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Charging Bush With Stealing the 2004 Election

The oddest fact thrown into the mix here involves vote switching. Some voters interviewed here claim they pushed the button to select Sen. Kerry, but the electronic voting machines lit up the Pres. Bush button instead. It's unclear whether these voters could switch back to Sen. Kerry once they noticed the mistake.

What's more curious is that these switcheroos worked in Pres. Bush's favor in 12 out of every 13 cases, according to the film.

Much of the material presented here was excavated by bloggers and Internet-based journalists. It's unfair to paint these bloggers as fantastical partisans, given the yeoman work so many bloggers perform today on the political scene.

But the filmmakers failed to ask some key questions that would have broadened the documentary's focus -- and audience.

Why, exactly, did the mainstream media fail to follow up on possible voter fraud on the grandest scale? It's a story that would have made Watergate look like a cherry bomb going off in a high school bathroom.

Director Dorothy Fadiman and her crew don't ask the major news outlets that question. Did they fear the answer? Or did they not want their polemic watered down in any fashion?

Better yet, why didn't Sen. Kerry pursue the matter with more vigor?

Stealing America is methodical in its storytelling, and some of its talking heads have incredible stories to tell -- stories that seem hard to shake off as fiction. One computer programmer tells how a politician asked him to create software that would corrupt a voting machine, which he does without breaking a sweat. The man's testimony here is compelling, and it certainly gives audiences a fright about the vulnerability of the electronic system.

The film deserves points for coming up with some solutions to what it sees as major voting irregularities. Let's go back to paper ballots, an old school approach that at least is less hack-proof than computerized machines. And it's infinitely easier to track.

Stealing America: Vote by Vote says our recent elections have been compromised, and every time it's the Republicans who benefited from the changes.

It's a message that will scare off many right-leaning movie goers, but there's too much evidence lined up here to cast the film aside as merely a partisan witch hunt.