We’ve covered an endless number of stories over the twenty year history of TPM. But if there’s one through-line, one consistent and especial focus throughout, it’s voting rights and democracy. The site started in a contested election, our big stories in 2002 were big voter suppression stories in South Dakota and New Hampshire. The US Attorney Firing scandal was in fact a voter suppression story. Firing those US Attorneys was just a step to get the suppression moving.
I’m proud to say there’s no publication in the United States that has devoted more of its resources to this issue over a longer period of time than TPM. The franchise is the central architecture of equality and the sheet anchor of the American republic. That’s always been the case. But people are especially attuned to that fact now after the shocking events of the 2020 election and the Republican party’s current effort to clamp down on voting across the country.
That’s why we’re launching The Franchise, a weekly newsletter devoted to democracy and voting rights in the United States.
I think of it as voting rights for people who care about voting rights. We’re not new to this topic. We don’t see it as horse race coverage. Public policy and elections are mere hobbies if the franchise isn’t intact, if people don’t get to vote, if majorities don’t as the ordinary course of things get to govern.
For several years our lead reporter on voting rights, voter suppression and all related issues has been Tierney Sneed. And I couldn’t be happier that Tierney will be authoring The Franchise.
We intend it to be a must-read, one stop shopping to allow you to keep up on this critical issue. We’ll make it accessible, easy to digest in its outlines if you’re short on time and meaty enough to go deeper if you’re ready to. We’ll make sure to flag all our important stories on this topic and the key ones from other publications too.
As always we’ll be relying on you.
Give us feedback. Email us key articles. Be sure to let us know if a relevant story is percolating in your neck of the woods.
If you’re a member you already received the first edition of The Franchise on Monday. If you’re not a member you’ll be able to sign up to get The Franchise free of charge in your inbox every week.
Please spread the word to people you know who are interested in the topic, share it when you think there’s a particularly good edition and keep your comments coming in.