The System Is Rigged, But Not How Trump Seems To Think

Donald Trump seems to think the election is rigged. Well, the American electoral process IS rigged, and has been rigged for a long time, just not the way he thinks.

It’s rigged in the deliberate suppression of African-American voters and other voters of color in places like North Carolina, Alabama and Florida (including purges from the rolls in Florida, requiring of voter ID and then sudden closings of DMVs across entire regions of Alabama, and more).

It’s rigged in the deliberate disenfranchisement of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in many states (an issues that is finally being rectified in some areas, but not in others), and the fact that these individuals, who are not even able to vote, are counted for redistricting purposes as being residents of the districts in which they are incarcerated, rather than their home districts. This often gives a redistricting advantage to more rural, conservative, often whiter districts where prisons are based (i.e. the North Woods of NY) and disproportionately hurts urban districts with large communities of color.

It’s rigged in the deliberate suppression of African-American voters and other voters of color in places like North Carolina, Alabama and Florida.

 

It’s rigged in the fact that wealthy contributors (individuals, companies, industry associations) can influence elections through Super PACs, through the purchase of political ads, and by essentially bankrolling candidates for access, and the fact that it requires so much money to run for office that it is often limited to people who are either independently wealthy or end up owing favors to major contributors (and moreover, hurts third party candidates who don’t have access to major-party war chests).

It’s rigged in the fact that state legislatures often gerrymander congressional and other districts, either based on a partisan advantage or simply protecting incumbents.

So Trump can talk all he wants about dead people voting, or people voting multiple times, and paranoid folks of all stripes can talk about the machines being somehow rigged across the country. But while they’re focusing on that nonsense, real things are happening that are causing, and have caused, a “rigged” system by which we elect our public officials, across the country.

Let’s do something about that.

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