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Laramie Movie Scope:
Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election

Dirty tricks in the Florida vote

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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October 27, 2004 -- This political documentary is similar to others being circulated this year in advance of the 2004 presidential election. The difference is, this one is slicker, better-documented and more convincing than most. It covers some of the same ground on this subject as “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “Counting on Democracy” and “Bush Family Fortunes: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.” It features some of the same news footage, including a memorable confrontation between a senior Florida election official and BBC journalist Greg Palast.

The film documents the abuses that took place in the 2000 Florida presidential election, including the purging of thousands of Democratic voters names from voting lists, and the counting of hundreds of illegal Republican ballots which had been sent in after the voting deadline, conflicts of interest on the Supreme Court, interference with vote tabulations by Republican Congressional Staffers from Washington and lots of other actions that were patently dishonest or illegal. In addition to file footage, the film features interviews with disenfranchised voters and various political commentators, such as Alan M. Dershowitz and Vincent Bugliosi. The film is narrated by actor Peter Coyote.

In addition to all the stuff about voting fraud, there is a troubling post-script about possible abuses of new touch-screen voting machines. This is a film that every voter should see. Policy decisions need to be made now to ensure the integrity of voting in the future. There need to be reforms, such as a policy requiring touch-screen systems to produce paper ballots, so there is a physical voting record for recounts in case of election fraud. No matter what political party you belong to, the possibility exists that your vote may not count unless reforms are enacted.

The film also includes a discussion about the extreme anger of black voters in Florida which has energized them in the current presidential race. One of the chief villains in the film is former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. She played a key role in stopping the counting of thousands of ballots to ensure a Bush victory. The film argues that if those uncounted ballots had been counted, Gore would have won the election. Eventually, the counting of ballots was stopped by a nakedly partisan U.S. Supreme Court, running roughshod over state's rights. So what happened to Katherine Harris? What was her political reward for handing Bush the election? She is now serving in the U.S. Congress. Yesterday, a man tried to run her down with his car. Obviously, some voters are still mad at Harris. This could get really ugly next Tuesday.

There are several political documentaries about this disgusting piece of American history. This film is the best, most comprehensive, most well-documented film of the current crop. It rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2004 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)