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Voting has always been hard for some Americans, and it’s getting harder
Jun 15, 2021
Episode 454

Voting has always been hard for some Americans, and it’s getting harder

On today's show, the Brennan Center's Daniel Weiner gives us the lay of the land and tells us why there's reason to be hopeful.

The 2020 election is long over, but the fallout is still with us.

At least 14 states, including battlegrounds like Georgia, Arizona and Florida, have passed laws this year that restrict voting. Some make it harder to vote by mail, others impose new or stricter voter ID requirements. They also make it easier to remove voters from voting lists. And there’s money pouring in from all sides to enact and fight those laws.

But this is just the latest iteration of an argument that’s been happening, and racialized, as long as this country has existed.

“Efforts to restrict who can vote have sadly been with us for a long time,” said Daniel Weiner, deputy director of the nonpartisan Brennan Center. “This is a fight that has, in some sense, been with us since the founding era.”

On today’s show, Weiner talks us through the new dimensions the voting rights debate has taken on this year, the conventional wisdom that’s falling away and what the federal government can do to prevent discriminatory laws at the state level — as Attorney General Merrick Garland has vowed to do.

Later in the show, Kai Ryssdal and Kimberly Adams check in on lumber prices and the new FDA-approved drug to treat Alzheimer’s. We’ll also hear from a listener experimenting with a 9/80 work schedule and Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda answers the Make Me Smart question.

When you’re done listening, tell your Echo device to “make me smart” for our daily explainers. This week ,we’re explaining Theranos, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Juneteenth. You can hear them all here. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter! You can find the latest issue here.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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The team

Marissa Cabrera Producer
Bridget Bodnar Senior producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer