Election Day

PBS Premiere: July 1, 2008Check the broadcast schedule »

Links & Books


Voting Resources

Brennan Center for Justice: Voting Rights & Elections
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan institute with a focus on democracy and justice. Their website offers information and resources on various election issues, from voter fraud to post-conviction voting.

Common Cause: Election Reform
This nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization, and their election reform campaign aims to increase access to voting and safeguard the accuracy of the voting system.

Pew Center on the States: Electionline.org
This nonpartisan, non-advocacy websites with constantly updated news and analysis about election reform around the country. Visitors can sign up for newsletters to get regular updates.

National Campaign For Fair Elections
This advocacy campaign, which is an initiative of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law , leads the a non-partisan voter protection coalition that pushes for legislation to ensure fair elections in America.

Demos: Democracy Program
Demos is a non-partisan public policy research and advocacy organization, and its Democracy Program works to strengthen democracy in the United States by reducing barriers to voter participation and encouraging civic engagement.

American Civil Liberties Union: Voting Rights
The ACLU works to ensure voting rights for all Americans. Its website offers news and resources about the political developments that may impact your civil rights.

Project Vote
A functioning democracy requires as much voter participation as possible. Project Vote is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that has been devoted to registering and mobilizing low-income and minority voters since 1982.

U.S. Election Assistance Commission: Voter Information Center
This site offers information and resources on how citizens can make sure their votes count, at every step of the election process.

Fair Vote
This advocacy organization publishes research and policy reports on the election system and aims to achieve universal access to participation.

The Sentencing Project: Felony Disenfranchisement
More than 5 million individuals are denied the right to vote because of a felony conviction. The Sentencing Project, a research and advocacy organization for a fair criminal justice system, distributes news and publications about felony disenfranchisement.

U.S. Election History

Stealing Democracy
Spencer Overton, a Professor of Law at George Washington University, was an advisor to Election Day, He is also the author of Stealing Democracy, which chronicles voter suppression and the manipulation of election rules in America. Read excerpts from the book and learn facts about election fraud at the Stealing Democracy website.

The History Channel: The History of U.S. Presidential Elections
Learn about the history of the U.S. presidential elections through videos, images and more in this interactive website.

Department of Justice: Introduction to Federal Voting Rights Laws
This website, maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice, gives a short history of the Voting Rights Act, a key piece of legislation that protects the voting rights of minorities.

<Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2004 (PDF)
Read detailed information about the demographics of 2004 election.

"Disputed Elections Are an American Tradition"
This article from George Mason University's History News Network, first published in 2000, takes a look at disputed elections throughout American history.


NOW on PBS: Burning Questions
Many critical election issues go underreported by the mainstream media, leaving voters with what we call "burning questions." These questions cover everything from the integrity of electronic voting to targeted voter suppression. The award-winning NOW on PBS addresses some of these questions with its on-air and online investigations. (2008)

The Online NewsHour: Vote 2008 | States Grapple with Felon Voting Rights
Millions of Americans are not allowed to vote due to previous felony convictions. Jon Lewis reports on the increasing number of Americans who go to prison and don't come back with the same rights and opportunities. (April 11, 2008)

NOW on PBS: Will the 2008 Election Be Fair?
How safe is your right to vote? Former Justice Department official and voting rights lawyer David Becker, who worked under both President George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton, alleges a systematic effort to deny the vote to hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of Americans. In a revealing interview with Now's David Brancaccio, Becker openly worries that the 2008 election will not be free and fair. Is our government part of the solution or part of the problem? (November 30, 2007)

The Online NewsHour: Electronic Voting Raises Fears
After the problems of the 2000 presidential elections, electronic voting machines were designed to make casting and counting ballots easier and more accurate. But recent problems encountered in several states using the new machines have raised concerns about their reliability and susceptibility to fraud. (November 2, 2006)

NOW on PBS: Block the Vote
Across the nation, states have enacted new laws supposedly designed to prevent voter fraud and avoid election-day debacles. But qualified voters may also be left out in the cold, especially minorities, the poor, the elderly and the disabled. Now looks at several states in which these new rules may keep voters away from the polls in November. (September 1, 2006)

The Journal Editorial Report: Stealing Elections
In his book Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, John Fund describes a haphazard, fraud-prone election system that, he suggests, imperils the world's leading democracy. Browse a photo essay on voter fraud. (November 5, 2004)

NPR Stories

News & Notes: Will Voter ID Law Disenfranchise Voters?
Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law that requires voters to show government-issued photo identification before casting a ballot. Will the law prevent fraud, or does it unfairly target poor voters?
For more, Farai Chideya talks with Sherrilyn Ifill -- a civil rights lawyer and professor at the University of Maryland School of Law -- and Ron Christie, vice president of the lobbying firm D.C. Navigators. (May 1, 2008)

Weekend Edition: A History of Disenfranchised Florida Voters
Voters in Florida once again are at the center of a presidential nomination dispute. Essayist Diane Roberts talks about Florida's history of voter disenfranchisement and how Democratic voters there can avoid being cut out of this year's important primary election. (March 9, 2008)

News & Notes: A Closer Look: Voting Fairness in America
Farai Chideya leads a discussion on America's modern democratic process and whether the current electoral system is fair.
She's joined by William Poundstone, author of Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren't Fair, and What We Can Do About It; and Robert Traynham, Washington, D.C. bureau chief for the Comcast cable network CN8. (March 6, 2008)

All Things Considered: Federal Panel on Voter Fraud Scrutinized
The Election Assistance Commission, a small group with the responsibility of finding good voting technologies and distributing federal funds, is being examined by congressional committees. It drew Democratic complaints when it reported that the amount of vote fraud is unclear. Democrats point to the commission consultant's report, which says there is little fraud. It's an issue that splits along the Democratic/Republican divide. (July 31, 2007)

Books and Films


Design for Democracy: Ballot and Election Design By Marcia Lausen
Confusing ballots in Florida in the 2000 election propelled Lausen to design a more streamlined and graphically usable ballot so that what happened in Florida doesn't happen again. (2007)

Electoral Politics Is Not Enough by Peter F. Burns
An examination of four Northeastern cities, and the ways in which white politicians respond to the interests of their minority contingents. (2006)

Freedom is Not Enough: Black Voters, Black Candidates, and American Presidential Politics by Ronald Walters
From the civil rights era to the 2004 election, Walters discusses the struggles among African-Americans for voting power. (2005)

From Protest to Politics: The New Black Voters in American Elections by Katherine Tate
Through surveys, demographic analysis and voting patterns, Tate examines the African-American experience in the voting booth. (1993)

Steal This Vote: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America by Andrew Gumbel
Gumbel, a journalist for Britain's Independent, examines the history behind election fraud. (2005)

Stealing Democracy: The New Politics of Voter Supression by Spencer Overton
Overton uses real-life stories to show how seemingly insignificant factors -- such as how many booths are at polling sites and how district boundaries are drawn -- channel political power and determine policies. (2006)

For more books on this topic and other related to Election Day, download the American Library Association produced Delve Deeper Reading Guide.


Iron Jawed Angels, Katja von Garnier, Director
Garnier offers an in-depth look at the dramatic struggle for women's right to vote. (2004)

Journeys with George, Alexandra Pelosi, Director
Pelosi gets personal with George W. Bush on the campaign trail.

Primary, Robert Drew, Director
Drew followed Democratic candidates John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey during the 1960 Wisconsin primary, and captured moments in history.

Primary Colors, Mike Nichols, Director
Based on the Joe Klein novel of the same name, the film follows a suave governor on the way to the White House.

Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election, Richard Ray Perez, Director
This documentary looks at the controversy in Florida in 2000, which turned the state into an election battlefield.

Wag the Dog, Barry Levinson, Director
With the 2000 election approaching and a potential presidential sex scandal about to break, the campaign secures a little help from Hollywood to divert attention.

The War Room, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, Directors
This is an inside look into the Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign with George Stephanopoulos and James Carville.