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With: Peter Coyote (narrator)
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Dorothy Fadiman
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 90
Date: 08/01/2008

Stealing America: Vote by Vote (2008)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Election Rejection

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Dorothy Fadiman's new documentary Stealing America: Vote by Vote works more like a jury trial than a work of journalism. It hurls a lot of ideas at you and hopes you'll be emotionally moved to the point of voting guilty. It's a bit shy on actual proof, or anyone to blame, but it does have a lot of intriguing numbers. It's perhaps the year's most canny piece of propaganda. Stealing America's biggest argument is that recent exit polls, which are taken by hand and in person after each person votes, have been radically different than the actual election results, which, in the last 10 years, have been tallied by computers. According to exit poll numbers, Al Gore and John Kerry should have won the 2000 and 2004 elections, respectively. (Experts agree: it's much easier to change computer votes than real votes.) The film's other talking points include the odd disinterest the media took in these off-kilter elections; it notes that the most accurate and probing reporting took place on "Comedy Central." Probably its biggest success is convincing people that election fraud is indeed possible (not just a conspiracy theory) and that a candidate or party that believes strongly enough in its own agenda will not see the problem in tampering with votes (the end justifies the means). Ultimately, Stealing America is not much of a movie; it uses extensive clips from television and lots of talking heads, tied together by nothing more than Peter Coyote's reassuring voice. But it soothes a sore spot, and it's very effective. The film also wants you to get up and do something yourself, starting by visiting the official website.

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