Skip to Content

Election Day follows 11 “real people who make our democracy work”

On election day in 2004, director Katy Chevigny and her film crews simultaneously followed 11 people across the country, and the result is her new film Election Day. The result, which debuts tonight at random times as part of PBS’ P.O.V., is an “expansive and sometimes unsettling account of the last presidential election, when America’s voting practices, once taken for granted, came under new and intense observation and challenge,” according to PBS.

Among the subjects are “Leon Batts, an ex-felon who just regained his right to vote”; “Australian observer Shanta Martin of Fair Election International [who] is surprised to witness poor, black precincts mired in confusion and long waits”; “the Fisher family, organic farmers who supplement their income by selling homemade pizzas, [who prepare] for a bonanza of orders from neighbors settling in for a long night of results-watching”; and “Paula Thompson, a first-time volunteer at a crowded and chaotic polling place in Shaker Heights, Ohio, [who] finds herself confronted by frustrated voters who aren’t on her rolls.” PBS says.

Chevigny says that she and her crew “set out to depict the real people who make our democracy work, but whose actions are not the stuff of the evening news. Our jumping-off point was the 2000 election, which had brought the failures of our voting systems into sharp focus. We decided to look at how the shadow of that election would affect the attitudes and experiences of voters and poll workers across the country in 2004. We hope that viewers find the film to be a nuanced portrait of the attitudes and experiences of the citizens who make this democracy tick.”

Here’s the trailer:

Election Day [PBS]

All reality blurred content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, I may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

More great stories

About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

Discussion

I value our community at reality blurred, which connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

Comment rules: My goal is for us to be able to share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space. That’s why I’ve created these rules for commenting here, and by commenting, you agree that you’ve read and agree to them. Happy discussing!