Vote by Vote
Dorothy's Making of
I was among a group of volunteers who flew from California to South Florida to be an observer at the polls during the 2004 Presidential Election. As voters came out of the booths, many reported that when they tried to vote for John Kerry, their votes were flipping, on the touch screens, from Kerry to George Bush.
I wondered if this was an isolated phenomenon. On the plane back to California, other volunteers reported the same pattern, voters complaining that their votes would "flip" in one direction, from Kerry to Bush.
I began to investigate and found that votes for President were being switched, visibly on the touch screens, mainly in one direction from Kerry to Bush in at least 13 states. And, the mainstream media, to this day, never once reported the phenomenon. I decided to make a film about this unreported election anomaly. Through background research, I discovered dozens of other serious problems across the country during that election. I found that virtually all of the problems (exceptionally long waits (up to 12 hours), unequal distribution of voting machines, names of registered voters not being on the rolls, etc.) were concentrated in low-income neighborhoods or liberal college campuses and other heavily Democratic precincts.
I then expanded my research, speaking with experts on subjects ranging from the complexities of electronic voting to historic voting patterns across the nation. As a result of this work, the film focuses on voting rights and the ongoing disenfranchisement of low-income voters and minorities, groups clearly being targeted to make voting more difficult or impossible.
"...this tersely sobering documentary mounts
its case with hardheaded numerical logic."
"...no recent film comes closer to showing the horrifying potential glitches in the electoral process. A must-see for anyone interested in the future of democracy and the ugly truth behind voting irregularities."
"Critically important movie that puts a stake through the heart of any advocate of electronic voting"
"The thought that someone—anyone--in the United States of America might tamper with something as fundamental to democracy as the counting of votes simply wasn’t in my universe of thought...After watching Stealing America: Vote by Vote, I’ve changed my mind."
SCOOP INDEPENDENT NEWS
"...persuasive documentary...makes the point that rigged elections are antithetical to everything this country stands for."
"....'Stealing' will send you out of the theater terrified for the future of democracy in America."
"Stealing America: Vote by Vote does for American democracy what An Inconvenient Truth did for global warming."
FILM JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL
"Filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman has compiled a withering case against allowing computerized voting systems -- easy to manipulate and hard to police -- to take over our election process. In most places, of course, they already have.”
STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote brings together behind-the-scenes perspectives from key races in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2008, with a focus on the U.S. presidential election of 2004. Startling stories from the film shed light on more than a decade of vote counts that don't match votes cast – uncounted ballots, vote switching, undervotes and many other examples of election totals that warrant serious investigation.
Throughout STEALING AMERICA, we hear from voters who experienced a wide range of problems, including those whose votes flipped from one candidate to another and some whose polls didn't have enough machines to serve the number of voters. Investigative journalists describe how their reportage on election fraud was ignored. First-person citizen testimonies speak of waiting in line nine hours to vote. We hear how polling experts' requests for essential information – such as precinct voting data necessary to examine irregularities – was rejected, while ballots were being systematically destroyed, making audits impossible. The bottomline message of the film is for voters to beware, be aware, to be informed and to take responsibility for what happens.