Indiana Is Disenfranchising Thousands Of Black Voters Before The Election

“You are leading a government attack against your own citizens”

Amid allegations by the Trump campaign that the presidential election has been “rigged,” Republican officials in Indiana have accused advocacy groups of possible voter fraud.

This, in turn, has caused counter-accusations of voter suppression in the state and allegations that Governor Mike Pence, who is Trump’s running mate, has mobilized authorities to disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters.

On October 4, Indiana state police raided the offices of the Indiana Voter Registration Project (an affiliate of the Democrat-leaning Patriot Majority), an organization that mainly works to get out the vote of African Americans.

State police seized computers, phones, files, and thousands of voter registration applications. There were also accusations that police barred staff at the organization from filming the raid.

The raid was part of a wider investigation into voter fraud in the state that had begun in August in two counties. The investigation has now spread to more than 50 counties in the state.

It is still unclear what prompted the investigation but the state’s top election official, the Republican Secretary of State for Indiana, Connie Lawson, alleged publicly that there may be evidence of voter fraud in the state.

She claimed that “thousands” of name and date-of-birth changes on voting records might be due to fraud. She then reversed her statements a few days later claiming that the changes could be legitimate. One county official said that Lawson’s comments were too hasty given that it’s difficult to know if the changes were simply someone changing their name or address or was simply in error.

"I don't know how you distinguish between people purposely changing their information and those who didn’t," Hamilton County, Republican elections administrator Kathy Richardson said, as reported in USA Today.

"In an election like this, where everyone wants to vote, you are going to get a lot of changes. People change their first names or last names or change their addresses. Especially people who haven't voted in a while."

Indiana State police said that its investigation has indeed uncovered instances of fraud but did not get into details about the nature of it and how widespread it was.

The investigation is still ongoing and could mean that 45,000 people will not be able to vote in the state due to the investigation, according to The Washington Post.

This hasn’t sat well with Patriot Majority, which is accusing Indiana of voter suppression just ahead of the election.

The group accused Indiana Gov. Mike Pence of using state police to alter election results and to suppress the voices of black voters in the state.

“Mike Pence has a well oiled political machine that is using the Indiana State Police to suppress African American votes and violate the Constitutional rights of tens of thousands of Hoosiers,” read a statement by the group.

In a new radio ad by the group targeted at black voters, a man said, “You are leading a government attack against your own citizens.”

Both the police and the Governor have denied any wrongdoing and have said the allegations are false.

The group also said that the state’s own errors and bad clerical work may have caused the inaccuracies.

Whatever the outcome, it is clear that allegations of voter fraud is bad for the election and bad for a belief in democracy in general. It also feeds the notion that the crime may be more widespread than it actually is.

Trump has resurrected the notion that the election could be rigged by fraud (and the media) and has urged supporters to “check out” the polls in “certain” areas, which we can only assume means Democrat-leaning communities, probably in swing states.

The Los Angeles Times, in an attempt to clarify how rare voter fraud is, created a handy look at the allegations of it in 2016 to date. There aren’t many, and what there is, like in Indiana, remains very unclear and suspiciously partisan.

via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

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