Millions of Americans are routinely stymied when attempting the most basic right of our democracy – casting a vote. In the radio documentary “Whose Vote Counts?,” CIR associate reporter Rebecca Perl investigates how citizens are legally denied or left out of the voting process. In an important election year, an estimated 10 million votes (or 10 percent of potential voters) aren’t counted because of misinformation, language and physical barriers, intimidation, malfunctioning machines, poorly trained poll workers and state laws that leave out entire groups of citizens. In particular, Perl examines the state laws that prevent felons and ex-felons from voting in elections, sometimes for life. As a result, nationwide, one in eight black men are barred from voting – in some states it’s one in three. “Whose Vote Counts?” also includes a report from American RadioWorks correspondent Michael Montgomery on the challenges of installing high-tech voting machines in the wake of the contested 2000 Florida presidential race with its punchcard and hanging chad controversy.

This CIR and American RadioWorks co-production is airing nationwide in November as part of public radio’s special series, “Whose Democracy Is It?”

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