’Uncounted’ reveals missing voting truths
By Ramsey Cox. Sun, Jun 1, 2008
Voters in Democratic-leaning precincts across the country that were disenfranchised in the 2004 and 2006 elections might be again in 2008, according to the documentary film, "Uncounted."
The film's director, David Earnhardt, said his documentary exposed the problems of racially based voter suppression and intimidation, under-voting and electronic voting security problems. He interviewed politicians, voters, journalists and electronic voting machine workers.
"College students should care because of the transient nature of college students," Earnhardt said. "They are a demographic highly affected by confusing registration rules as well as Election Day shenanigans like improper voter registration purges and last-minute precinct changes."
Voting fraud is not a new issue in American society, but electronic voting machines have made it easier because of the lack of a paper trail.
"Ironically, the most serious form of voter fraud tends to operate in legal ways," said Burdett Loomis, professor of political science. "That is, the systematic purging of many folks from the voting rolls [cage voting] Loomis also said strict voter identification laws disenfranchised poor and elderly voters.
The film also blames mainstream media networks for not reporting on the discrepancies between the 2004 presidential election exit polls and the actual votes cast. The documentary said that voter fraud was why President Bush won in states like Ohio and New Mexico in 2004.
"Election manipulation rarely even makes a top ten issues list," Earnhardt said. "But think about it, if your vote doesn't count, then nothing else really matters."
Films for Action, a group started two years ago by former KU students, is hosting the event. The group 's goal is to promote films not normally recognized by mainstream media.
"We started Films for Action mostly because we were exploring and investigating documentaries and found a lot that people aren't exposed to," said Matt Taplikar, co-founder of Films for Action and University alum.
Although hacking into electronic voting machines was not the only form of voter fraud, states such as Tennessee have passed legislation banning the use of them and would return to paper ballots. Most of the laws were not passed in time to affect the 2008 presidential elections.
"If anyone is interested in the 2008 elections they should see this film because nothing has really changed and it could happen again," said Tim Hjersted, co-founder of Films for Action. "They've definitely perfected the art of election rigging."
"Uncounted" will be shown Monday at 7 p.m. at Liberty Hall . Admission is $3.