Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

America needs to join the rest of the developed world and put the right of citizens to vote into law. (Photo: Michael Fleshman/Flickr/cc)

America needs to join the rest of the developed world and put the right of citizens to vote into law. (Photo: Michael Fleshman/Flickr/cc)

This Election Was Rigged

If any governor wants to take away your vote, they don’t even have to tell you, they just kick you off the voting rolls, because right now voting is not a right in America, it’s merely a privilege.

Thom Hartmann

It turns out that Donald Trump was right: the election was rigged. He would know, of course, because he and Lewis DeJoy were the ones who rigged it.

Historically, “conservative“ (e.g. “white racist”) efforts to rig the vote were almost entirely focused on preventing people of color from voting. For almost a century, this involved literacy tests, guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar, and other low-tech, blatant strategies.

In the 1960s, William Rehnquist and friends launched “Operation Eagle Eye“ in the Southwest where they would send “poll watchers“ to threaten and intimidate Native American, Hispanic and Black voters.

By the 1980s, Republicans had rolled out “caging,” where they’d send a postcard to voters and if it wasn’t returned they’d remove you from the voting roles; the Democratic Party got a restraining order against caging that just expired a few years ago.

In 2000, George and Jeb Bush, the governors of Texas and Florida, used the Texas felon list to purge mostly Black and Hispanic people from the Florida voter rolls. Jeb knocked 90,000 African-Americans off the rolls, just in time to steal the 2000 election for George.

Kris Kobach turned this into a system, called Interstate Crosscheck, and took it nationwide over the last 15 years, comparing states’ voting rolls in ways that would largely disenfranchise Asians, Blacks and Hispanics.

Finally, in 2020, Trump came up with a new scheme that benefited from the Covid virus, and the worse the virus got, the better his scheme worked.

Letting the pandemic run wild while telling his supporters they should only vote in person, Trump and DeJoy dismantled over 600 multimillion dollar high-speed mail sorting machines, hitting swing states the hardest, so mailed ballots would arrive too late to count.

Recent reporting suggests that if the courts had not intervened when and how they did, the mail would have been so slowed in several critical swing states that Trump would’ve been declared the winner. We were saved by a federal judge.

Now the scam Republicans are promoting is to challenge the signatures on the outside of mail-in ballots from big cities, and this has helped them throw out literally millions of ballots just this month.

Nobody is sure what the next conservative scheme will be to disqualify votes in American cities, but you can bet they’re working on it. Which is why we need a law or Constitutional amendment that unambiguously asserts a “right to vote.“

If Governor Brian Kemp wants to take away the home of a person who lives in Atlanta, he has to go to court and prove his case: our property rights are intact.

If Governor Ron DeSantis wants to take away a gun from a person who lives in Miami, he has to go to court and prove his case: the Supreme Court has recently affirmed Americans’ right to own a gun.

But if any governor wants to take away your vote, they don’t even have to tell you, they just kick you off the voting rolls, because right now voting is not a right in America, it’s merely a privilege.

America needs to join the rest of the developed world and put the right of citizens to vote into law. Since everything from pandemic relief to education to foreign policy flows out of the democratic process, this must be Job One in the new Congress.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Like a Teenager Promising to Clean Their Room in 30 Years': Biden Net-Zero Climate Goal for 2050 Ridiculed

"2050 is an extremely weak goal for the federal government to free itself from climate-heating pollution. It ignores existing technology and adds decades to GSA's own commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2025."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Should Cancel Student Debt or Watch $85 Billion Evaporate From US Economy: Analysis

Far-reaching cancellation enacted by Biden could add more than $173 billion to the nation's GDP in 2022 alone.

Kenny Stancil ·


Given Cover by Red-Baiting GOP, Corporate Dems Rebuked for Tanking Biden Nominee for Top Bank Regulator

"If you think that Senate Democrats rose up to [Republicans'] shameful display of modern McCarthyism by rallying around President Biden's nominee or her ideas that banking should work for the middle class, then you don't know the soul of today's Democratic Party," wrote one columnist.

Julia Conley ·


'S.O.S.!': Groups in Red States Nationwide Plead With Democrats to Pass Voting Rights Bill

"We can tell you firsthand that our Republican senators have no interest in joining this effort."

Jake Johnson ·


Revealed: US Public Pension Funds Are 'Quiet Culprits of Climate Chaos'

One activist called divestment "an ethical responsibility" given that "maintaining the status quo of fossil fuel energy production and investments will unquestionably lead to a self-created catastrophe."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo