Approximately 10,000 people in Joplin, Missouri may be disenfranchised because of the May 2011 tornado that destroyed the town, local news outlets are reporting, but President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Democratic Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Democratic Secretary of State Robin Carnahan are nowhere to be found.
The Joplin Globe reported early this week that about 10,000 voter registration cards were returned to Jasper County headquarters.
“Election officials say many of the cards being returned were sent to residents in Joplin and Duquesne who moved after their homes were damaged or destroyed in the May 22, 2011 tornado but have not yet changed their address with election officials,” Susan Redden wrote for the local paper.
Missouri has a primary on Tuesday.
Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, told The Daily Caller that he thinks Obama, Holder, Nixon and Carnahan need to get involved and fix this problem now.
“I call on Gov. Nixon, Attorney General Holder and President Obama to get in there and make sure that these people’s rights to vote are not infringed,” Kinder said in a Friday phone interview. “As long as they let this problem just fester, their pledges of assistance to Joplin ring hollow.”
“I absolutely believe that our secretary of state is asleep on the job, delinquent, debilitatory, and I don’t know why she doesn’t drive herself into Joplin and get about the business of taking care of this immediately,” Kinder added, referring to Carnahan. “I drove myself from the state capitol, Jefferson City, to Joplin yesterday for my own set of appointments in the evening and this morning. People are upset about this.”
Kinder said he thinks there 10,000 people being disenfranchised because of a tornado is “apparently no concern of the Department of Justice in Washington.”
“They’re too busy suing states that implement a photo ID,” he said.
Kinder said the president hasn’t even followed through on his promises to support Joplin, even though Obama has been there three times, and gave a speech at Joplin High School’s commencement in May 2012 as his re-election campaign was heating up.
“The president has been there three times in the year and three months since the tornado,” Kinder said. “He’s pledged all support that they need from the federal [government] — and silence on this issue. The governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, has been there every three days since the tornado fifteen or fourteen months ago. He has repeatedly promised ‘whatever you need …’”
Election Journal reports that Obama, Holder, Nixon and Carnahan’s inaction may be because the district is heavily Republican. “Sen. John McCain won Jasper County with 65 percent of the vote in 2008,” the publication says.
Kinder tends to agree: “This is a heavily Republican county and it has been for years. I believe if it had been a majority Democratic district, she [Carnahan] would have been all over this,” he said.