February 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

I Voted? | SLJ DVD Review

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redstarI Voted? 77 min. Dist. by Tugg Educational. 2016. $75. ISBN unavail.

DVD-IVotedGr 9 Up –Jason Grant Smith, a young independent filmmaker, asks, “Are we the country we think we are?” in this timely, provocative, and important exploration of America’s voting procedures. His initial interest in the unlikely primary victory of an unknown candidate for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina morphs into a general investigation of current voting systems, which are likely to be vulnerable to error and manipulation. The increasing use of touch-screen machines that have no paper backup and cannot be audited results in the possibility that voters may not know for whom they have voted. This prescient examination of the potential hacking of voting machines and the refusal of Congress to investigate the possibility of large-scale election fraud offers insight into the fragile nature of the election process. The personable narration and the use of archival images, amusing animation, and stimulating talking-head interviews make this film highly viewable and a valuable study of the most fundamental of our democratic rights. The serious topics discussed are offset with imaginative and humorous graphics and will be accessible and of interest to most high school students. VERDICT Highly recommended for use in classes concerned with American politics, current affairs, and history.–Eva Elisabeth VonAncken, formerly at Trinity-Pawling School, Pawling, NY

This review was published in the School Library Journal March 2017 issue.

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