Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy

David Daley. Liveright, $29.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-63149-575-5
Journalist and voting rights advocate Daley follows Ratf**ked, his investigation into how Republicans “weaponized gerrymandering” in the wake of President Obama’s 2008 victory, with an uplifting survey of grassroots efforts to make American democracy more inclusive. In 2018, Daley set out to meet with such reformers as Louisiana resident Norris Henderson, who founded Voice of the Ex-offender, an organization that fights to restore voting rights to former felons, after his life sentence for murder was overturned in 2004. Daley also profiles three young Idahoans who traveled the state collecting signatures for a Medicaid expansion bill (it eventually passed with 61% of the vote); Native Americans battling restrictive voter ID laws in Nevada, North Dakota, and Utah; anti-gerrymandering activists in Michigan and Pennsylvania; members of the League of Women Voters, who helped to bring ranked-choice voting to Maine; and Amanda Litman, a former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer who recruits millennial candidates and trains them in the art of running for office. Daley’s wit (the offices of the Election Protection hotline are filled with “enough Starbucks cups to caffeinate The Walking Dead”) and clear explanations of electoral processes make the book accessible to political neophytes as well as experts. This optimistic appraisal of the political scene will strike a chord with progressives gearing up for the 2020 elections. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/16/2019
Release date: 03/17/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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