Whose Vote Counts
FRONTLINE, Columbia Journalism Investigations, USA Today Network
In Spring 2020, as the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic began reshaping what was to be a pivotal election season, New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb was on the ground in Wisconsin, a state that served as an all too perfect microcosm for contemporary American elections. With Cobb as its equanimous guide, FRONTLINE, in collaboration with Columbia Journalism Investigations, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and USA Today, offers a probing investigation into the simple question the piece’s title poses. Examining the legal battles over absentee ballots in Wisconsin’s 2020 primary elections, both as the logical end-point of concerted efforts to disenfranchise voters across the U.S. and as a worrying preamble to how the pandemic would exacerbate unfounded concerns over “rampant voter fraud” in November, Whose Vote Counts presents a clear breakdown of the way racial inequities, COVID-19, and voter suppression became interlinked crises, contributing to a long legacy of inequality. For tackling one of the key issues at the heart of modern U.S. politics and carefully elucidating what the fight for voting rights looks like in the 21st century, Whose Vote Counts receives a Peabody.