Stealing America: Vote by Vote (review)

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.

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