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Grade: BUncounted: The New Math of American Elections (2008)

Director: David Earnhardt

Stars: George W. Bush, John Kerry

Release Company: Earnhardt Pirkle

MPAA Rating: NR

 

David Earnhardt: Uncounted

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President Bush Speaks in Favor of Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Van Hilleary
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Voting corruption is hardly a new topic; after all, JFK would have never been elected President without a number of dead Chicagoans ushered to the polls by the Daley machine in 1960. I've seen an example up close and personal—a local school board election, where a friend of the incumbent board president actually flipped all the votes from the most populous precinct to grant an apparent victory to the old board members (fortunately overturned when our parent/teacher coalition cried "foul play" to the county). Nationally, the most infamous recent case draws us to the 2000 Presidential election and the role that Florida played in mocking democratic ideals of justice and fair play.

If we thought the debacles that played out in Florida—the hanging chads, mangled recount process, and partisan U.S. Supreme Court decision crowning George W. Bush as President. But just when we thought that such Third World election stealing could never take place again on U.S. soil, the 2004 election brought even more suspicions of fraud. After scientifically conducted exit polls early on had declared John Kerry the eventual winner, the official voting tallies amazingly told a different story and widespread minority disenfranchisement presented President Bush Ohio's electoral votes and the election. This is now documented in David Earnhardt's Uncounted.

Driven by a relentless conspiracy theory about the inherently flawed election system that has suddenly gone berserk in the digital age, Uncounted plows through shocking evidence of a system gone awry. The idea that the U.S. attempt to construct a legitimate Democracy in the Middle East seems ludicrous, given its inherently flawed voting system. Through archive footage, interviews, and graphical inserts Earnhardt makes his case and provokes questions that cannot be ignored. How can any government allow the kind of abuses cited here? Ohio voters wait interminable hours to vote on one of the few machines allotted their district (some over 12 hours) while others find that they've been purged from the list despite having voted in the Presidential Primary.

Even more sinister is the presence of Akron, Ohio based Diebold, Inc., who loom like Sith lords with their electronic voting machines. A leader in touch-screen voting technology, Diebold offers swift efficient voting but without a paper trail for tracking. In reputable hands, this may not call for great alarm, but Uncounted reveals that the heavily Republican biases of the business certainly call their practices into question. Easily hacked, their software has been "upgraded" without state approval just before elections and can easily be programmed to gerrymander the results. Given the example of one Ohio district of some 600 voters who mysteriously cast over 4,000 votes for George W. Bush, Earnhard makes his point over and over and over during the film’s 81 running minutes.

Like many educational documentaries, Uncounted doesn't rank among the most entertaining films you'll see; however, the subject matter alone makes for riveting viewing. The horrors chronicled are devastating and strike a major blow at the integrity of the American political system, and hopefully government officials can be inspired to counter these diabolical acts before we suffer another flawed election next month. We can't afford another stolen election this time around, and it's not just the U.S. that needs true democracy to emerge once again. The entire planet does!

 


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