The 2020 election is just one short week away. Maybe you've already handed in your ballot or maybe you’re still thinking through a few key issues for you. Wherever you are in your voting process, this guide is equally meant for the political junkie, the undecided voter and everyone in-between.
We chose to highlight a range of multimedia that cover national, state and local elections, as well as important topics that have political implications like technology, COVID-19 and healthcare, the economy, the Supreme Court, race relations and climate change.
The following resources were selected in consultation with subject specialists throughout the University Libraries, the results of a recent Pew Research survey which highlights some of the key issues important to voters this year and the Interactive Media Bias Chart. The University Libraries encourage you to seek out resources from this guide or elsewhere that are verifiable and that pique your curiosity.
After you check out these or other recommendations, go back to the 2020 Legislative Blue Book to reexamine ballot issues and visit CU Boulder’s “Your Vote Counts” page for additional voter information.
We support your right to participate in the future of our democracy.
History of Elections
From Recorded History Podcast Network
A history podcast that revisits past U.S. presidential elections, this show has hundreds of episodes which also offer insight into how our government and elections have and work today. It also doesn’t take itself too seriously, so it doesn’t feel like you’ve tuned into a half hour lecture.
This two-part, four-hour documentary series investigates the divisions in American politics by looking at how our recent history affects our country's future and giving context around the political scene over the last decade.
By Elaine F. Weiss
What better way to celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women’s right to vote than spending a few hours with this book about the pivotal moment in Tennessee where the suffragist movement came to a head? This work has the power to remind us why your vote matters. Available via contactless pickup.
From Colorado Public Radio News
Over the last two decades, Colorado voters have been evenly split between Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Hosted by CPR News public affairs reporters Bente Birkeland and Andrew Kenney, this podcast looks at what’s happening in Colorado politics and offers context for what it all means for the state.
Directed by Jason Reitman
Based on a true story, this 2018 political drama revisits former U.S. Senator Gary Hart’s (D-CO) 1987 presidential bid and the national scandal that surrounded it. The film forces the viewer to consider to what degree they have a right to know about their elected officials’ personal affairs. Available via Boulder Public Library or through paid streaming services.
By Thomas Cronin and Robert Loevy
This informative read offers a concise history of Colorado’s constitution, interweaving interviews with elected officials and citizens throughout the state that offer insight into election trends and the state’s political history.
This podcast comes out with a new episode every weekday and covers a vast range of election-related topics. It features a rotating panel of hosts so you’re always hearing new voices.
Directed by Alan J. Pakula
Based on a true story, All The President’s Men is a 1976 political film that follows journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward as they investigate the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post and manage to reveal corrupt activities around campaign contributions to the committee helping to re-elect former president Richard Nixon.
By Michael Waldman
Recommended by Government Information Library faculty, “The Fight to Vote” examines past and present efforts to define and defend the U.S. government based on the ‘consent of the governed.’ In this work, Waldman covers gerrymandering, voter ID laws, the challenges different populations face at the polls. Available via contactless pickup.
From Recorded History Podcast Network
Gadget Lab features weekly discussions about the latest in tech news. Topics tend to revolve around information, communication and individual privacies in regard to their right to control the distribution of their digital data.
Directed by Jeff Orlowski
This documentary from Boulder director Jeff Orlowski features testimonies from whistleblowers from the early days of social media in Silicon Valley, highlighting how technology channels have come to play a role in the polarization of the political climate we live in. Available for streaming on Netflix.
By Yochai Benkler
In 2018, Bloomberg writer noted that Network Propaganda is the best book on networks, social media, propaganda, polarization and American politics. Co-authors Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris and Hal Roberts’ book offers insight into how new technologies can be easily manipulated to promote misinformation.
The Indicator is a quick hit of insight—each episode is under 10 minutes—into work, business, the economy and everything else. The latest episodes focus on the economic impacts of the 2020 census, why women are leaving the workplace and the future of the American economy.
From the Wall Street Journal
Hosted by journalists from the Wall Street Journal, this podcast covers a wide variety of topics including business insights, the economy, markets and politics.
For the history buff, this episode from PBS’s Origin of Everything discusses the human and economic toll of past pandemics and what we can learn to prepare for life during and after COVID-19.
From the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Providing interesting insight into recently published economic data, the FRED Blog is the ultimate resource for all of you data geeks out there.
From Gist Healthcare
Stay up-to-date with the latest in health news with context and commentary from industry experts—all in under 10 minutes. New episodes come out each weekday morning.
Higher Education Health panel discussions
A number of U.S. higher education institutions are hosting virtual, expert panel discussions about the U.S. healthcare implications of the 2020 presidential election. Below is a small selection of available panel discussions to view as recordings or sign-up to attend live.
“The 2020 Election and the Future of U.S. Health Care” (recording of September 29, 2020 event), School of Law, Case Western Reserve University
“Health Policy & the Upcoming Election” (recording of October 14, 2020 event), Columbia University Irving Medical Center
From the Kaiser Family Foundation
KFF is a non-partisan, non-profit organization which focuses on providing comprehensive information on major healthcare issues and the U.S. role in global health policy. This source covers absolutely everything and in a slick, easy to digest format.
From the National Constitution Center
If constitutional debates are your jam, the National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen airs the arguments at “the center of American life.” Featuring the viewpoints of historians, scholars, public officials and journalists, this podcast has been recognized for exercising nonpartisanship.
Directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West
This Oscar nominated documentary portrays the life and legacy of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This film is particular pertinent as the fight for her seat has entered the forefront of the 2020 election.
Living Constitution vs. Originalism
There has been a lot of debate about whether the constitution is a living document meaning interpretations of the text can change over time or if it should be interpreted as it was originally written. The Federalist Society and Pearson both give their perspectives in these short YouTube videos:
- Should We Consider the Constitution to Be 'Living' or 'Dead'? from Pearson
- What is the Difference Between Originalism and Living Constitutionalism? from the Federalist Society
By Peter Irons
Beginning with the debates over judicial power in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to controversial rulings on slavery, racial segregation, free speech, school prayer, abortion, and gay rights, Irons offers a penetrating look at the highest court in the land. Recent changes to the court have made this work even more timely.
From Science Friday
Science Friday highlights entertaining and informative stories about science and technology. During their new spotlight series on the coronavirus, listen to scientists and experts studying the virus and discussing its impacts.
Coronavirus, Explained showcases evidence-based explanations of the coronavirus crisis: from how it started to how it might end to how to protect yourself and others. Available for streaming on Netflix.
By the National Library of Medicine
LitCovid is a curated literature hub for tracking up-to-date scientific information about the 2019 novel Coronavirus. New research is added daily.
Interested in more COVID-19 related articles, datasets or visualizations? Check out our COVID-19 research guide.
From Futuro Media Group
In this podcast, journalists of color tell you what you’re missing from the mainstream news. Tune in to hear co-hosts Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela discuss race, identity and politics.
Directed by Raoul Peck
An Oscar-nominated documentary narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, I Am Not Your Negro explores the continued peril America faces from institutionalized racism.
By Ijeoma Oluo
In this New York Times bestseller, Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to "model minorities" in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.
So You Want to Talk about Race is also this year’s campus One Read selection. Read the book and join the discussion.
Interested in more recommendations on race? Visit our Anti-Racism resource guide for more.
Climate Conversations was a weekly climate change podcast from two MIT alumni and MIT Open Learning, as a part of their ClimateX project. ClimateX was an online platform that facilitated climate change learning, connection, and action.
This inspirational TED talk by Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is about how indigenous peoples can engage with the scientific community to combine the scientific and indigenous knowledge systems to build climate change-resilient communities.
By Michael Mann and Tom Toles
Michael Mann is one of the most well-known and distinguished climate scientists in the world. This book, subtitled, “how climate change denial is threatening our planet, destroying our politics, and driving us crazy”, features illustrations by political cartoonist Tom Toles.
By Philippe Squarzoni
This is a non-fiction graphic novel about the artist’s personal grappling with the myriad problems associated with climate change. Available via contactless pickup.