Stealing America: Vote by Vote (review)

part of my Directed by Women series
Get new reviews in your email in-box or in an app by becoming a paid Substack subscriber or Patreon patron.

If you need any more proof that a movie like Swing Vote is complete balderdash, with its fantasy about getting couch potatoes out to the polls as the cure-all for what ails America, then here is it. Documentarian Dorothy Fadiman was working as a volunteer on Election Day in 2004 in Florida when she heard one voter after another complain that their votes were “flipped”: they voted for one candidate but the name of another candidate subsequently showed up on the screen of the electronic voting machine. (In a wild coincidence, all the reports involve votes for Democratic candidates flipping to votes for Republicans.)

The film she intended to make about this peculiar phenomenon became something much larger, as she investigated and discovered how widespread all manner of voting irregularities have been over the last decade or so. Citizens wrongfully purged from voter rolls, absurdly long wait times on Election Day (up to 12 hours in some precincts, which inevitably prevents some people from voting), votes not registered, vote not counted, easily hacked voting software, exit polls diverging crazily from “official” vote counts (when they previously were particularly accurate predictors of final outcomes), and more….

Fadiman is calm and cool in laying it all out — even when it comes to a clear ignoring of the facts by the elected representatives who should be doing something about it — but any concerned citizen should be outraged, particularly when it appears that any explanation that could encompass “mere” incompetence or random error must be discounted when all these “irregularities” invariably favor Republicans over Democrats — there doesn’t appear to be a single disputed election that was thrown to a Democratic (or, heaven forfend, a Green or Libertarian Party candidate); it’s always Republicans who benefit.

Of course, throwing elections is nothing new, a point the film doesn’t shy from making: what is new is the ease with which it is being done, the scale on which it is happening, and the so-far near-absolute apathy with which it is being greeted by the electorate. No one who gets their current events from sources other than the corporate media will be surprised by anything on offer here… so anyone to whom this is not news should consider himself obligated to show it to someone who will.

‘Stealing America: Vote by Vote’ is available to stream free at the film’s official site.

share and enjoy
If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.
If you haven’t commented here before, your first comment will be held for MaryAnn’s approval. This is an anti-spam, anti-troll measure. If you’re not a spammer or a troll, your comment will be approved, and all your future comments will post immediately.
notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
view all comments
Sun, Aug 03, 2008 10:50pm

Upton Sinclair wrote: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

I think this is true on a number of levels. No one wants to believe something that would turn their world view upside down. I’d go even further and say that the status quo depends on people participating in elaborate fictions and rituals of which electronic voting is now one.

Now when the status quo sucks for enough people, they might start taking things like charges of voting fraud seriously and overturn the status quo for a new one… a new fiction.

Having said all that… GObama!

Mon, Aug 04, 2008 5:42am

Now when the status quo sucks for enough people, they might start taking things like charges of voting fraud seriously and overturn the status quo for a new one… a new fiction.

The status is not quo.

Mon, Aug 04, 2008 7:50am

What we need is for the Democratic Party to grow a pair and challenge this in court if it happens again. And they should keep taking it to court every time, which is the best way to keep shoving the evidence in America’s face even if they lose in court.

Sat, Jun 20, 2009 1:36pm


…uh, where are the masses gone to Washington to protest Obamas “win”? Who says it wasn’t stolen?
Wheres the proof?
Let me help – the oil lobby snuggled their nefarious voting machines to Iran in hopes of inciting a for-profit civil war in the wake of honest and peaceful presidential elections.
And the Iranians chanting “Death to America” as I type thissurely don’t mean to see Obama harmed, just them evil for-profit oliogarchs.

But, no worries, the New Agers’ Messiah will fix it all. For free.