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The Politics of Disenfranchisement and "Prison-Based Gerrymandering"

Is it really just a matter of Democrats versus Republicans?

The turbulent presidential election of 2020 put the United States’ electoral process under intense public scrutiny. Over a year after the results were announced, debates over vote fraud and voter suppression continue to divide the country. Greg Palast, Sharon Kyle, and Marjorie Cohn sat down with Roundtable to discuss the issue and related, intensifying policy battles.

Aside from the ongoing battles over voter ID and vote fraud, other forms of voter disenfranchisement have existed for a long time. In this segment, the panel discusses the longstanding issues behind access to the vote.

“Look at prison-based gerrymandering, losing the right to vote for the rest of your life because you've been labeled a felon,” Kyle said. “This is a problem that's been going on for decades.”

That kind of discrimination, Kyle argues, reveals the political establishment’s biases.

“The issue is not the right versus the left,” Kyle said. “The issue is the top versus the bottom. They consistently frame the issue as right versus left, to keep us preoccupied with little battles that get us nowhere.”

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Roundtable Participants:

Sharon Kyle, co-Founder and publisher, Hollywood Progressive

Greg Palast, author and journalist

Marjorie Cohn, professor emerita, Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Watch the full discussion below: