Executive Producer Earl Katz and Public Interest Pictures' are proud to announce that HACKING DEMOCRACY, a documentary that exposes gaping holes in the security of America's electronic voting system, will debut on HBO THURSDAY, NOV. 2 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT) less than a week before the midterm elections.
From a current congressional hearing to persistent media reports that suggest misuse of data and even outright fraud, concerns over the integrity of electronic voting continue to grow daily. And if our voting process is not secure, neither is America's democracy.
In 2002, Seattle grandmother and writer Bev Harris asked officials in her county why they had acquired electronic touch screen systems for their elections. Unsatisfied with their explanation, she set out to learn about electronic voting machines on her own. In the course of her research, she unearthed hundreds of reported incidents of mishandled voting information. Harris also discovered a treasure trove of information about the inner-workings of Diebold Corporation's voting system.
Diebold software, or other software like it, is installed in thousands of counties across 32 states. In Florida, Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho presided over a trial "mini-election" to see if the Diebold system could be hacked without being detected. Computer analyst Harri Hursti "stuffed the ballot box" by entering votes on the computer's memory card and proved that by accessing a memory card before an election, someone could change the results a claim Diebold had denied was possible.
HACKING DEMOCRACY features interviews with other computer-science experts, politicians and activists, among them: Andy Stephenson, candidate for secretary of state in Washington state; Susan Bernecker, Republican candidate in New Orleans; Kathleen Wynne, an activist from Cleveland; and Hugh Thompson, director, Security Innovations, Inc. Academics, public officials and others seen in interview footage include: Deanie Low, supervisor of elections, Volusia County, Fla.; Mark Radke, marketing director of Diebold; David Cobb, presidential candidate, Green Party; Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones of Ohio; and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California.
Ultimately, HACKING DEMOCRACY proves that the top-secret computerized systems counting the votes in America's public elections are not only fallible, but also vulnerable to undetectable hacking, from local school board contests to the presidential race. With the electronic voting machines of three companies Diebold, ESS and Sequoia collectively responsible for around 80 percent of America's votes today, the stakes for democracy are high.
Earl Katz first became involved with electronic voting in 2003 when Thom Hartmann turned him onto the issue. Since then, Earl has e-mailed and discussed the issue with all the opinion makers he knew until they recognized and understood the dangers of e-voting. In person, he was the first to brief numerous opinion makers and heads of organizations about e-voting, including his wife Marge Tabankin, Barbara Boxer, Al Gore, John Kerry, Terry McAuliffe, Stan Greenberg, John Podesta (Center For American Progress), Howard Dean, Chuck Lewis, (Center of American Progress), Bob Borosage (Campaign For America ¹s Future), Ralph Neas (President, People For The American Way), Norman and Lyn Lear, Barbra Streisand, Tom Hayden, Don Hazen (Alternet), Greg Palast, Jesse Jackson, Mark Karlin (Buzzflash), Arianna
Huffington, Chellie Pingree (Common Cause), Robert Greenwald, leaders of the Libertarian party, and more. Heinformed and educated the entire Hollywood Progressive and entertainment communities, the Washington Progressive Community, numerous progressive foundations, news and op-ed columnists and publicists.
Earl Katz is the founder and executive director of Public Interest Pictures (PIP). He is Executive Producer of PIP's other documentaries: Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election (which had its worldwide premiere at Cannes) and Unconstitutional: The War On Our Civil Liberties. Since 1970, when he left the corporate world, all of Earl's documentaries have been used as fundraising and organizing tools to empower grass roots organizations. While his films enjoy theatrical release and TV broadcast at home and abroad, Earl's documentaries are an adjunct to his career as a political, social justice and environmental activist. He has led several national and international peace and environmental initiatives, many under the aegis of Fellowship of Reconciliation. Earl serves on numerous boards including Bioneers, Independent World Television, Earth Communications Office, and Free Speech TV.
Other HBO playdates: Nov. 5 (9:00 a.m.), 7 (9:00 a.m., 6:30 p.m.), 13 (12:30 p.m., 10:00 p.m.), 18 (6:00 p.m.) and 26 (1:15 a.m.). HBO2 playdates: Nov. 4 (noon), 7 (11:45 p.m.), 10 (6:30 p.m.) and 15 (3:00 a.m.).