In the film’s nearly three-minute teaser, Abrams — alongside former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Mother Jones senior reporter Ari Berman and Emory professor Carol Anderson — connects the dots between the network of legislative barriers that threaten Americans’ right to vote.
With Abrams at its center, the Amazon Original documentary kicks off its look at the insidious issue of voter suppression with Abrams’ own contentious and controversial 2018 race for Georgia governor. The former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives walks viewers through the slew of challenges constituents faced, including hours-long lines, precinct consolidation and little training of local election officials, before declaring that “thousands of people were told ‘no’ and didn’t have the authority to demand better.”
“I knew something had gone horribly wrong,” Abrams says. “The system that is supposed to protect our democracy didn’t work the way it was supposed to.”
The chaos and issues surrounding Abrams’ own gubernatorial bid serve as the launching pad for a larger discussion about the past and present of voting rights in America. The politics and purpose of voter ID laws, roll purging and gerrymandering are explained, with a slew of experts and activists in the field of voting rights weaving modern experience with historical precedent to expose an ongoing effort that threatens American democracy.
“Unless we fight for the right to vote, our democracy is put at risk,” Holder says.
Archival footage is combined with more recent interviews, images and video, exposing the country’s long and even violent history of voter suppression across decades and states. Going back to the very foundation of the U.S. and moving through the Jim Crow era to modern America, the trailer illustrates how the same forces that determined just six percent of people were eligible to vote at the country’s founding are still determined to keep certain citizens — from Blacks and Hispanics to the young and poor — from accessing a basic right.
“If the power of the right to vote was truly made available to everyone in America, it would change the future of this nation,” Abrams says.
Directed by Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés, the upcoming Amazon Original documentary was produced by Garbus, Cortés, Abrams and Dan Cogan. All In: The Fight for Democracy will be released in theaters Sept. 9, and become available to stream on Prime Video beginning Sept. 18.