As America chooses its next president in the midst of a historic pandemic, FRONTLINE investigates whose vote counts — and whose might not. With Columbia Journalism Investigations and reporters from the USA TODAY NETWORK, New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb reports on allegations of voter disenfranchisement, how unfounded claims of extensive voter fraud entered the political mainstream, rhetoric and realities around mail-in ballots, and how the pandemic could impact turnout.
(Must sign in with MEID) More than 50 years after the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most extensive pieces of civil rights legislation, people of color across the United States still are engaged in a battle to protect their right to vote. Voting Matters follows one dynamic woman working tirelessly on the ground and in the courts to ensure that they are not denied this right.
When a key section of the Voting Rights Act was struck down in 2013, several states with a history of racial discrimination immediately attempted to pass laws that further restricted voter rights. This came in the form of limiting the window for voter registration, purging voters with inactive histories and requiring more restrictive forms of ID. There are currently 23 states with such voter restrictions. This short film follows civil rights attorney Donita Judge as she helps several voters in Ohio cast ballots even though they initially were turned away. The documentary shows how many hoops must be jumped through simply to vote and highlights how cries of voter fraud are exaggerated.
Why should I vote? Does my vote count? This program addresses these questions and reinforces the importance of voting to the political process. The program begins with a history of voting, and the struggles of women and African-Americans to gain voting rights. It then offers examples of close elections. Students are encouraged to consider how history might have been changed if the outcomes had been different. Instructions on how to vote, how to register, absentee voting, and how to use a voting machine are presented. Both primary and general elections are discussed on the local, state, and national levels, as well as referendums and votes on constitutional amendments. Students learn how to critically evaluate candidates based on their positions, experience, and other factors. A Cambridge Educational Production.