I wanted to let you know that beginning next month we’re going to kick off the biggest editorial series we’ve ever undertaken at TPM. It will run for five months, from July through the first weeks after the November midterm election. The topic will be voting rights and democracy, an issue that has been a central focus of what we do at TPM for going on 20 years. It’s particularly timely in the coming months for obvious reasons.
We’re coming up on one of the most critical midterm elections in years, perhaps in our lifetimes. (It sounds like hyperbole. People say stuff like that a lot. But I truly believe it.) So it’s voting season. But it’s more than that. Voting rights and democracy itself are under siege. But not only under siege. They’re under siege but also in some places resurgent. There are growing pushes for voter purges, voter ID, various restrictions or rollbacks of early voting and efforts to make voting easier and simpler for more people. But you also have a number of states moving toward automatic voter registration. There are efforts afoot not only to resist the worst of the assault on the franchise but to expand it, to get off the defensive and go on the offensive. Activists are also beginning to turn the tide on the kind of extreme gerrymandering that became the norm after 2010.
In the Trump Era, there’s a running debate about whether we can go back. Can we collectively defeat the rising tide of populist authoritarianism, assaults on the rule of law and the rest and if we can, can we repair the damage? It’s become increasingly clear to me that we’ll have to go forward to go back. Or to put it differently, there’s no simple going back to a pre-Trump era. Our society will need to deepen its commitment to democracy, to the franchise and the rule of law to come through this trial.
All of this is the backdrop for why we think this series is so important and why we’re doing it. We’ll be publishing eight to ten major reported pieces on various topics related to voting rights and democracy. We’ll be hosting discussions on these topics in addition to publishing shorter updates on how these issues are playing out on the ground as we head into the critical months of September and October.
We’ll be bringing you updates on the series over the coming weeks as we prepare to kick off.