The Right to Vote

Programs 208, 209 • 58 mins


CDs available via special order.    HumanMedia ®

Free Podcast Available

Right to VoteThe much-contested right to vote in America

This documentary explores one of the most basic questions facing our democracy: who may participate?


In Part 1, you’ll hear a fascinating history of the much-contested right to vote in America: from slaves freed after the Civil War, to women’s suffrage, to the civil rights movement. Included is the moving first-person story of a young woman who participated in the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer project for voter registration of African Americans.

Part 2 presents a diversity of voices and views on today’s debates over whether voters should be required to show ID at the polls. Some Americans believe that ensures honest elections; while others see it as an unnecessary obstacle to minority voters. And we consider whether people who’ve committed felonies should be allowed to vote, after serving their time.

Web Extras

Enjoy additional content produced as a part of this special project.


Check out these excellent resources for more information:

  • Background on the controversial 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Shelby County v. Holder, that struck down part of the Voting Rights Act – includes audio from the Court hearing:
  • Results of 50-state study on the actual extent of voter fraud, conducted by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University:

Funded by The Park Foundation, the Humankind Program Fund, and
the S-C Group, whose charitable resources include FJC, a foundation of donor-advised funds.

Audio engineer: Antonio Oliart-Ros. Associate Producers Marc Kilstein, Ken Rogers, David Cruz. Webmaster Brian K. Johnson. Special thanks to: Lisa Mullins, Thomas Royal, Cathy Graham.


Boston-Area Website Design by BKJ Productions