Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook
Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook, a new film from American Issues Initiative, reveals for the first time and in frightening detail the dark, partisan genius behind the decades-long strategy to disenfranchise non-white voters. The dangerous toll this strategy is taking on the sacred principle of "one person/one vote” is not lost on Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) who says, “I fear that young people will not have the kind of democracy that I experienced.” Ironically, the film’s key jumping off point is Barack Obama’s victory in 2008, when 25% of his vote came from African-Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans. It sent a clarion call to Republicans that unless they took drastic action, they faced exile in the political wilderness and possible extinction as a party. Demographics were not on their side. Republicans had two choices: (1) Develop new policies to appeal to the rising majority of minority voters; or, in the words of former Republican strategist, Mark McKinnon, (2) figure “out how you turn out more of your people and less of the other guys.” As Rigged sadly details, Republicans opted for the latter—deciding to find new ways to suppress the vote. During the 2016 election, the filmmakers went on the road to see how this voter suppression playbook would be put to use.