kemp is in Washington DC, a wanna. Thank the committee chairman heard for inviting me to discuss election security. He's testifying before a house subcommittee information technology. And over the past few weeks, he's been boasting about the security of Georgia's system. He's also been calling out the federal government for overstepping its election responsibilities and trying to quote subvert the constitution under the guise of security. By the way, Kemp doesn't know about Logan's findings yet. And at this hearing, he's going off again. Sure. He says the heck on the DNC was troubling. But the DC response to these attacks has been to take steps toward federalizing aspects of elections election systems in standardizing security measures. There's a better way to you and goes on for hours. Eventually, Kemp starts getting pushback from Jerry Connolly. Adele. Critic Senator from Virginia. Mr Kim, I wanna make sure I understood your testimony Connolly skeptical. He basically says, so you're telling us that there's never an election situation that calls for any kind of federal intervention ever and Kemp is like, no, not really. Connolly, doesn't buy it. What about the Voting Rights Act? He says, states were actively disenfranchising people, then the government stepped in, isn't that positive? Kemp doesn't seem to understand the question. I would say that the Voting Rights Act is still impact. Yes, but it's an example of the opposite of what you're serving. It was an example of federalizing something to protect the franchise. I don't believe because the states weren't doing it. In fact states we're actively suppressing those. You don't deny that too. Well, I'm not sure understand what that has to do with the election system. Well, I'm dealing with your assertion of the principle that we shouldn't federalized any aspect of this. And I'm arguing that the Voting Rights Act is clear. Clear exception to your principal and that perhaps the federal government in federal elections, at least has an interest that override state interest. When it comes to protecting at the cyber level, the integrity of the results will certainly your opinion differs. You'll back Mr Chairman at the end of the hearing, Kemp is given one last chance to speak. And he stands firm states have the cyber cybersecurity stuff handled. He says, and in fact, maybe federal officials should pay us visit. Maybe they would learn a few things. I think they'll be very pleasantly surprised. The team at Kennesaw state was certainly surprised. In fact, Logan's Email sent them scrambling. They didn't want to be interviewed for this story, but all their emails were public record, which means you can get them if you ask nicely, but start on August twenty, eighth twenty sixteen Logan, emails, ks you. He tells them what he found. He says, quote, there's a strong probability. Your site is already compromised members of chaos. Us center for election systems start circulating, the Email around and over the next few days. They start to realize, yeah, this is bad. The schools, information security team recommends doing some scans, but then the director of the elections team ways in he says, wait a minute. Wait a minute. This is our busiest time of year. The last thing we want is for the site to become unavailable to all these counties. We need us reading this at first. It's easy to think, okay, that makes sense. But this idea that you can't make election secure because you're so busy preparing for the. Elections, the seems problematic by September fifteenth. These scans still haven't been done somewhat from new elections team says they're struggling with the technology quote, we've discovered were a little out of our depth. Finally, the elections team gets the breach fixed or so they think it's Tober twenty-seventh two months after Logan. I Email them, they think the security team and say, quote, this has been a huge help to us reading this Email. You can basically hear this deep sigh of relief like. This is over except it's not. You might be wondering what brain Kemp has to say about all this. Well, despite Logan lamb downloading reams of sensitive information which camp called deeply concerning Kemp also said that Georgia is protected with layers upon layers of security. And specifically he's made two arguments. Number one, the voting machines are never connected to the internet, which makes them safer from hacking and number two breaking into just one wouldn't really do much. You need a wide scale conspiracy to actually mess with an election. So there's a good reason to push back on both of those arguments. Both those arguments are wrong, which Millo is a professor of computer science at Georgia Tech. He used to be the chief technology officer at Hewlett Packard. You don't need to mount an attack on thousands and thousands of polling places. You just need to have a really good idea of where to target your attacks in order to flip the right number of votes in order to get above with racial. Plus he says, because Georgia's system is so centralized. There are multiple points of entry for an attacker. That's part of what Logan's discovery proved not only did Georgia. We've itself exposed. The people running things didn't seem to understand how bad the problem was or what was at stake. They're making it up. They're scared to death. They're making it up on a day-to-day basis. They have no idea what's going on in these systems. They have no idea why they work or don't work in their kind of living in constant fear that this whole thing is going to come crashing down around the years. They also failed to realize something else. Something really. Portent five months after Logan made his initial discovery. He was hanging out with a friend, another cyber security guy. I was like Krista ever tell you about that wacky stuff. I found a k. issue he said, no, tell me more. They sit down at a computer and download everything. Again, this time there's more because it looks like new info has been added since January, so we get the exact same amount of stuff. The second time effectively. Yeah. So nothing had changed? Well, they had a tempted to fix it, but in such a way that I, I actually don't understand what they were trying to do. Okay. That was those about my reaction. Yeah, I don't really understand. Kim didn't wanna talk for the story, but I was able to chat with Cathy Cox Georgia's secretary of state from nineteen ninety nine to two thousand seven, a democrat. She oversaw the statewide roll out of touch screen machines in the early two, thousands. And unlike every cybersecurity expert I've ever talked to, she's critical of paper ballots from dead people voting to ballot boxes, showing up in the bottom of a lake. They're just so many opportunities limited, truly unle- by ones imagination to commit fraud on a paper ballot. She also said that even the Logan's findings were troubling. They're different from a problem with the voting machines themselves. A breach into a voter, registration system is not a breach into the voting system in Georgia, because those are two distinctly different systems distinctly different secured systems. It's worth noting that cyber experts disagree with this strongly. That Bernhardt is a PHD student at the university of Michigan. He studies DRA's and their vulnerabilities that says, the problem of Georgia system is that unlike a lot of other states, it's all interconnected like giant tree. He told me the secretary of state's office is the roots, your counties, upper branches, and your precincts are like little leaves really inject information or inject, basically. Now we're virus into any part of this tree. The way to set up is that that virus could get transmitted every other part of the tree, not long after Logan downloaded all that data. Second time, some election integrity groups filed a complaint against Brian Kemp for violating Georgia's constitutional rights to have their ballots counted correctly. They asked Georgia to switch to paper ballots before the November midterms. There is a hearing in September in federal court. In Atlanta, it was grueling took all day. You had cyber experts on one side explaining why Georgia's system. Is so vulnerable. One of them even hacked voting machine right there in the courtroom on the other side were Kemp's people telling the cyber experts, hey, you don't understand how Georgia's system works a few days after this hearing federal judge deciding against adopting paper ballots over electronic ones for the midterm elections, judge Amy Teutenberg filed an order in favor of Brian Kemp. She wrote that switching to paper ballots just weeks before an election would create total chaos, but she also spent dozens and dozens of pages, validating the testimony of cyber experts in scolding the state. I'm going to read just a little bit from the order. Quote, the court is gravely concerned about the states piece in responding to the serious Filner abilities of its voting system. By the way throughout the hearing, Kemp's team tried to paint the cyber experts as out of state elites judge totenberg was having none that hacking. She wrote is here to stay and quote defendants will fail to address that reality if they demean as paranoia the research based findings of national cyber security engineers and experts. So that's where we are. Georgia is barreling towards midterms with vulnerable system machines that very few people trust. Kennesaw state is no longer handling elections. Now, the secretary of state's office does the people I talked to say that change won't really make much of a difference. They say, if a hacker got the info, Logan got back in twenty sixteen. They could still use it to disenfranchise voters in twenty eighteen and it's worth noting here. Just how much judge totenberg ruling resembles the logic at Kennesaw state, right after Logan. I emailed them. We. We know our elections are vulnerable, but we can't fix them because the elections are so soon. Before Logan. I parted ways. I asked him a question. Let me ask you this. How sure are you that somebody didn't beat you to this. There's there's not really a way of knowing at this point. I mean, still to this day, I'm very concerned. Reveals by Dunkin, brought us that story. Earlier this year, Brian Kemp established a commission that look at options for replacing the current voting system by twenty twenty. Oh, and the other four states heading into the midterms that use touch screen machines with no paper audit trail or New Jersey, Delaware, South Carolina, and Louisiana. Fear of voter fraud is driving a lot of efforts to restrict access to voting around the country, but where is that fear coming from? That's next on reveal from the center for investigative reporting and p. r. x.. From the center for investigative reporting and PR x. this is reveal. I'm ellett today. We've been talking about voter suppression in fear, voter fraud. People are worried about it in part because of what President Trump has been saying. The many places like California, the same person votes. Many times you've probably heard about that. There was like, so that's a conspiracy theory, not a conspiracy theory fucks millions and millions of people. Those claims have been totally the bunked, but one of the people who got those theories going was a Kansas lawyer who's waged a long running campaign against what he calls voter fraud. His name is Chris Kobuk. He's the Kansas secretary of state. And while that's typically a pretty sleepy office, he's a household name in his home state. He even used to have a weekly radio show. Worst nightmare because he knows the constitution and fights to keep them from making confetti of it. Chris Kobuk Khobar it's been a loyal Trump supporter from the beginning Trump appointed him to run his so-called election integrity commission. It was disbanded less than a year after it was started without accomplishing anything, Peggy, low of Casey. You are in Kansas City has been covering co Bach for years, hey, Peggy. So Bach is from a small state population wise, but he has his big national profile in conservative circles. How did that happen? So Kobuk is a longtime anti immigration crusader. He drafted in law that basically gave law enforcement a lot more thirty to stop people in question them about their immigration status. It was called the papers, please law that's dating back to about twenty ten. And since then he's been aligned with white nationalist groups who backed that effort. And that's. When he got on the radar of the southern poverty Law Center who now calls Kobuk the lawyer for America's nativist movement since then his anti-immigration crusade has morphed into this campaign against what he calls, massive voter, fraud Koba claims that illegal aliens. That's a term he loves to use our voting in great numbers. And this fraud could be swinging elections, but we know that is not true. That's right. I could through a bunch of the little zeroes in percentages you here. But according to the Brennan center for Justice, it would be harder for an American to be struck by lightning than to impersonate and other voter, but that doesn't stop co Bach. He's the leader in the fight against this. Well, it's a major problem. You interview Kobuk last summer. What was he like in person? Well, come up makes it really good politician. He's good looking, he's charming. He's really articulate, but as a reporter, he is also just maddening. He will tell you that even your question is inaccurate. He will fight you on every term and you would be, but. Your use of the term off line is inaccurate. It's not off line thrill all these studies in statistics that you which many of these studies have been debunked by, but he's still uses them. It's like talking to crisco Bach is arguing with your high school debate coach, you're talking to a guy who really wants you to lose the argument. And I think he's really respected in some circles because he has a very impressive resume. He has degrees from Harvard Yale, University of Oxford. And then he also has this other big help. It's a tool called the interstate crosscheck system. It's a massive voter tracking program under Kobuk. It grew to include more than half of the total voter registrations in the US. Okay. So how does this thing work? So about two dozen states are enrolled in this crosscheck program? It's free. They share information between states keeping the voter, registration rolls, clean. Wean states don't want these duplicate voter registrations, and most often this happens when people move so out. When you move from Florida, California, did you call the secretary of state and Florida? No, I did not. That's okay. Then, because you actually weren't breaking the law. Here's the deal. It's not illegal to be registered to vote in two states that said it is a legal to vote in the same election in two different states. So how does Kobuk use his crosstrek system to go after voter fraud? This is where co Bach on it using crosscheck Koba persuaded the Kansas legislature to give him the power to prosecute these cases by himself. So he doesn't have to turn them over to the attorney general's office like the way it's done and all these other states. Okay. So all of a sudden, Chris co, Bach has the power of a prosecutor. What's he doing with well, so far he's turned up. Nine cases of this alleged voter fraud. He's prosecuted them as felonies and they mostly pleaded down to misdemeanors. And most of the people he caught up in this are older, white Republican men, not illegal aliens again, co box term. They often own property in two states, and sometimes that's what gets in trouble. And despite all the talk of voter fraud by non-citizens Kobuk has not prosecuted even one case. So Kobuk is using these just handful of cases to get lots of media attention even nationally, like say on Fox News. It's a huge problem, not just in Kansas but nationally, and we only see the very top of the sliver of the iceberg because it's so hard to detect actually crosscheck is on hold right now, and it wasn't even used this year in Kansas or any other state. So was a well. The department of homeland security came in when they heard of some problems. What's funny is that Kobuk had hoped to head the department of homeland security. He interviewed with President Trump about it, but now that agency is in his state looking at crosscheck, and this leads us to a woman named Anita. Parsa. She's from Kansas. She has a computer science degree and she is appointed herself. The crosscheck watchdog. She sounds kind of like Logan limb. The cybersecurity expert in Georgia who raise the alarm there? Right? Well, like Lamm Anita. Parsa did stumble across some very sensitive data. She's a stay at home. Mom. She lives in an fluent neighborhood in the Kansas City suburbs, and that's where I visited her this summer. She told me she's become obsessed with crosscheck a nearly got kicked out of a New Year's party because I wouldn't stop going on about it. You know, people is glaze over she is Taneja. She's on Twitter. She's calling reporters. She's filing public records requests. She's talking to anybody who will listen. So in June twenty seventeen. When Kobuk is head of Trump's election, integrity commission sent letters to all fifty states asking for them to turn over their voter rolls, Anita. Parsa was prepared one day last June. I'm headed out the door to do some errands. And I happened to notice the request for data and Twitter is just aghast and stop. Put down my bags. I spent the entire day saying, if you're worried about this, you should know your state has been doing this. They have been sending this data to Kansas and I over and over and over to the point where I finally just copied it and was just pasting it in response to people so much that day that I got shut out of Twitter for looking like a bought. That sounds about right with Twitter, the actual human beings shutdown, right? I mean, it's kind of funny, but she really accomplished something her efforts put crosscheck in the news and the department of homeland security has checked into the breaches, crosscheck ISSA down this year. And other states have gotten the message on that. Some have dropped out of crosscheck because of the security problems that in need uncovered. She did this by making public records request to the state of Florida. She got sensitive data on nine hundred and forty, five cans, including parts of their social security numbers and the encryption passwords for the check system. If we were bad people, we could have sold that access in a heartbeat for a ton of money. A hundred million people's private data could have been. We had the key and we had the address. We had them both and we could have done all sorts of crap. And what we did was, let's expose. This, so they fix it. Initially, people worried crosscheck would be used to purge even more voters, especially minority voters. But I really didn't find evidence of that nor did a Nita. She actually changed the narrative about crosscheck because she figured out that the system that's supposed to help states clean up, their voter rolls that what is actually doing is exposing voters personal information. It's a sinister marketing effort probably more than anything else, but that's still hasn't made Koba give up on crosscheck and his campaign to market. This idea, voter fraud Kobuk is fighting and losing his battle against this made a problem of voter fraud in federal court. Knowle's wait, why was he federal court? Comeback likes to say that he's ACL use worst nightmare like that clip that you played. But it's really the other way around the ACLU is really kind of co box worst nightmare. He lost a very public battle to them this summer when a federal judge overturned Kansas voter ID law that requires you to show proof of citizenship. And I d in order to vote like birth certificate or a passport or driver's license and a federal judge said Kobuk not only did not make his case that there's lots of this fraud. This judge Julie. Robinson said that Khobar showed willful failure in obain. Her rulings and his performance in court was so bad that this judge ordered him to take a refresher course in basic civil procedure. Even though co used to be a law school professor and need a person was there in the courthouse for the trial. Oh, I wish more people had been there for a first trial. It had it all. I mean, I don't think you usually get the kind of laugh track that had I, I'm the kind of person like I couldn't really watch Seinfeld very easily because George embarrassed me so much. It'd be like, oh, God like cringe. It was to cringe ahead duck. Sometimes it was so bad. You go to a trial, you're unprepared, you're fumbling, you're embarrassing. You get corrected multiple times. You failed to prove your case in any way. Ooh, bad when you could explain bears for you, right? But here's the thing politically. This did not hurt Kobuk. He went on to win the Republican primary for governor this summer by just a few votes here. He is on the campaign trail. I wanna do for Kansas what President Trump has done for America. When I interviewed him this summer, he told me that if he's elected, he plans to keep on fighting this supposed- voter fraud because the thing is is this is working for him. Even though he was humiliated in court, his federal commission was disbanded having achieved nothing. The department of homeland security crackdown on crosscheck, but he still may become governor of Kansas. Thanks in part to this crusade that he's lead against the problem that doesn't really exist. That is a record that speaks for itself. Thanks pigging. Thank you. My pleasure. Those piggy low of Casey, you are and Kansas City. Earlier this month, President Trump was into Pika campaigning for Kobuk. I want to introduce the next governor of Kansas, Chris co back. At the same rally Khobar brought up. You guessed voted for. He bragged about the voter. ID law passed saying that Kansas has the most secure election laws in America. He didn't mention that a federal judge overturned that law in June. This week show was in partnership with Casey. You are in Kansas City w AB Atlanta and APM reports the investigative and documentary unit of American public media. They have support from the corporation for public broadcasting, Michael Montgomery and Karen Moscow ski produced our show. Our editor was George. We also had help from veal's Aaron, Saint, and Michael Corey special. Thanks, Dave man. Jesse hitting of APM reports and Susanna Kappa Ludo of w. a. production managers Wedneday Hosa are sound design team is the dynamic, dual j. breezy Mr.. Jim Briggs in financial, my men Arruda our CEO is Krista Scharf Berg. Our senior supervising editor is talk. You tell neatest are executive producers Kevin Sullivan. Our theme music is by camaraderie like. Support for veal's provided by the river. David loden foundation, the John D and Catherine t. MacArthur foundation, the Jonathan Logan, family foundation, the Ford Foundation, the highs ING Simon's foundation, and the ethics and excellence in journalism foundation reveal is a co production of the center of investigative reporting PR x. amount. Let's and remember is always more to the story.

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