Adam Ruins Everything (2015) s01e07 Episode Script

Adam Ruins Voting

1 Oh, I already know about your candidate.
Oh, I already know about your candidate.
I know all the candidates.
candidate.
I know all the candidates.
I'm even voting for comptroller.
I know all the candidates.
I'm even voting for comptroller.
Wow, she's good.
I'm even voting for comptroller.
Wow, she's good.
Get my sticker ready, George.
Wow, she's good.
Get my sticker ready, George.
I'm coming for it.
Get my sticker ready, George.
I'm coming for it.
Hi, Ms.
Reem.
I'm coming for it.
Hi, Ms.
Reem.
Hi, Marie.
Hi, Ms.
Reem.
Hi, Marie.
Who are you voting for? Hi, Marie.
Who are you voting for? Oh, wouldn't you like Who are you voting for? Oh, wouldn't you like to know.
Oh, wouldn't you like to know.
You're so lucky! to know.
You're so lucky! I have to wait six years You're so lucky! I have to wait six years to vote.
I have to wait six years to vote.
Well, that's sooner than to vote.
Well, that's sooner than you think.
Well, that's sooner than you think.
The great thing about America you think.
The great thing about America is, is when your day comes, The great thing about America is, is when your day comes, your vote will count just as is, is when your day comes, your vote will count just as much as everybody else.
your vote will count just as much as everybody else.
Huh.
much as everybody else.
Huh.
Okay.
Huh.
Okay.
Actually Okay.
Actually Aah! Actually Aah! Some votes count way more Aah! Some votes count way more than others.
Some votes count way more than others.
Oh, murderer! than others.
Oh, murderer! Aah, God! Oh, murderer! Aah, God! I'm not a murderer! Aah, God! I'm not a murderer! I'm an Adam Conover! I'm not a murderer! I'm an Adam Conover! Oh! And this is I'm an Adam Conover! Oh! And this is "Adam Ruins Everything.
" Oh! And this is "Adam Ruins Everything.
" Oh! "Adam Ruins Everything.
" Oh! Oh! (flame roaring) (flame roaring) (ding-ding) Closed Captions Provided by truTV Oh, jeez, I gotta stop surprising people.
I waste so much milk.
surprising people.
I waste so much milk.
Mr.
Conover, I'm trying I waste so much milk.
Mr.
Conover, I'm trying to vote.
Mr.
Conover, I'm trying to vote.
The voting booth is a sacred to vote.
The voting booth is a sacred space, now get out of here! The voting booth is a sacred space, now get out of here! Actually, despite our best space, now get out of here! Actually, despite our best intentions, our system is way Actually, despite our best intentions, our system is way less democratic than we think.
intentions, our system is way less democratic than we think.
That is not true.
less democratic than we think.
That is not true.
I love our democracy.
That is not true.
I love our democracy.
So do I, but it has some room I love our democracy.
So do I, but it has some room for improvement.
So do I, but it has some room for improvement.
You want me to show you? for improvement.
You want me to show you? Eh, go ahead, kiddo.
You want me to show you? Eh, go ahead, kiddo.
Okay! Ah.
Eh, go ahead, kiddo.
Okay! Ah.
This is a map of America.
Okay! Ah.
This is a map of America.
Is it? This is a map of America.
Is it? It looks like a dying turkey.
Is it? It looks like a dying turkey.
Ugh, yeah.
It looks like a dying turkey.
Ugh, yeah.
I have poor fine motor skills.
Ugh, yeah.
I have poor fine motor skills.
Here, give me that.
I have poor fine motor skills.
Here, give me that.
Oh.
Here, give me that.
Oh.
I teach drawing at the Oh.
I teach drawing at the learning annex.
I teach drawing at the learning annex.
Hmm.
learning annex.
Hmm.
Mm-hmm.
Hmm.
Mm-hmm.
Wow, thank you, Donna.
Mm-hmm.
Wow, thank you, Donna.
Now, so, every four years, we Wow, thank you, Donna.
Now, so, every four years, we hear the words "electoral Now, so, every four years, we hear the words "electoral college" over and over again.
hear the words "electoral college" over and over again.
But, we never talk about what college" over and over again.
But, we never talk about what a ridiculous and, frankly, But, we never talk about what a ridiculous and, frankly, undemocratic system it a ridiculous and, frankly, undemocratic system it really is.
undemocratic system it really is.
The electoral college gives really is.
The electoral college gives vastly more power to different The electoral college gives vastly more power to different voters, depending on which state vastly more power to different voters, depending on which state they live in.
voters, depending on which state they live in.
Bigger states? they live in.
Bigger states? Nope, smaller states.
Bigger states? Nope, smaller states.
If your state has less people, Nope, smaller states.
If your state has less people, you have more power.
If your state has less people, you have more power.
Not too many people live in you have more power.
Not too many people live in Wyoming, but they have three electoral votes, or one for every 135,000 voters.
every 135,000 voters.
California is packed with California is packed with people, but they have 55 people, but they have 55 electoral votes, or one for electoral votes, or one for every 411,000 voters.
every 411,000 voters.
And that's totally out of And that's totally out of proportion, because it means it proportion, because it means it takes three times as many takes three times as many Californians to earn one Californians to earn one electoral vote, giving voters in electoral vote, giving voters in Wyoming three times the power in Wyoming three times the power in the electoral college.
the electoral college.
As a result of this system, your As a result of this system, your vote could count for less just vote could count for less just because of where you live.
Infographics rule, right? Yeah, well, it does seem unfair, but who cares if the Yeah, well, it does seem unfair, but who cares if the electoral college is kooky? unfair, but who cares if the electoral college is kooky? I'm kooky.
electoral college is kooky? I'm kooky.
I have two turtles.
I'm kooky.
I have two turtles.
Okay, well, it gets worse, I have two turtles.
Okay, well, it gets worse, because the electoral college Okay, well, it gets worse, because the electoral college also creates swing states.
because the electoral college also creates swing states.
Oh, I love the swing states! also creates swing states.
Oh, I love the swing states! They make election night so Oh, I love the swing states! They make election night so exciting, kind of like when my They make election night so exciting, kind of like when my turtles move a little.
exciting, kind of like when my turtles move a little.
Wha-- Exciting? turtles move a little.
Wha-- Exciting? I think the fact that the entire Wha-- Exciting? I think the fact that the entire election is determined by just I think the fact that the entire election is determined by just a handful of states is really election is determined by just a handful of states is really messed up.
a handful of states is really messed up.
For one thing, it means messed up.
For one thing, it means presidential candidates can For one thing, it means presidential candidates can ignore almost the entire presidential candidates can ignore almost the entire country.
ignore almost the entire country.
Hello, America.
country.
Hello, America.
I'm Adam Conover, and I'm Hello, America.
I'm Adam Conover, and I'm running for president of I'm Adam Conover, and I'm running for president of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
running for president of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
And, boy, do I love Florida Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
And, boy, do I love Florida oranges, Philadelphia And, boy, do I love Florida oranges, Philadelphia cheesesteaks, and whatever you oranges, Philadelphia cheesesteaks, and whatever you people like in Ohio.
cheesesteaks, and whatever you people like in Ohio.
Eh.
people like in Ohio.
Eh.
The rest of the country can go suck a big one.
People in Ohio like LeBron James.
Who? I don't know many actors.
Who? I don't know many actors.
Anyway, swing states have so I don't know many actors.
Anyway, swing states have so much power that in recent Anyway, swing states have so much power that in recent elections, up to 80% of all the much power that in recent elections, up to 80% of all the votes cast in America had no elections, up to 80% of all the votes cast in America had no impact on the outcome.
votes cast in America had no impact on the outcome.
That includes your vote here in impact on the outcome.
That includes your vote here in California.
That includes your vote here in California.
Well, some states are red California.
Well, some states are red states, and some states are blue Well, some states are red states, and some states are blue states.
states, and some states are blue states.
That's the way America is.
states.
That's the way America is.
Actually, most states are That's the way America is.
Actually, most states are pretty purple.
Actually, most states are pretty purple.
pretty purple.
In 2012, over 3 million Texans In 2012, over 3 million Texans voted Democrat.
In 2012, over 3 million Texans voted Democrat.
I love barbecue, Blake voted Democrat.
I love barbecue, Blake Shelton, and abortions, y'all.
I love barbecue, Blake Shelton, and abortions, y'all.
And almost 5 million Shelton, and abortions, y'all.
And almost 5 million Californians voted Republican.
And almost 5 million Californians voted Republican.
Surf's up, y'all.
Californians voted Republican.
Surf's up, y'all.
You know what else needs to Surf's up, y'all.
You know what else needs to go up? You know what else needs to go up? Border wall with Mexico, dude.
go up? Border wall with Mexico, dude.
(chuckling) Border wall with Mexico, dude.
(chuckling) If electoral votes were (chuckling) If electoral votes were awarded proportionately, If electoral votes were awarded proportionately, in 2012, 16 of Texas's electoral awarded proportionately, in 2012, 16 of Texas's electoral votes would have gone to Obama, in 2012, 16 of Texas's electoral votes would have gone to Obama, and 20 of California's would votes would have gone to Obama, and 20 of California's would have gone to Romney.
and 20 of California's would have gone to Romney.
But in our winner-take-all have gone to Romney.
But in our winner-take-all system, anyone who wants to vote But in our winner-take-all system, anyone who wants to vote for their state's losing party system, anyone who wants to vote for their state's losing party might as well just stay home.
for their state's losing party might as well just stay home.
Oh, bummer! might as well just stay home.
Oh, bummer! Okay, everybody, get out! Oh, bummer! Okay, everybody, get out! I can't listen to any more! Okay, everybody, get out! I can't listen to any more! How about we all vote? I can't listen to any more! How about we all vote? Wait, who are all these How about we all vote? Wait, who are all these people? Wait, who are all these people? Oh, these are the electors.
people? Oh, these are the electors.
They're the people who actually Oh, these are the electors.
They're the people who actually vote for president.
They're the people who actually vote for president.
I thought the electoral vote for president.
I thought the electoral college was just a name.
I thought the electoral college was just a name.
Oh, nope! college was just a name.
Oh, nope! When we vote, we're actually Oh, nope! When we vote, we're actually just picking our state's When we vote, we're actually just picking our state's electors.
Then, those electors get together and cast their ballots together and cast their ballots for president.
for president.
But, who are they? Oh, mostly retired politicians and party flaks.
(laughing) politicians and party flaks.
(laughing) I'm the governor's rich cousin.
(laughing) I'm the governor's rich cousin.
Okay, Mr.
Smarty, that's just I'm the governor's rich cousin.
Okay, Mr.
Smarty, that's just a technicality.
Okay, Mr.
Smarty, that's just a technicality.
They have to vote for who a technicality.
They have to vote for who we choose.
They have to vote for who we choose.
Actually, in 24 states, we choose.
Actually, in 24 states, they can vote for whoever they want.
And that's happened over 80 times.
In 2004, an elector in Minnesota 80 times.
In 2004, an elector in Minnesota cast his vote for someone named "John Ewards" which was almost the name of John Kerry's almost the name of John Kerry's running mate.
Did you mean "John Edwards"? Yes.
(chuckling) I may have a drinking problem.
Yes.
(chuckling) I may have a drinking problem.
That actually happened? I may have a drinking problem.
That actually happened? That actually happened.
That actually happened? That actually happened.
That elector's vote didn't go to That actually happened.
That elector's vote didn't go to John Kerry.
That elector's vote didn't go to John Kerry.
It went to the guy running for John Kerry.
It went to the guy running for vice-president.
It went to the guy running for vice-president.
The electoral college is such vice-president.
The electoral college is such a bad system, people have been The electoral college is such a bad system, people have been trying to abolish it for a bad system, people have been trying to abolish it for centuries trying to abolish it for centuries Oh.
centuries Oh.
But, so far, it's been Oh.
But, so far, it's been politically impossible.
But, so far, it's been politically impossible.
Okay, well, thank you for the politically impossible.
Okay, well, thank you for the information.
Okay, well, thank you for the information.
I cannot believe our beautiful information.
I cannot believe our beautiful system has become so messed up.
I cannot believe our beautiful system has become so messed up.
Oh, no, the founding fathers system has become so messed up.
Oh, no, the founding fathers designed our system this Oh, no, the founding fathers designed our system this messed up.
(chuckling) designed our system this messed up.
(chuckling) All right, hold on a minute, messed up.
(chuckling) All right, hold on a minute, young man.
All right, hold on a minute, young man.
You do not talk about the young man.
You do not talk about the founding fathers like that.
You do not talk about the founding fathers like that.
They were brilliant men, who founding fathers like that.
They were brilliant men, who fought hard for my right They were brilliant men, who fought hard for my right to vote.
fought hard for my right to vote.
Actually, the founding to vote.
Actually, the founding fathers didn't think you should Actually, the founding fathers didn't think you should be able to vote at all.
fathers didn't think you should be able to vote at all.
Or me.
be able to vote at all.
Or me.
Or most Americans.
(chuckling) Or me.
Or most Americans.
(chuckling) Let's go back in time, and I'll Or most Americans.
(chuckling) Let's go back in time, and I'll prove it to you.
Let's go back in time, and I'll prove it to you.
(console beeping) prove it to you.
(console beeping) Oh those are single-use.
(console beeping) Oh those are single-use.
Aah! Oh those are single-use.
Aah! (whistling) (energy crackling) Donna, welcome to Philadelphia, 1787.
My gosh, this is like a dream vacation.
Oh! There's James Madison, and vacation.
Oh! There's James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton.
Oh! There's James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton.
Ew, what-- what's that smell? Alexander Hamilton.
Ew, what-- what's that smell? (sniffing) Ew, what-- what's that smell? (sniffing) Well, it's probably the (sniffing) Well, it's probably the chamber pots.
Well, it's probably the chamber pots.
And this is.
? chamber pots.
And this is.
? Oh, hey, Ed! And this is.
? Oh, hey, Ed! Uh, Donna, this is Ed Ayers.
He's a historian at the University of Richmond.
University of Richmond.
He's just back here doing a little research.
So, you brought us somebody else to introduce to the So, you brought us somebody else to introduce to the founding fathers' era? else to introduce to the founding fathers' era? Yeah, you want to tell her founding fathers' era? Yeah, you want to tell her about 'em? Yeah, you want to tell her about 'em? The story is a little about 'em? The story is a little discouraging.
The story is a little discouraging.
We revere the founding fathers, discouraging.
We revere the founding fathers, as we should, but their ideas of We revere the founding fathers, as we should, but their ideas of democracy were just a little bit as we should, but their ideas of democracy were just a little bit different from ours.
democracy were just a little bit different from ours.
Oh, I cannot believe that.
different from ours.
Oh, I cannot believe that.
Oh, well, see for yourself.
Oh, I cannot believe that.
Oh, well, see for yourself.
They're creating our election Oh, well, see for yourself.
They're creating our election system.
They're creating our election system.
(gavel banging) system.
(gavel banging) Gentlemen, I submit to you, (gavel banging) Gentlemen, I submit to you, good sirs, that we structure Gentlemen, I submit to you, good sirs, that we structure America as a direct democracy, good sirs, that we structure America as a direct democracy, one where every person votes America as a direct democracy, one where every person votes directly for president.
one where every person votes directly for president.
(Donna clapping alone) directly for president.
(Donna clapping alone) Psych! (Donna clapping alone) Psych! J/K, boys! Psych! J/K, boys! That would be ridiculous! J/K, boys! That would be ridiculous! (laughter) That would be ridiculous! (laughter) That-- that can't be! (laughter) That-- that can't be! Adams, you believed it.
That-- that can't be! Adams, you believed it.
You believed it! Adams, you believed it.
You believed it! I saw your face! You believed it! I saw your face! Why didn't they want direct I saw your face! Why didn't they want direct democracy? Why didn't they want direct democracy? Honestly? democracy? Honestly? They didn't trust us to vote Honestly? They didn't trust us to vote correctly.
They didn't trust us to vote correctly.
Put yourself in their shoes.
correctly.
Put yourself in their shoes.
They're creating a new country.
Put yourself in their shoes.
They're creating a new country.
They're not sure what's gonna They're creating a new country.
They're not sure what's gonna happen.
They're not sure what's gonna happen.
They're kind of worried about happen.
They're kind of worried about too much democracy, and they They're kind of worried about too much democracy, and they think it's be a good idea, too much democracy, and they think it's be a good idea, maybe, for there to be a buffer think it's be a good idea, maybe, for there to be a buffer between the people and the maybe, for there to be a buffer between the people and the government.
between the people and the government.
The common man could vote for government.
The common man could vote for the king of England, or a The common man could vote for the king of England, or a demagogue, or, like, little bugs the king of England, or a demagogue, or, like, little bugs or something.
demagogue, or, like, little bugs or something.
I don't know.
or something.
I don't know.
They're very, very dumb people.
I don't know.
They're very, very dumb people.
How about, we have the people They're very, very dumb people.
How about, we have the people choose electors, and then they How about, we have the people choose electors, and then they pick the president? choose electors, and then they pick the president? Like, I don't know, the pick the president? Like, I don't know, the governor's rich cousin can Like, I don't know, the governor's rich cousin can do it.
governor's rich cousin can do it.
Oh, how condescending.
do it.
Oh, how condescending.
Yeah, they kind of were.
Oh, how condescending.
Yeah, they kind of were.
And, there was one particular Yeah, they kind of were.
And, there was one particular group of states that rallied And, there was one particular group of states that rallied really hard against direct group of states that rallied really hard against direct democracy.
really hard against direct democracy.
The smaller states? democracy.
The smaller states? Not quite.
The smaller states? Not quite.
Yeah, y'all, it would be Not quite.
Yeah, y'all, it would be great for us to have Yeah, y'all, it would be great for us to have representative democracy that great for us to have representative democracy that gave us credit for the representative democracy that gave us credit for the population of our states.
gave us credit for the population of our states.
Even if some of those people population of our states.
Even if some of those people aren't actually voting, if you, Even if some of those people aren't actually voting, if you, uh, catch my meaning.
aren't actually voting, if you, uh, catch my meaning.
(coughing) Slaves! uh, catch my meaning.
(coughing) Slaves! He's talking about slaves! (coughing) Slaves! He's talking about slaves! Are you saying the slave states He's talking about slaves! Are you saying the slave states are responsible for the Are you saying the slave states are responsible for the electoral college? are responsible for the electoral college? Well, to a considerable electoral college? Well, to a considerable extent.
Well, to a considerable extent.
Slave states were very powerful.
extent.
Slave states were very powerful.
If you're gonna have a "United" Slave states were very powerful.
If you're gonna have a "United" States, you're gonna have to If you're gonna have a "United" States, you're gonna have to make concessions to bring States, you're gonna have to make concessions to bring them in.
make concessions to bring them in.
Yeah, look, the founding them in.
Yeah, look, the founding fathers weren't benevolent Yeah, look, the founding fathers weren't benevolent demigods.
fathers weren't benevolent demigods.
They were humans who made demigods.
They were humans who made compromises and mistakes.
They were humans who made compromises and mistakes.
And building a compromise with compromises and mistakes.
And building a compromise with slavery into the structure of And building a compromise with slavery into the structure of our government was one of them.
slavery into the structure of our government was one of them.
Would you excuse me for just our government was one of them.
Would you excuse me for just a minute? Would you excuse me for just a minute? Sure.
a minute? Sure.
Mr.
Conover, that is enough.
Sure.
Mr.
Conover, that is enough.
I may not know everything, but Mr.
Conover, that is enough.
I may not know everything, but I passionately believe that I may not know everything, but I passionately believe that reading is fundamental, and that I passionately believe that reading is fundamental, and that Gordon Ramsay's wit is reading is fundamental, and that Gordon Ramsay's wit is underappreciated, and that even Gordon Ramsay's wit is underappreciated, and that even though the founding fathers may underappreciated, and that even though the founding fathers may not have been perfect, they are though the founding fathers may not have been perfect, they are still noble and brave men who not have been perfect, they are still noble and brave men who believed that every citizen has still noble and brave men who believed that every citizen has a right to vote, so help me God.
believed that every citizen has a right to vote, so help me God.
Oh, no, they didn't think a right to vote, so help me God.
Oh, no, they didn't think that you should be able to vote Oh, no, they didn't think that you should be able to vote at all.
that you should be able to vote at all.
Right, because I'm a woman.
at all.
Right, because I'm a woman.
Oh, no, because you don't Right, because I'm a woman.
Oh, no, because you don't own land.
Oh, no, because you don't own land.
Also, because you're a woman.
own land.
Also, because you're a woman.
Yeah.
Also, because you're a woman.
Yeah.
All men are created equal Yeah.
All men are created equal if they have land.
All men are created equal if they have land.
Like this guy.
if they have land.
Like this guy.
He owns a farm.
Like this guy.
He owns a farm.
He's equal to me.
He owns a farm.
He's equal to me.
Not so much, the rest of you.
He's equal to me.
Not so much, the rest of you.
You're not quite people.
Not so much, the rest of you.
You're not quite people.
Whoo, farm boys for life! You're not quite people.
Whoo, farm boys for life! Farmers only! Get! Whoo, farm boys for life! Farmers only! Get! Really? Farmers only! Get! Really? They really thought that? Really? They really thought that? Oh, yeah.
They really thought that? Oh, yeah.
We did.
Oh, yeah.
We did.
Ask the historian.
We did.
Ask the historian.
Yeah, I'm sorry, Donna.
Ask the historian.
Yeah, I'm sorry, Donna.
It's true.
Yeah, I'm sorry, Donna.
It's true.
This is why you should never It's true.
This is why you should never meet your heroes.
This is why you should never meet your heroes.
When the founding fathers meet your heroes.
When the founding fathers created our democracy, they gave When the founding fathers created our democracy, they gave the vote to just 6% of the created our democracy, they gave the vote to just 6% of the population.
the vote to just 6% of the population.
And it took a long time to population.
And it took a long time to change that.
And it took a long time to change that.
(beeping, whirring) It took almost 70 years before the right to vote was extended the right to vote was extended even to just all white men.
even to just all white men.
(dinging) (dinging) White men rule.
White men rule.
(all) White men rule! Here we go! White men rule! That's a bad chant.
White men rule! That's a bad chant.
And then 14 years later, the That's a bad chant.
And then 14 years later, the Fifteenth Amendment finally gave And then 14 years later, the Fifteenth Amendment finally gave black men the right to vote.
Fifteenth Amendment finally gave black men the right to vote.
(beeping) This will last forever! (laughing) (laughing) Whoo! Whoo! Yeah! (laughing) It didn't.
Soon after that, states passed Jim Crow laws that made it Soon after that, states passed Jim Crow laws that made it virtually impossible for black Jim Crow laws that made it virtually impossible for black Americans to vote.
virtually impossible for black Americans to vote.
(beeping) I genuinely don't understand how we justify this to how we justify this to ourselves! ourselves! (laughter) Awful.
And, in 1920, women finally got the franchise.
(beeping) Female president, Female president, here we come! here we come! (cheering) Get ready to wait, honey.
And 45 years after that, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 And 45 years after that, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 finally secured African Voting Rights Act of 1965 finally secured African Americans' right to vote.
finally secured African Americans' right to vote.
(beeping) Americans' right to vote.
(beeping) Which brings us to the present.
(beeping) Which brings us to the present.
Who are all these people? Which brings us to the present.
Who are all these people? I thought everyone could vote.
Who are all these people? I thought everyone could vote.
Unfortunately not.
I thought everyone could vote.
Unfortunately not.
There are still millions of Unfortunately not.
There are still millions of American citizens who pay taxes There are still millions of American citizens who pay taxes and don't have representation.
American citizens who pay taxes and don't have representation.
Those suffering without suffrage and don't have representation.
Those suffering without suffrage include the citizens of Those suffering without suffrage include the citizens of Washington, D.
C include the citizens of Washington, D.
C 650,000 people live in D.
C.
Washington, D.
C 650,000 people live in D.
C.
and have no representation in 650,000 people live in D.
C.
and have no representation in Congress.
and have no representation in Congress.
(scoffing) Come on! Congress.
(scoffing) Come on! And America's territories, (scoffing) Come on! And America's territories, like American Samoa, And America's territories, like American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
like American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
We're American citizens.
Puerto Rico, and Guam.
We're American citizens.
Jeez! We're American citizens.
Jeez! And it gets worse-- Jeez! And it gets worse-- Worse, of course it does.
And it gets worse-- Worse, of course it does.
What other nice people Worse, of course it does.
What other nice people can't vote? What other nice people can't vote? Nuns, volunteers in nursing can't vote? Nuns, volunteers in nursing homes, Tom Hanks? Nuns, volunteers in nursing homes, Tom Hanks? Nope-- felons! homes, Tom Hanks? Nope-- felons! In many states, felons are Nope-- felons! In many states, felons are barred from voting for the rest In many states, felons are barred from voting for the rest of their lives, even after barred from voting for the rest of their lives, even after they're released.
of their lives, even after they're released.
Well, isn't that a they're released.
Well, isn't that a good thing? Well, isn't that a good thing? I mean, maybe they good thing? I mean, maybe they shouldn't vote.
I mean, maybe they shouldn't vote.
Why? shouldn't vote.
Why? I served my time.
Why? I served my time.
What's the worst that could I served my time.
What's the worst that could happen? What's the worst that could happen? (cackling) happen? (cackling) I just voted to make crime (cackling) I just voted to make crime legal.
I just voted to make crime legal.
It's "Purge" time, baby! legal.
It's "Purge" time, baby! Haa! It's "Purge" time, baby! Haa! Lady, that's preposterous.
Haa! Lady, that's preposterous.
You have to vote for Lady, that's preposterous.
You have to vote for a candidate.
You have to vote for a candidate.
I'm actually registered a candidate.
I'm actually registered Green Party.
I'm actually registered Green Party.
Oh, gosh.
Green Party.
Oh, gosh.
You've got a good point there.
Oh, gosh.
You've got a good point there.
Maybe I'm convinced.
You've got a good point there.
Maybe I'm convinced.
You know, guys, this topic Maybe I'm convinced.
You know, guys, this topic has a really interesting You know, guys, this topic has a really interesting history.
has a really interesting history.
Oh, yeah, good point, Ed.
history.
Oh, yeah, good point, Ed.
To learn more, let's go back in Oh, yeah, good point, Ed.
To learn more, let's go back in time to the Jim Crow South.
To learn more, let's go back in time to the Jim Crow South.
I said I was convinced! time to the Jim Crow South.
I said I was convinced! (thunder crashing) I said I was convinced! (thunder crashing) (Adam) Here we are.
(thunder crashing) (Adam) Here we are.
Yeah, for 100 years in the (Adam) Here we are.
Yeah, for 100 years in the Jim Crow South, white Yeah, for 100 years in the Jim Crow South, white Southerners did everything they Jim Crow South, white Southerners did everything they could to keep black Southerners Southerners did everything they could to keep black Southerners from voting.
could to keep black Southerners from voting.
Go on home.
from voting.
Go on home.
They would take minor crimes Go on home.
They would take minor crimes and turn them into felonies, They would take minor crimes and turn them into felonies, and then pass laws saying that and turn them into felonies, and then pass laws saying that felons can't vote.
and then pass laws saying that felons can't vote.
I'd like to vote, please.
felons can't vote.
I'd like to vote, please.
Are you a felon? I'd like to vote, please.
Are you a felon? No, sir.
Are you a felon? No, sir.
Well, you are now, standing No, sir.
Well, you are now, standing around this line like a vagrant.
Well, you are now, standing around this line like a vagrant.
Let's go! around this line like a vagrant.
Let's go! How awful.
Let's go! How awful.
Thank God all those laws have How awful.
Thank God all those laws have been repealed.
Thank God all those laws have been repealed.
I hate to tell you this, been repealed.
I hate to tell you this, Donna, but a lot of laws like I hate to tell you this, Donna, but a lot of laws like that are still on the books Donna, but a lot of laws like that are still on the books today.
that are still on the books today.
And they're still stopping today.
And they're still stopping African Americans from voting.
And they're still stopping African Americans from voting.
Here, I'll show you.
African Americans from voting.
Here, I'll show you.
(energy crackling) Here, I'll show you.
(energy crackling) Donna, this is Daryl Atkinson, (energy crackling) Donna, this is Daryl Atkinson, a senior staff attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.
Justice.
Hey, how you doing, Donna? Hey, how you doing, Donna? Hi.
Hi.
Adam, I've gotta go to court.
Adam, I've gotta go to court.
Yeah, but, you could take a second to tell Donna your story, right? Sure.
story, right? Sure.
In 1996, I was convicted of a Sure.
In 1996, I was convicted of a first-time, non-violent In 1996, I was convicted of a first-time, non-violent drug crime.
first-time, non-violent drug crime.
I was sentenced to ten years in drug crime.
I was sentenced to ten years in prison, spent almost four years I was sentenced to ten years in prison, spent almost four years there, and once I got out, I was prison, spent almost four years there, and once I got out, I was able to get my education, get my there, and once I got out, I was able to get my education, get my bachelor's degree, law degree.
able to get my education, get my bachelor's degree, law degree.
I'm licensed to practice law in bachelor's degree, law degree.
I'm licensed to practice law in two different states.
I'm licensed to practice law in two different states.
Been even honored at the two different states.
Been even honored at the White House by the president.
Been even honored at the White House by the president.
But I still can't vote in my White House by the president.
But I still can't vote in my home state.
But I still can't vote in my home state.
And this doesn't just affect me.
home state.
And this doesn't just affect me.
Because African Americans are And this doesn't just affect me.
Because African Americans are disproportionately arrested for Because African Americans are disproportionately arrested for non-violent crimes, 13% of disproportionately arrested for non-violent crimes, 13% of African American males in this non-violent crimes, 13% of African American males in this country can't vote because of African American males in this country can't vote because of felon disenfranchisement laws.
country can't vote because of felon disenfranchisement laws.
The bottom line is, Jim Crow felon disenfranchisement laws.
The bottom line is, Jim Crow laws that are still on the books The bottom line is, Jim Crow laws that are still on the books are stopping 5 million Americans laws that are still on the books are stopping 5 million Americans like Daryl from voting are stopping 5 million Americans like Daryl from voting every year.
like Daryl from voting every year.
It's deplorable.
every year.
It's deplorable.
I agree.
It's deplorable.
I agree.
I gotta run, guys.
I agree.
I gotta run, guys.
Thank you, Daryl.
I gotta run, guys.
Thank you, Daryl.
Come on.
Thank you, Daryl.
Come on.
We need to do something.
Come on.
We need to do something.
We need to extend the vote to We need to do something.
We need to extend the vote to those people.
We need to extend the vote to those people.
I know! those people.
I know! I'll vote for a candidate who I know! I'll vote for a candidate who will support that.
I'll vote for a candidate who will support that.
Take me back to the polling will support that.
Take me back to the polling place.
Take me back to the polling place.
That is a wonderful idea, place.
That is a wonderful idea, Donna.
That is a wonderful idea, Donna.
(beeping) Donna.
(beeping) Too bad the political parties (beeping) Too bad the political parties have rigged the system to Too bad the political parties have rigged the system to determine the outcome of have rigged the system to determine the outcome of elections before they even determine the outcome of elections before they even happen.
elections before they even happen.
No! happen.
No! And I'll tell you about it No! And I'll tell you about it tonight, on And I'll tell you about it tonight, on "Adam Ruins Everything," tonight, on "Adam Ruins Everything," Election Night Edition.
"Adam Ruins Everything," Election Night Edition.
I vote you take me home! Election Night Edition.
I vote you take me home! (whistling) Tonight, on "Election Night in America, Decision Country, in America, Decision Country, USA.
" American democracy has never been perfect.
Throughout our history, been perfect.
Throughout our history, politicians and parties have Throughout our history, politicians and parties have used undemocratic, often even politicians and parties have used undemocratic, often even fraudulent means, to get used undemocratic, often even fraudulent means, to get elected.
fraudulent means, to get elected.
I don't want to hear it.
elected.
I don't want to hear it.
You're no Don Lemon.
I don't want to hear it.
You're no Don Lemon.
Can I vote, please? You're no Don Lemon.
Can I vote, please? In the 19th century, people Can I vote, please? In the 19th century, people would just sell their votes In the 19th century, people would just sell their votes outright, and make bank traveling from state to state being paid to vote.
Democracy sure is sweet.
Well, thank goodness that was a long time ago.
Well, thank goodness that was a long time ago.
Oh, no, election fraud was a long time ago.
Oh, no, election fraud was common practice well into the Oh, no, election fraud was common practice well into the 20th century.
common practice well into the 20th century.
LBJ won his first Senate 20th century.
LBJ won his first Senate election by buying the votes of LBJ won his first Senate election by buying the votes of entire districts, and was election by buying the votes of entire districts, and was finally put over the top when entire districts, and was finally put over the top when a corrupt election worker finally put over the top when a corrupt election worker changed a "7" to a "9.
" a corrupt election worker changed a "7" to a "9.
" Let's go to Texas.
changed a "7" to a "9.
" Let's go to Texas.
What's the total for Johnson Let's go to Texas.
What's the total for Johnson here in Jim Wells County? What's the total for Johnson here in Jim Wells County? Uh, LBJ got 765 votes.
here in Jim Wells County? Uh, LBJ got 765 votes.
(cash register dinging) Uh, LBJ got 765 votes.
(cash register dinging) Oh! (cash register dinging) Oh! LBJ got 965 votes! Oh! LBJ got 965 votes! Back to you, me.
LBJ got 965 votes! Back to you, me.
So, things are better now, Back to you, me.
So, things are better now, right? So, things are better now, right? Tell me they're better now.
right? Tell me they're better now.
Nope! Tell me they're better now.
Nope! To this day, political parties Nope! To this day, political parties pick the winners of elections To this day, political parties pick the winners of elections before they even happen.
pick the winners of elections before they even happen.
It's a process called before they even happen.
It's a process called "gerrymandering," and it's totally legal.
Oh, gerrymandering.
Oh, gerrymandering.
That's a word I've heard, and That's a word I've heard, and I hate it, and I have no idea I hate it, and I have no idea what it means.
what it means.
Oh, I'll explain it to you.
Oh, I'll explain it to you.
Every 10 years, politicians Every 10 years, politicians redraw the districts that pick redraw the districts that pick the House and state the House and state legislatures.
But, here's the problem.
The politicians that are elected by those districts are the same The politicians that are elected by those districts are the same politicians that redraw the by those districts are the same politicians that redraw the districts.
politicians that redraw the districts.
It's an insane conflict of districts.
It's an insane conflict of interest, because it allows It's an insane conflict of interest, because it allows political parties to choose the interest, because it allows political parties to choose the outcomes of elections years in political parties to choose the outcomes of elections years in advance.
outcomes of elections years in advance.
Look, say that 40% of the voters advance.
Look, say that 40% of the voters here in "Newstateadelphia" are Look, say that 40% of the voters here in "Newstateadelphia" are member of the Yellow Party.
The Yellow Party believes that all gays must own guns.
that all gays must own guns.
And the other 60% are members And the other 60% are members of the Purple Party.
of the Purple Party.
The Purple Party believes The Purple Party believes that all guns are gay.
that all guns are gay.
Now, if you divided this state into districts fairly, you'd get perfect representation, three Purple you'd get perfect representation, three Purple districts, and two Yellow representation, three Purple districts, and two Yellow districts.
districts, and two Yellow districts.
Seems fair.
districts.
Seems fair.
It is.
Seems fair.
It is.
But, if the Purple Party is It is.
But, if the Purple Party is allowed to redraw the districts, But, if the Purple Party is allowed to redraw the districts, they can do this.
allowed to redraw the districts, they can do this.
Five Purple districts, and zero Yellow districts.
Now, we can pass a law Now, we can pass a law requiring babies to vape.
And if the Yellow Party is allowed to redraw the districts, they can do it like this.
allowed to redraw the districts, they can do it like this.
Three Yellow districts, and two Purple districts.
Now we can give the death Now we can give the death penalty to all people named penalty to all people named Trevor.
Trevor.
The Yellow Party hates Trevors.
The Yellow Party hates Trevors.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! As a proud Trevor American Even though the Yellow Party has less voters in Newstateadelphia, if they're has less voters in Newstateadelphia, if they're allowed to redraw the lines Newstateadelphia, if they're allowed to redraw the lines however they want, they can allowed to redraw the lines however they want, they can still win.
however they want, they can still win.
And this happens every election still win.
And this happens every election year in America.
And this happens every election year in America.
That sounds like cheating.
year in America.
That sounds like cheating.
Oh! That sounds like cheating.
Oh! That's exactly what it is.
Oh! That's exactly what it is.
In 2012, Pennsylvania That's exactly what it is.
In 2012, Pennsylvania Republicans lost the popular In 2012, Pennsylvania Republicans lost the popular vote, but they still won 72% of Republicans lost the popular vote, but they still won 72% of the seats in their state by vote, but they still won 72% of the seats in their state by drawing weird looking districts the seats in their state by drawing weird looking districts like this.
drawing weird looking districts like this.
And, Maryland Democrats did the like this.
And, Maryland Democrats did the exact same thing when they drew And, Maryland Democrats did the exact same thing when they drew this grotesquely unfair exact same thing when they drew this grotesquely unfair district.
this grotesquely unfair district.
Okay, this is bad.
district.
Okay, this is bad.
But, maybe it's just one of Okay, this is bad.
But, maybe it's just one of those things that comes with democracy, right? Actually, Donna, the only Actually, Donna, the only other country that has a system other country that has a system like this is France.
No! We're not like France! Oui, oui.
We're not like France! Oui, oui.
(gasping) Oui, oui.
(gasping) So, before you vote tonight, (gasping) So, before you vote tonight, remember, many of the results So, before you vote tonight, remember, many of the results were decided before you even remember, many of the results were decided before you even cast a ballot.
were decided before you even cast a ballot.
Whoa.
America really is broken.
Oh, Donna, the polls close in Oh, Donna, the polls close in five minutes.
five minutes.
We've got to get you back so you We've got to get you back so you can vote.
(chuckling) Why? What's the point? I'm going home.
What's the point? I'm going home.
Wait, no, Donna! I'm going home.
Wait, no, Donna! If you wait one second, I was Wait, no, Donna! If you wait one second, I was just-- wait.
If you wait one second, I was just-- wait.
I was about to tell you why it's just-- wait.
I was about to tell you why it's so important that you vote.
I was about to tell you why it's so important that you vote.
(energy crackling) so important that you vote.
(energy crackling) Man, that was my ride.
(energy crackling) Man, that was my ride.
(whistling) Hi, Ms.
Reem.
I know you're not gonna tell me, Hi, Ms.
Reem.
I know you're not gonna tell me, but I've got to know-- who did I know you're not gonna tell me, but I've got to know-- who did you vote for? but I've got to know-- who did you vote for? No one.
you vote for? No one.
Voting is pointless.
No one.
Voting is pointless.
The system is broken.
Voting is pointless.
The system is broken.
America's garbage.
The system is broken.
America's garbage.
You got a cigarette? America's garbage.
You got a cigarette? I'm-- I'm 12.
You got a cigarette? I'm-- I'm 12.
So, you have one? I'm-- I'm 12.
So, you have one? (energy crackling) Oh, oh, man, this always happens.
Ahh.
happens.
Ahh.
You proved your point.
Ahh.
You proved your point.
I didn't vote.
You proved your point.
I didn't vote.
Oh, Donna, I've been trying I didn't vote.
Oh, Donna, I've been trying to explain why it's so important Oh, Donna, I've been trying to explain why it's so important that you vote.
to explain why it's so important that you vote.
Well, you ain't doing a good that you vote.
Well, you ain't doing a good job of it.
Well, you ain't doing a good job of it.
(energy crackling) job of it.
(energy crackling) Oh, what now? (energy crackling) Oh, what now? Whew! (chuckling) Oh, what now? Whew! (chuckling) Finally! Whew! (chuckling) Finally! It took me forever to find a Finally! It took me forever to find a working time-traveling voting It took me forever to find a working time-traveling voting booth.
working time-traveling voting booth.
But, I wanted to come tell you, booth.
But, I wanted to come tell you, don't lose heart, Donna.
But, I wanted to come tell you, don't lose heart, Donna.
The founding fathers said "All don't lose heart, Donna.
The founding fathers said "All men are created equal," and they The founding fathers said "All men are created equal," and they couldn't live up to it in their men are created equal," and they couldn't live up to it in their era, but they built a machine couldn't live up to it in their era, but they built a machine that allows us to get better era, but they built a machine that allows us to get better every generation.
that allows us to get better every generation.
Now, it's our turn.
every generation.
Now, it's our turn.
Look, American democracy Now, it's our turn.
Look, American democracy isn't perfect, but it used to be Look, American democracy isn't perfect, but it used to be a lot worse, and our system is isn't perfect, but it used to be a lot worse, and our system is actually more inclusive and a lot worse, and our system is actually more inclusive and democratic than it has ever actually more inclusive and democratic than it has ever been before.
democratic than it has ever been before.
And that's because, we've used been before.
And that's because, we've used democracy to make democracy And that's because, we've used democracy to make democracy stronger.
democracy to make democracy stronger.
So, Donna, if you want things to stronger.
So, Donna, if you want things to get better, you have to vote.
So, Donna, if you want things to get better, you have to vote.
I guess, but changing the get better, you have to vote.
I guess, but changing the system seems really hard.
I guess, but changing the system seems really hard.
Oh, it is, but here's one system seems really hard.
Oh, it is, but here's one simple idea-- why don't we make Oh, it is, but here's one simple idea-- why don't we make election day a national holiday? simple idea-- why don't we make election day a national holiday? It's way too difficult for busy election day a national holiday? It's way too difficult for busy Americans to get to the polls.
It's way too difficult for busy Americans to get to the polls.
Tell me about it.
Americans to get to the polls.
Tell me about it.
I had to take off work Tell me about it.
I had to take off work to come here.
I had to take off work to come here.
That way, more Americans to come here.
That way, more Americans could vote more easily, and we That way, more Americans could vote more easily, and we would have time to celebrate could vote more easily, and we would have time to celebrate election day for what it is-- would have time to celebrate election day for what it is-- the most patriotic day of election day for what it is-- the most patriotic day of the year.
the most patriotic day of the year.
What an awesome idea, Adam.
the year.
What an awesome idea, Adam.
You know, that really is What an awesome idea, Adam.
You know, that really is inspiring.
You know, that really is inspiring.
I'll do it! inspiring.
I'll do it! I'll vote! I'll do it! I'll vote! (softly) Yeah.
I'll vote! (softly) Yeah.
Oh, hey, Donna, um (softly) Yeah.
Oh, hey, Donna, um I really liked traveling through Oh, hey, Donna, um I really liked traveling through time with you.
I really liked traveling through time with you.
Oh, me too.
time with you.
Oh, me too.
And any time you want to have Oh, me too.
And any time you want to have tea, or chat, or just hang out, And any time you want to have tea, or chat, or just hang out, you know, let me know.
tea, or chat, or just hang out, you know, let me know.
Hang out? you know, let me know.
Hang out? Like as friends? Hang out? Like as friends? Mr.
Conover, I would love to Like as friends? Mr.
Conover, I would love to be your friend.
Mr.
Conover, I would love to be your friend.
be your friend.
Want to come over tonight Want to come over tonight and make spaghetti? Want to come over tonight and make spaghetti? I'm kind of busy.
and make spaghetti? I'm kind of busy.
Maybe some other time.
I'm kind of busy.
Maybe some other time.
Great.
(chuckling) Maybe some other time.
Great.
(chuckling) That's great.
Great.
(chuckling) That's great.
Literally, any night works That's great.
Literally, any night works for me.
Literally, any night works for me.
Next time, on "Adam Ruins Everything" "Adam Ruins Everything" You are literally working your You are literally working your employees stupid.
employees stupid.
How much money do you make? How much money do you make? Unh! Unh! If you don't know what the going If you don't know what the going rate is for your salary, it's rate is for your salary, it's easier for the company to rip easier for the company to rip you off.
you off.
I demand a raise!