Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Steal This Vote

Americans cherish their right to vote, a right they often say people have fought and died for. One could question, as historian Howard Zinn does, the power of the ballot box — whether it makes a difference if the “peace candidate” or the “war candidate” is elected, when the result is usually war anyway. But the ballot box represents something fundamental in American society — the only means most citizens have of participating in their government.

And so, the issues of vote fraud and massive disenfranchisement that became grotesquely obvious in the elections of 2000 and 2004 (and also present in the 2006 midterms) strike at the heart of American democracy.

Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections, an exceptional new documentary by David Earnhardt, explores these issues in considerable detail: the mysterious undervotes, in which voters stood in line for hours just to not cast a vote for President; bizarrely “wrong” exit polls; hackable voting machines made by the Republican loyalist private company Diebold; “Jim Crow” voter suppression; uncounted provisional ballots; and a rogue’s gallery of party apparatchiks including Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris.

See this film to learn how easy it is to program a voting machine to “switch” votes from one party's candidate to the opponent. Whatever you think about the major parties, the stakes are high in this game, and guess what, the game is rigged. And we, the citizens, are the losers.

For more on this important and maddening issue, Read Greg Palast's book Armed Madhouse, and visit the Uncounted website for information on screenings.

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