Though not a particularly artful documentary, Hacking Democracy is, nonetheless, an important story. By now, most of us are familiar with allegations of voting improprieties in various swing states, but in the face of far drearier American policy failures, have likely not looked too hard beyond the headlines. Well, sadly, it would seem that yet another fundamental aspect of American society is at a breaking point.
Following the crusade of Bev Harris (who is repeatedly and uncharitably referred to as “grandmotherly”) as she seeks to discredit electronic voting machine manufacturer Diebold, the film leaves little doubt as to the severity of the problem. From the ease with which Harris demonstrates the system can be hacked, to the lengths Diebold will go to avoid transparency, to the furtive incompetence of election officials, it becomes clear that the cornerstone of American democracy, the vote, is in deep, deep trouble. Despite the lousy soundtrack, irritating voice over and occasionally leading set-ups, Hacking Democracy is one more in a deluge of compelling homegrown docs that bear witness to what we’ve lost.
The scenes they left out? Good call.
More depressing evidence for the last days of democracy.