The Roots of Voter Suppression in AmericaImagine someone knocks on your front door as your eating dinner with your family.
You get up and walk to the door open it... and there's a group of white men wearing sidearms and the leader asks you if you voted in the last election?
You wonder who these men are and what right do they have to ask about your personal business? One of them flashes a badge and claims he's asking you questions on behalf of your county election board.
Again, you wonder why this is happening now after several decades of voting? What do these men really want? A chill runs down your back. As a black man you know this group of armed white men could spell trouble for you and your family.
The above scenario is playing out in Colorado right now.
A pro-Trump group has been going door-to-door in search of evidence to support voter fraud allegations that have already been debunked and rejected by courts.
The leader of the group - U.S. Election Integrity Plan (USEIP) - is Shawn Smith an ally of Steve Bannon and MyPillow boy Mike Lindell.
The group's real mission is voter intimidation because they send armed members into areas with large numbers of voters of color, questioning them about how they voted and taking photographs of their homes.
What these Trump minions are doing is illegal. They're violating the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, a post-Civil War law aimed at preventing white vigilantes from terrorizing Black people to stop them from voting.
Officials in Colorado warned the general public about the unofficial canvassing efforts and urged residents to report the members to local law enforcement and the Justice Department.
The state chapter of the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, and Mi Familia Vota filed a lawsuit against the group.
As the case drags through the courts the pro-Trump group's website says they are planning to expand to other states, including Arizona, Georgia and New Hampshire.
The group's training materials are already being used by conspiracy theorists in Utah who call themselves the Utah Voter Verification Project.
Members of the group, who refused to identify themselves, showed up at houses in Hurricane last December with personal voter information, according to Washington County officials who had been alerted by local residents.
Even though these Trump voter suppression groups are knowingly breaking the law they just keep popping up like toxic mushrooms.
The interesting thing is other Trump-supporters have tried similar door-to-door audits like the one by Cyber Ninjas, and they were forced to stop after the Justice Department warned them that they were violating federal laws against voter suppression.
Still another group - the New Mexico Audit Force - sent their members door-to-door recently. Much to my surprise, the House Oversight Committee announced a probe into the group's activities last week.
One last thing I just can't pass up. It appears USEIP has a volunteer vetting problem.
A message on the group's website said leaders had learned (roundaboutly) that there were a "couple of people" in the group who had a criminal history of sexual misconduct.
The message apologized and said, "...it's unfortunate that we must check volunteers for pedophilic leanings."
I have one question. Has anyone notified QAnon yet?