On a day where the North Carolina Republican Party has been roundly pounded by the courts and press alike for their deep voter suppression efforts, Dallas Woodhouse made an appearance on MSNBC to try and distract from it.
After grousing about the fact that early voting was proceeding in spite of their best efforts to suppress it, he produced a pair of handcuffs for Hillary, causing Hallie Jackson to step back with some amazement.
After falsely claiming that suppression wasn't the problem, depression was, Woodhouse lifted the shackles up to the camera.
As he held them up, he said, "You know why? It's very simple their candidate – if elected–could have these on Inauguration Day,"
It was a moment. But here's what's more important. Woodhouse was simply making a move to distract from the really evil voter suppression efforts underway in North Carolina. From cutting the number of early voting stations to trying (and failing) to stop voting on Sundays, Woodhouse has been at the forefront of an effort to push voting rights back to the early 20th century.
Reuters has a report all of the news channels ought to love, since it involves emails (just not Hillary's).
In two emails, on Aug. 11 and Aug. 14, Woodhouse urged Republicans serving on county election boards to follow the "party line" on curtailing the early voting period.
"Many of our folks are angry and opposed to Sunday voting," he wrote. “Six days of voting in one week is enough. Period.” Keeping polling sites open for the full 17-day early voting period "may be wasteful and unnecessary," he added.
Woodhouse's emails were subsequently published by local media, but he was not alone in lobbying to limit voting hours, the Reuters review of public records shows. The review counted similar emails from at least four other Republican Party officials to election boards, each of which is composed of two Republicans and one Democrat.
The same day that Woodhouse sent his Aug. 11 email, Elaine Hewitt, a member of the Rowan County Republican Executive Committee, sent the county elections board two proposed schedules for early voting, both of which included just one site for the first four days and no sites on Sundays.
"With all of the opportunities to vote by mail, early in person Monday - Saturday, and on Election Day, there is no justification for requiring election workers to work on Sundays," she wrote.
Just today, the Democratic Party filed another lawsuit against Republicans for attempts at voter intimidation and suppression. Similar lawsuits have been filed in Ohio, Nevada, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. All seem to relate to Roger Stone's efforts to recruit and install pollwatchers at sites in these states.
Rick Hasen writes:
I haven’t yet gone through each complaint in detail yet, but all seem to raise two claims, one under the Voting Rights Act and one under the Ku Klux Klan Act, aimed at preventing voter intimidation. The complaints allege that the state parties are cooperating with the Trump campaign and Stone to stir up unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and to intimidate minority voters. This complaint comes on top of the earlier-filed complaint alleging that Trump and the RNC are violating the long-standing and soon expiring (unless extended) consent decree against the RNC.
The new complaints seek temporary restraining orders which will bar activities such as “exit polling” from the Stone people which could be used to intimidate voters.
Once again, we have a lot of projection from Republicans. Clearly the ones who belong in handcuffs are they.