He calls them “voter integrity squads.” That’s what Mark Kirk is calling it, and he’s sticking to that description. But in reality, everyone with an ounce of understanding of how these Republicans work, knows that what Mark Kirk is secretly trying to do, is suppress the black vote in the Mid-term election.
Mr. Mark Kirk is the Republican nominee for the United States Senate, representing Illinois. In a private phone conversation with Republican leaders that was secretly recorded, Kirk is heard discussing his plan to send these voter integrity agents to mostly African American and other minority neighborhoods in Chicago, because as he puts it, these areas are “where the other side might be tempted to jigger the numbers somewhat.”
Realizing they were caught, his campaign confirmed the voice on the recording as that of Mark Kirk. They then reiterated Kirk’s remarks by saying;
“These are lawyers and other people that will be deployed in key, vulnerable precincts, for example, South and West sides of Chicago, Rockford, Metro East, where the other side might be tempted to jigger the numbers somewhat.”
Although much have been made about his use of the word “jigger” and its meaning in the Merriam-Webster dictionary to mean, “to alter, rearrange or manipulate,” the real issue here is the true intent of Mr. Kirk’s “squad.”
Voter suppression is accomplished in many ways. Republicans have used various methods in past elections to keep voters at home, and many of these methods are discussed in greater details in a 2008 article by Kate Klonick and Zachary Roth of Talking Points Memo. Mark Kirk is just the latest Republican continuing a tried and true scheme to keep voters away from the polls.
The perception by some minority voters that they’re being watched, although they may not be doing anything wrong, is enough to cause some people to bypass this election. As a politician and a Republican, Mark Kirk is fully aware of this fact. Claiming that his “squad” is there for “voter integrity,” is just another way of telling those minorities who may be easily swayed, that Mark’s squad is watching.
Mark Kirk is in a tight contested race with Democratic US Senate candidate, Alexi Giannoulias.
- Mark Kirk to Deploy “Voter Integrity” Squads to Black Precincts (chicagoist.com)
- Mark Kirk: Stop “Jigger[ing]” By Sending Poll Watchers To Black Neighborhoods (oliverwillis.com)
- Mark Kirk Sends Poll Monitors To ‘Vulnerable,’ Largely African-American Neighborhoods (mediaite.com)