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This edition: Suppressing the Vote

Episode Details

Original tape date: August 13, 2012.

First aired: August 13, 2012.

The fight against voter fraud is a solution in search of a problem -- documented instances of voter fraud these days are surprisingly few. Nevertheless, since the 2010 midterm elections, new election laws passed by Republican-dominated legislatures in 14 states have sought to limit voter registration or require photo IDs in order to vote -- identification that for many is too expensive or otherwise difficult to obtain.

Such laws, according to a recent report from the Brennan Center for Justice “will make it harder for hundreds of thousands of poor Americans to vote." That’s why some say the real goal isn’t about fighting voter fraud; it’s about enabling voter suppression.

This week on Moyers & Company (check local listings), Bill talks to Keesha Gaskins, an attorney and co-author of that report, and Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice, about modern efforts to keep minorities and the poor in particular from exercising one of the most fundamental American rights.

“When these votes come under attack by this level of partisan gamesmanship, it's completely inappropriate and antithetical to our history,” Gaskins tells Bill. “This is a very real political issue, but beyond that, this is a real issue of real Americans being able to access and be self-determinative in how we're governed.”

Also on the program, Bill talks with Anthony Baxter, director of You’ve Been Trumped! an upcoming documentary about Donald Trump’s aggressive efforts to build “the greatest golf course in the world” along ancient sand dunes on the coast of Scotland. A veteran journalist, Baxter says what Trump and even local media are hailing an economic boon is actually a disaster threatening the environment and callously disrupting peoples’ lives – a perfect example of capitalism run amuck, and how the rest of us pay the price.

“It seems to me there's one rule for the super-rich and one rule for everybody else,” Baxter says. “And the 99 percent of people in the world are tired and fed up of having money and power riding roughshod over their lives and our planet… Our planet, I don't think, can afford these kinds of decisions.”

Guest List

Anthony Baxter Director

Keesha Gaskins Attorney/Co-Author

Bill Moyers Broadcast Journalist, Host of Moyers & Company

Michael Waldman President, NYU Brennan Center

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