Edith here, with special guest David Hagerty and a new anthology! (Note: while the topic of voter disenfranchisement might seem political, something the Wickeds strive to avoid here, the right to vote is basic to our democracy. We all approved this post.)
David Hagerty, a fellow member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, says, “With all the recent talk about voting rights and election fraud, now is the time for a volume of crime fiction about disenfranchisement. Low Down Dirty Vote 2 came out July 4th with 22 short stories about cheating in politics and polling. The anthology is a fundraiser for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which supports voting rights and opposes vote suppression.”
Here, three of the writers whose stories appear in the anthology talk about the inspiration for their pieces.
David Hagerty recalls his mother’s participation in the League of Women Voters when he was a child. “One of my favorite memories is of her marching in the 1976 bicentennial parade dressed as Lady Liberty, complete with crown and gown, so I used the image to introduce my story about the fight to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in my home state of Illinois. Here, Governor Duncan Cochrane, the hero of my political mystery series, uses his political savvy to lobby a legislature dominated by men for women’s suffrage.”
Ann Parker finds unexpected sources for her tale of voter purges. “My usual milieu for mystery writing is historicals—my Silver Rush series takes place in the 1880s American West, and I initially thought I would write a short story in that setting.
However, present-day homeless issues loomed large in the local news and grabbed my attention. I found myself wondering: with everything else they must deal with, how did homeless folks manage to vote? How do you register if your “home” is a street corner or under a freeway overpass? What if you don’t have a photo ID? My short story “Purged” is the result of my research into that topic. (To see the welter of differing regulations and requirements by state, check out this chart on nationalhomeless.org.)
Camille Minichino uses her latest heroine to illustrate the voter suppression. “I have a new series, written as Elizabeth Logan: The Alaska Diner Mysteries. I thought I’d take advantage of the research I did for the novels to spin a short story. “Three Funny Things Happened On The Way To Vote” is set in an outpost in Alaska, about a young woman trying to bring her grandfather into the 21st century with respect to problems of voter fraud. On the way to the polls, they meet perfect examples of what it means to protect the voting rights of all Americans.”
The collection, along with its predecessor, Low Down Dirty Vote, Volume 1, was conceived and edited by Mysti Berry, who tired of ranting on Facebook about the state of this country. “I’m proud of every writer and every story in the collection. The creativity and passion for voting rights resonates from beginning to end.”
Readers: Have you had experiences with voter suppression? Can you vote by mail this fall in your state?