EP 361 Can America’s Electoral Process be Unrigged?

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By any measure, politicians throughout our history have played fast and loose with the electoral process, trying to make it easier for some and harder for others to vote.  It took the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution to unrig practices put in place to deny the vote to African Americans.  Yet, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was still necessary to further reinforce those protections.  In truth, there’s never been a golden era of voting rights in this country.  One step forward is often met with new forms of resistance to the advancement of one group or another.  Need we be reminded that barely one hundred years ago, women were not allowed the franchise in this country.  So where are we today?  Poll taxes and literacy tests are gone, for sure, but new approaches, facilitated by new technologies and put forward by old fears of new groups of voters amassing power are afoot across the country.  In his previous book, David Daley, of fairvote.org, documented the clever, but mischievous, approach to gerrymandering in 2010 Operation RedMap which was meant to insure that a minority of voters could amass a majority of Congressional seats in many states throughout the decade.  Republican strategists  drew up districts in a majority of states designed to insure outcomes at variance with how the majority in those states voted.  In his new book, ‘Unrigged’, Daley describes the push back by ordinary Americans to make the vote fairer throughout the land.  It is important to understand how we got here and how greater access and fairness are being pushed forward against continuing resistance.  This episode is a great primer.