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Turnout with Katie Couric
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Turnout with Katie Couric

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Voting may be the cornerstone of our democracy, but the reality of how voting works in America — and who gets to do it — is not as fair or clear-cut as we like to tell ourselves. In this new limited series, award-winning journalist Katie Couric explores America’s voting record — past, present, and future — with the help of activists, historians, politicians and luminaries. Through personal stories and engaging interviews, we’ll talk about the ways voters have been kept out of the system and spotlight those fighting — on the ground and in the courts — to ensure everyone can participate in our democracy.

10 Episodes
All eyes are on Georgia this week as it wraps up its manual recount of nearly 5 million ballots. On Friday, November 13, when the recount began, several news outlets had declared Joe Biden the state’s winner. If that still holds when the recount is complete, Biden will be the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992. If that weren’t enough, control of the Senate now hinges on two critical Georgia runoff elections, which will happen in early January 2021. At the center of this national political storm is Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. On this episode of Turnout with Katie Couric, an interview with the secretary, who gives us a peek behind the recount curtain, and talks about the high-pressure stakes of being the Republican in charge of President Trump’s recount: tweets, calls for resignation, and, yes, even death threats. For Brad Raffensperger, it’s all in a day’s work.
On this episode of Turnout with Katie Couric, Katie shares her hopes and the need for open-mindedness as the country welcomes in the next administration. Then, we check in with some of our previous guests to get a temperature check on the country’s democracy now that the 2020 pandemic election is (almost) behind us. Jesse Littlewood from Common Cause shares his takeaways from the election, what the big turnout means for future races, and the new potential obstacles to voter access his organization is already watching and preparing to fight down the road. Finally, we check in with Annette Scott, a volunteer from the League of Women Voters, who is also a dedicated poll worker, on how Election Day went for her in New Jersey. More about the topics and guests featured in this episode: Read: I Gave Donald Trump a Chance After He Was Elected. The President’s Supporters Should Do the Same for Joe Biden Now (TIME) Jesse Littlewood is the vice president for campaigns at Common Cause, a democracy and voting rights watchdog group. Annette Scott, a volunteer with The League of Women Voters, working primarily with the New Jersey Reentry Corporation leading voter registration education.
We are finally on the other side of the 2020 presidential election and it was — as promised — unprecedented. And a big part of that is because of you! Voters from all over the country came out (and mailed in ballots) in record numbers. 2020 is projected to have the highest turnout rate of eligible voters in more than a century. In this episode of Turnout with Katie Couric, we’ll hear some of your voting stories, which capture a moment in history that will be analyzed for years to come. Then, Katie shares her conversation with political consultant Brian Goldsmith, which took place on Instagram Live starting at 6 pm EST on Nov. 6. And while the news over the next few days may change in big and small ways, Brain and Katie help put this week and the weight of what happened into context.
It's election week! And in this special bonus issue of Turnout, Katie Couric talks with New York Times columnist David Brooks about the moment when we fell through the floor of decency and what America has lost these last four years. David also shares what's at stake on Nov. 3, why this is another moment of moral convulsion for the country and how we can mend our extreme political divides.  Read more about this episode: Op-Ed: Trump's presidency Smashed the 'Decency Floor' The New York Times' opinion collection, ‘What Have We Lost' Weave, the Social Fabric Project from the Aspen Institute
We’ve always said that this series was about so much more than this election. As we’ve shown in the first four episodes, the voting issues of our past — and how we respond to them — pave the way forward, shaping future elections, including the history-making moment we are living in today. But now that we’re face-to-face with the 2020 presidential race, it’s time to start diving into it. On this episode of Turnout with Katie Couric, Katie sorts through some of the week’s big election stories. Then, an interview with newly retired top GOP election lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg about his blunt and public rebuke of President Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud. Ginsberg talks about the inherent difference between Republican and Democratic election policy, the impact of the 2000 Florida recount, and why Democrats’ worst fears about what could happen after November 3 may be unfounded.  Read Benjamin Ginsberg’s Washington Post op-eds: Republicans have insufficient evidence to call elections ‘rigged’ and ‘fraudulent’ How Trump’s evidence-free attacks on elections damage the Republican party Stream Recount on Amazon Prime, HBO Max, or HULU.
This week on Turnout with Katie Couric: the power and drive of youth activism. First, 19-year-old youth activist Tyler Okeke makes the case for lowering the voting age to 16. Then, Katie talks with activist, author and podcast host DeRay Mckesson on his own youth activism and how to get this new protest generation to turnout for elections (hint: make voting easier!). We also hear advice from civil rights activists on where they find inspiration and why it’s important to keep paving the way, to make the world better and easier, for those who come after you. More about the guests and organizations mentioned in this episode: Courtland Cox, activist and veteran of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Tyler Okeke, Vote at 16 Youth Organizer for Power California DeRay McKesson, activist, author of the book, “On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope,” and host of the podcast “Pod Save the People” from Crooked Media Rock The Vote, youth empowerment organization Judy Richardson, documentary filmmaker and veteran of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
This week on Turnout, Katie Couric explores how disinformation is used to suppress the vote and how it’s being tackled by activists and citizens alike. While disinformation has been used to subvert the voting process for decades, long before the internet, it is now thriving online like never before. “Bad actors” are lurking behind your screen and on your social media platforms, eager to sew chaos and distrust in the election system. But, fear not! There’s hope and also something YOU can do. Jesse Littlewood from Common Cause shares tips for how to spot disinformation on the internet and what to do about it (hint: don’t engage!). And, in an effort to provide some sort of check to Facebook’s unbalanced power, British investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr tells us how her group, the “Real Facebook Oversight Board,” plans to hold Mark Zuckerberg’s feet to the fire.  More about the guests and organizations featured in this episode: Jesse Littlewood is the vice president for campaigns at Common Cause. As part of its election protection work, Common Cause has launched a Stop Cyber Suppression program, where you can report disinformation or join the Common Cause Action Team’s Social Media Monitoring program. Carole Cadwalladr is a British Pulitzer-nominated investigative journalist who broke the Cambridge Analytica story after working with whistleblower Christopher Wylie for a year. The Real Facebook Oversight Board
Sheyann Webb-Christburg was eight years old when she first met Martin Luther King, Jr. It was late 1964 and Dr. King was in Selma, Alabama, to organize a voter registration campaign to draw attention to the need for legislation that would ensure Black Americans could safely and freely vote, because in the 1960s, particularly in Southern states like Alabama, that was certainly not the case. “Black folks couldn’t vote,” Sheyann’s father said when asked if he had ever cast a ballot. On this episode of Turnout with Katie Couric, Katie explores the historic struggle of Black enfranchisement — from the moments of brief political prosperity during Reconstruction, to the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the election of President Barack Obama, and the ongoing fight to restore voting rights to people with past convictions. Woven throughout the episode is Sheyann’s story of being Martin Luther King’s smallest Freedom Fighter and what she witnessed on that Bloody Sunday in Selma in 1965. Katie also interviews Desmond Meade, President and Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, about his inspiring life story as a formerly homeless returned citizen who in 2018 helped restore voting rights to 1.4 million Floridians. More about the guests and organizations featured in this episode: Sheyann Webb-Christburg, civil rights activist, youth advocate and co-author of the book and movie “Selma, Lord, Selma.” Gilda Daniels, law professor at the University of Baltimore law school, litigation director at the Advancement Project, and author of “Uncounted: The Crisis of Voter Suppression in America.” Dr. Carol Anderson, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University, author of several books including, “One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy.” Desmond Meade, president and executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and author of “Let My People Vote: My Battle to Restore the Civil Rights of Returned Citizens.” Annette Scott, a volunteer with The League of Women Voters, working primarily with the New Jersey Reentry Corporation leading voter registration education. *Content warning: This episode contains descriptions of violence that some listeners might find disturbing.*
The right to vote can sometimes be described as a “struggle,” a “fight,” even a “war.” But how did this come to be and who has been fighting to make every generation’s path to the ballot a little less arduous? On this episode of Turnout, Katie Couric goes back to the beginning, to find out what our founding can tell us about the continuing war on voting rights. Katie speaks with historian and biographer Jon Meacham about the framers’ hopes and dreams and who was left out of the more perfect union they designed. Then, Wendy Weiser, of the Brennan Center for Justice, and voting and Civil Rights expert Gilda Daniels help define voter suppression — and the many names it goes by. Finally, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown shares the ways she is helping to modernize her state’s election system — and the ways the rest of the country can and should follow suit. Guests: Jon Meacham, author “His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope” Wendy R. Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law Gilda Daniels, law professor at the University of Baltimore law school, litigation director at the Advancement Project, and author of “Uncounted: The Crisis of Voter Suppression in America.” Charles Stewart III, MIT professor of political science and founder and director of the MIT Election Lab Oregon Gov. Kate Brown
In this new limited series, Award-winning journalist Katie Couric explores America's voting wars, from the founding of this "more perfect union" to today. What unfolds is a struggle for power — both the fight to keep it and the fight to reclaim it through the ballot. Turnout: It's about so much more than this election.
Comments (1)

Margaret Stortenbecker

I find this "voter fraud vs. voter suppression" conversation rather disingenuous when we have a massive history of the latter and very few confirmed cases of the former.

Nov 8th
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