Illinois State University faculty, staff, students, and members of the community are invited to attend a free showing of Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook at the Normal Theater on Tuesday, September 24. The documentary begins at 7 p.m.
Each semester, the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CESL) offers free films as an accessible way for students to increase their awareness and civic knowledge. The screening of Rigged is also cosponsored by Illinois State University’s American Democracy Project.
Narrated by Jeffrey Wright, Rigged chronicles how the right to vote is being undercut by a decade of dirty tricks, including the partisan use of gerrymandering and voter purges, and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court. The film captures real-time voter purges in North Carolina and voter intimidation in Texas.
National Voter Registration Day is also on September 24 this year. The day was first observed in 2012 as a way to celebrate democracy and encourage everyone to register to vote.
“We are excited to be showing Rigged on National Voter Registration Day,” said Harriett Steinbach, interim director for CESL. “The film highlights current challenges our country faces, and it is a great way to get students thinking about voting and the issues of access that can occur throughout the country.”
Professor Emeritus Bob Bradley, a Constitutional scholar in the Department of Politics and Government, will lead a discussion following the film. “Voter suppression is the antithesis of democracy because it removes from citizens a critical means for participating in government,” said Bradley. “Recent developments including several bills proposed in the current Congress in regard to voter suppression will be discussed after the showing of Rigged.”
Prior to the film, attendees will have the opportunity to register to vote or update their registration to reflect their current address. Anyone wishing to register online can also do so through links available in the American Democracy Project’s Redbird Voter Guide.