The 15th Amendment protects citizens’ right to vote, but having a right does not guarantee you will be able to use it. Since 2010 state lawmakers have introduced hundreds of laws making it more difficult to exercise the fundamental tool of democracy. Overall, 23 states have new restrictions in place, including more restrictive voter ID laws, laws making it harder for citizens to register, and laws that shorten early voting days and hours. These laws disproportionately impact low-income people and people of color.
On Election Day 2016, we follow attorney Donita Judge, an advocate for voting rights, as she troubleshoots claims of voting irregularities in Columbus, Ohio. In recent years, no president has won national office without winning Ohio, making it a crucial swing state. As she travels around to support poll workers and citizens, we see just how difficult it is protecting the cornerstone of democracy.