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Must-see: HBO's 'Hacking Democracy'

I know that watching this is going to make me start throwing things and get an ulcer, but I’ve already got the DVR set to record HBO’s Hacking Democracy, which begins airing tomorrow night, November 2 at 9 PM. Filmmakers Simon Ardizzone, Robert Carrillo Cohen and Russell Michaels spent three years working on the film.

Brad Friedman of The Brad Blog is the place to go regarding election shenanigans, and he has seen the documentary and reviews it for ComputerWorld. A snippet:

If HBO’s new documentary gets even a fraction of the eyeballs it deserves, it’s hard to see how it could miss having a profound effect on the electoral process.

Then again, with the overwhelming evidence already available, it’s unimaginable that next week we will actually be heading to polling places nationwide where more than 80% of America’s votes will be tabulated by hackable, inaccurate, unreliable electronic voting machines using 100% secret software to record and tabulate our votes.

..Setting a tone of partisan dread early in the film are the fruits of a Dumpster dive early in the film outside the McKinney, Texas, headquarters of Diebold Election Systems Inc., where BBV’s Harris discovers a line item and unexplained accounts receivable from the “8th District, Republican Committee.” But another segment reveals a Republican candidate from Louisiana going from touch-screen machine to touch-screen machine in the bowels of a county elections warehouse demonstrating that on each one, her attempts to vote for herself result in a vote registered at the bottom of the screen for her opponent. That e-voting is not a partisan issue is one of the film’s most powerful messages, counteracting one of the false and divisive impressions defenders of these indefensible machines have put forth.

And it’s the reason that everyone who has access to HBO should get the word out to folks before the election — people need to monitor what’s going on at their polling places. BTW, the NAACP plans to monitor elections in 10 states.

Brad has a follow-up post at his pad about Diebold’s screeching over this documentary. The wrecking-ball-of-democracy vendor put out an unhinged, inaccurate release. Brad:

Diebold seems to be embarrassing itself yet again by issuing a statement calling for HBO to pull the documentary, or at least run disclaimers before, after and throughout the film. I’ve seen it. If I were them, I’d try to do everything I could to keep America from seeing the film, as well.

“Truth and accurate reporting are the biggest casualties of the film,” Diebold Election System President David Byrd is quoted as saying in the media release.

But ironically, as The Hollywood Reporter is reporting tonight, Byrd has not only never seen the film, but his claims that the film is “Riddled With Errors and Slipshod Reporting” apparently refer to a completely different film!

You have to read the rest of Brad’s post. David Byrd of Diebold must have been experiencing hallucinations when he wrote that release.

Here’s a preview of the film that has Diebold wetting its diapers (via Brad; HBO’s site also has a clip):


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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding