Voting is especially important when the system is unfair

Politicians can, and do, sometimes manipulate the system in ways that makes elections somewhat unfair. That only goes so far. They can’t interfere with the secrecy of the ballot, and they can’t stuff the ballot boxes. They can’t actually rig elections.

What they can sometimes do is draw electoral districts favorable to them, or make it harder for groups likely to vote against them to vote. All of this unfairness can be defeated with high voter turnout.

Unfairness doesn’t mean it’s impossible to win. Unfairness means that it’s really, really important to vote.

In order to defeat unfairness, it’s important to know the laws in your state. It’s important to know which barriers may be in place to make it harder to vote, and how to insist on your right to vote anyway. And to make sure that others know how to insist on their rights. Unfair elections are not rigged elections. It is possible to vote in a way that matters.

For instance, many states have laws requiring voters to show identification. In most states, this doesn’t have to be a state-issued ID. Don’t assume that you can’t vote if you don’t have an ID. You can find out what the specific requirements are in your state, and make sure that others know them. It’s likely that you and others have, or can get, a form of ID that counts. Vote 411 has information about ID requirements, and other potential barriers. You can also find out about ID requirements from your state’s board of elections website.

Tl;dr Some elections are somewhat unfair, but they’re not rigged. One of the most common ways elections are made unfair is by tricking eligible voters out of voting. The more unfair an election is, the more important it is to exercise your right to vote — and to support others in exercising theirs.