Monday, June 16, 2008

"Hacking Democracy"

Following up my post yesterday on why we should be worried about our voting systems ...

Peter Ryley wrote to remind me of a first-rate documentary about this problem, "Hacking Democracy," that showed on HBO a year ago. It is available on DVD (see below), so if you haven't seen this documentary on TV already, try to watch the DVD version.

Yours for democracy,
Jeff Weintraub

(P.S. A necessary disclaimer & clarification. Unfortunately, the first item on the Hacking Democracy website is an announcement from January 2008 endorsing what, in my opinion, turned out to be a pseudo-scandal about vote-count irregularities in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. For people sensible enough to have forgotten what all that was about, some reminders are here & here & here. This is a distraction that, as far as I'm concerned, only gives the bad guys ammunition with which to evade & confuse the real issues ... so I wish they'd update the website to remove this item.)


The DVD of Hacking Democracy was released on March 27th 2007, and is available from Docurama. The DVD includes a number of extras including footage from Georgia and California never seen before. The extras chronicle some of the struggles that didn't make it into the final version but should be of interest to anyone interested in democracy.
Play the trailer
CLICK HERE to buy the DVD if you live in the US or Canada.

If you live outside the United States or Canada, then please e-mail us via the Contact Us page

Hacking Democracy was nominated for an 2007 EMMY' Award in the category OUTSTANDING INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM - LONG FORM

The full list of nominations for The 28th Annual Emmy Awards for News & Documentary can be seen here, and the winners are here

The Documentary

The documentary, first broadcast on HBO throughout November & December 2006, exposes the dangers of voting machines used during America's mid term and presidential elections. Electronic voting machines count approximately 90% of America's votes in county, state and federal elections. The technology is also increasingly being used across the world, including in Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and Latin America. Filmed over three years this expos' follows the investigations of a team of citizen activists and hackers as they take on the electronic voting industry, targeting the Diebold corporation.

"Hacking Democracy" uncovers incendiary evidence from the trash cans of Texas to the ballot boxes of Ohio, exposing secrecy, votes in the trash, hackable software and election officials rigging the presidential recount.

Ultimately proving our votes can be stolen without a trace "Hacking Democracy" culminates in the famous 'Hursti Hack'; a duel between the Diebold voting machines and a computer hacker from Finland - with America's democracy at stake.

"Hacking Democracy" was Executive Produced by Sarah Teale & Sian Edwards of Teale-Edwards Productions LLC