Book Review: Give Us the Ballot by Ari Berman


Give Us the Ballot

By Ari Berman

FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX

Shark attacks are more common in Florida than voter fraud, yet in 2011 the state cut early voting and shut down registration drives in the name of making elections more secure. In Give Us the Ballot, journalist Ari Berman explores the increasingly sophisticated tricks devised to keep minorities out of the voting booth over the past half century, tracing a path from an era of overtly racist campaign ads—”Suppose your wife is driving home at 11 o’clock at night. She is stopped by a highway patrolman. He turns out to be black. Think about it…Elect George Wallace”—to the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision gutting the Voting Rights Act. With 2016 on the horizon, Berman helps us understand why we’re still fighting over who gets to exercise this most basic of American rights.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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