Scary movie

Stealing America: Vote by Vote

REVIEW The scariest movie of 2008 so far is, quite possibly, Dorothy Fadiman's Stealing America: Vote by Vote, a stomach-turning look at election irregularities that stretch back as far as 1996, with a special emphasis on the über-fishy goings-on in Ohio circa 2004. A thorough array of charts, graphics, news clips (including, yes, some from The Daily Show), and credible talking heads examine the troubling facts: discrepancies between exit polls and actual vote tallies; suspicious situations involving voting machine software (including an interview with a computer expert who claims he was hired by Republicans to write a "vote-switching" program — oops, you just voted for George W. Bush!); inexcusably long lines at polling places; uncounted votes and purged voter lists; and the unwillingness of the mainstream media (and, according to the film, the John Kerry campaign) to seriously consider the anomalies to be the result of Republican fraudsters. Some twinkly uplift in the film's last moments suggest hope, or at least the hope of accountability, for future elections — but are paper ballots that can actually be hand-counted (and re-counted) a practical solution? Stern narrator Peter Coyote suggests there's more to it than that: "If this film does anything, it will make you take yourself, and your vote, and your country seriously enough to get engaged and go to work — and together, we'll take our country back." Let's just hope that vote you cast for change this November actually gets counted.

STEALING AMERICA: VOTE BY VOTE opens Fri/12 at Bay Area theaters.

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