-By Ian Millhiser
February 25, 2013- Hans von Spakovsky may be America’s top expert on voter disenfranchisement. How to foster voter disenfranchisement, that is. As an official in the Bush Justice Department, Spakovsky pushed through gerrymandered maps benefiting Republicans, and was a driving force behind the effort to approve voter ID laws — a common voter suppression law targeting student, minority and low-income voters. Since leaving the Bush Administration, Spakovsky’s remained a leading advocate of voter suppression, often making odd claims such as arguing that a common method of disenfranchising voters actually does those voters a favor, or claiming that Attorney General Eric Holder sides with big scary black men who tamper with elections.
For the rest of this month, Spakovsky is also an elections official in Fairfax County, Virginia. In Virginia political parties control individual seats on county election boards. Both the Democratic and Republican party get to nominate three people to each of their controlled seats, but the judges in charge of selecting from among these nominees almost always take each party’s first choice. In Fairfax, the top choice of each party was selected every time a seat needed to be filled for the last 50 years.