Photo of Bill Moyers Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Watch & Listen The Blog Archive Transcripts Buy DVDs
Mark Crispin Miller
Watch Video
Read Transcript
October 17, 2008
As election day approaches and both Democracts and Republicans warn that the other side may be planning to tamper with the results, voters may be wondering if their vote will be counted properly.

Mark Crispin Miller joins Bill Moyers on the JOURNAL to discuss challenges legitimate would-be voters face at the polls — from voter purges to electronic voting — and reforms the U.S. should make to ensure everyone's right to vote is protected and every vote is counted.

Protecting Your Vote
Steven Rosenfeld, author of COUNT MY VOTE: A CITIZEN'S GUIDE TO VOTING, has documented several potential problems voters may face at the polls in an article on ALTERNET, from voter purges and unprocessed registrations to a shortage of poll workers.

Election Protection, a non-partisan coalition, offers another online resource for voter education and protection through an informational Web site and an election hot-line (1-866-OUR-VOTE). They also offer a useful voting-checklist flyer you can print out and bring with you to the poll.

The Election Protection voting checklist:

Be sure you are properly registered.
Most states require voters to register in advance of an election (though some allow voters to register on Election Day). Deadlines range from 3 to 30 days before an election. To find out if you are properly registered, confirm your address, obtain a copy of a voter registration form, or learn about registration deadlines in your state, call 866-OUR-VOTE or, for more information about registration rules in your state go to

Be sure you go to the correct polling place.
In many states, if you vote at the wrong location, your vote will not be counted. If you are unsure exactly where to vote, find your polling location by calling 866-OUR-VOTE or by going to

Find out your options for convenient voting.
Many states allow individuals to vote prior to Election Day, either in person or by absentee ballot. Absentee voters typically must request an absentee ballot in advance. To learn about the options in your state, including how to obtain an absentee ballot, visit, or call 866-OUR-VOTE.

Find out if you are required to show ID.
Every state has identification requirements for at least some categories of voters. Find out the rules for your state by visiting, or calling 866-OUR-VOTE.

Review sample ballots and information about candidates and issues.
If you familiarize yourself with the layout and instructions of the ballot, you can prevent mistakes when you go to vote. Some local election officials will provide you a sample ballot if you request one. Also, know who and what you're voting for — you can research all candidates and ballot issues by contacting local civic groups or visiting If you have questions, concerns or problems, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. Trained volunteers for the nation's largest non-partisan voter protection effort are available to answer your questions and help make sure your vote counts.

Video Your Vote
YouTube, the leading online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos, has partnered with PBS to empower American voters to upload their Election Day voting experiences to YouTube at Video Your Vote. YouTube and PBS also will distribute 1,000 Flip Video(tm) camcorders through Pure Digital Technologies, Inc.'s Flip Video Spotlight Program so that participating non-partisan nonprofit groups and local PBS stations across the country can also capture polling place activity.

Mark Crispin Miller
Mark Crispin Miller is a Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. He is the author of several books, including BOXED IN: THE CULTURE OF TV; THE BUSH DYSLEXICON: OBSERVATIONS ON A NATIONAL DISORDER; CRUEL AND UNUSUAL: BUSH/CHENEY'S NEW WORLD ORDER and FOOLED AGAIN: THE REAL CASE FOR ELECTORAL REFORM. He is also the editor of LOSER TAKE ALL: ELECTION FRAUD AND THE SUBVERSION OF DEMOCRACY, 2000-2008. His essays and articles have appeared in many journals, magazines and newspapers.

Miller is the editor of ICONS OF AMERICA, a book series published by Yale University Press. (His own contribution to the series, a book about the Marlboro Man, will be published by YUP in 2009). Miller also penned a 2004 off-Broadway show, A PATRIOT ACT, performed at the New York Theater Workshop.

Miller earned his bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in 1971, and his doctorate in English from Johns Hopkins University in 1977. Although he specialized in Renaissance literature, Miller is best known as a media critic. Before joining New York University, Miller served as director of film studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Published October 17, 2008.

Guest photo by Robin Holland

References and Reading:
Mark Crispin Miller on elections
"None Dare Call it Stolen"
by Mark Crispin Miller, HARPER'S MAGAZINE, August 2005.

News From Underground
Mark Crispin Miller's blog.

John Fund on elections
John Fund is a member of the WALL STREET JOURNAL's editorial board and writes the paper's daily "Political Diary." He has written on voter fraud and election irregularities for the last decade for a variety of publications. Fund argues that groups such as ACORN, prominently mentioned in the third presidential debate, are a threat to fair and free elections.


John Fund on Fox News, talking about his book and the current election.

Voting Resources

Common Cause: "Protect the Vote"
Common Cause, the Brennan Center for Justice and the Verified Voting Foundation have released a 50-state report card that assesses every state on its preparedness to respond to Election Day voting system problems like broken machines, software malfunctions, or long lines that result from voting equipment breakdowns or misallocation of machines.

League of Women Voters: Election 2008
A nonpartisan public interest organization, their election Web site offers voter registration, ballot information, and information on voting in your state.

National Association of Secretaries of State
Nonpartisan professional organization for Secretaries of State. Web site collects state by state information about voting laws.
A nonpartisan, non-advocacy Web site providing current news and analysis on election reform.

Brennan Center: Vote Purges
A report about the worrisome state state of voter roles in the US.
The Web site of Election Protection, a coalition of non-partisan groups supporting voter education and protection.

Published October 17, 2008

Also This Week:

Bill Moyers sits down with Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU, who has been following voter fraud allegations in his blog News from the Underground. An expert on propaganda and media, Miller's book LOSER TAKES ALL is an anthology of writings covering election fraud.

Roberto Lovato and Linda Chavez on politics two weeks before the election.

Michael Zweig joins Bill Moyers on the JOURNAL to shift the focus from Wall Street to the people who will be most hurt by a protracted recession, everyday workers.

Is the American Dream in danger during our financial downturn? Or is the American Dream now about something new? Our guests and our viewers speak out.

Add your voice to our election year map. Plus, get perspective on pressing election-year issues from JOURNAL guests.

Our posts and your comments
For Educators    About the Series    Bill Moyers on PBS   

© Public Affairs Television 2008    Privacy Policy    DVD/VHS    Terms of Use    FAQ