American elections are decided by those who don’t vote as well as those who do. Unusually large voter turnouts among young people, blacks, and Latino Americans helped propel Barack Obama to victories in 2008 and 2012. The rules in politics, as in everything else, are never neutral. In the early 1800s, prompted by the Jeffersonians , the states gradually repealed the property, income, and taxpaying qualifications for voting by which they had so severely constrained male suffrage. The Progressive movement in the late 1800s and early 1900s promoted several changes in election rules. Progressives claimed that these changes were intended to democratize American politics, but they were also designed to weaken the political party “machines” of the time. American elections did not always use secret ballots. In fact, not until the late 1800s was the secret ballot used throughout the nation. Blacks remained largely disenfranchised for almost a century after the 1880s.