7:15 pm | FREE sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Mid-Hudson Region | 1 hr 30 min | 2012 release | Documentary, Comedy, History | Post-film discussion on the Electoral College with Prof Joel Lefkowitz Phd of SUNY New Paltz Department of Political Science & International Relations
‘Electoral Dysfunction’ uses irreverent humor to illuminate how voting works – and doesn’t work – in America. Hosted by Mo Rocca (a Correspondent for CBS News, a panelist on NPR’s ‘Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!’ and a former Correspondent for ‘The Daily Show’), the film is structured as a road trip that begins when Mo makes an eye-opening discovery: The Constitution does not guarantee the right to vote, putting America in the company of Libya, Iran and Indonesia. Mo explores the battle over voter fraud and voter I.D.; searches for the Electoral College; critiques ballot design with Todd Oldham; and encounters experts and activists across the political spectrum who offer commentary on why our voting system is broken and how it can be fixed.
After making the eye-opening discovery that the right to vote is missing from the Constitution, Emmy-winning political humorist Mo Rocca sets out on a road trip to see how voting works — and doesn’t work — in America. A Correspondent for CBS News and veteran of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Mo heads to Indiana, home to some of the nation’s strictest election laws, and meets one Democrat and one Republican who take him inside their efforts to get out every vote. As he progresses on his road trip, Mo investigates the debate over Voter ID laws and voter fraud; explores the origins and present-day impact of the Electoral College; critiques ballots with renowned designer Todd Oldham; and examines the case of a former felon sentenced to ten years in prison — for the crime of voting. He also meets reformers who are working to make America’s voting system fairer and more transparent.
Described as “fascinating, fun, frightening, [and] enlightening” by NPR’s WBEZ Radio and by The New York Times as a film that “lives up to its title, exploring problems of nationwide accessibility and fairness,” ELECTORAL DYSFUNCTION has won numerous awards, including the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, the ABA’s highest honor for media projects that foster public understanding of the law. The film was produced, directed, and written by David Deschamps, Leslie D. Farrell, and Bennett Singer, whose collective credits include multiple Emmy, Peabody, and duPont-Columbia Awards.
The film had a dual premiere at the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions and was broadcast nationally on PBS; its cable premiere too place in the Fall of 2016 on the Pivot Network. Four short videos adapted from the film were featured in The New York Times Op-Docs series; a companion book, written by Victoria Bassetti and praised for being “delightfully provocative” by Publishers Weekly, was published by The New Press.
“A timely look at an important issue that’s getting more hotly contested every month…”–Hollywood Reporter
“Electoral Dysfunction pulls off an admirable trick … It treats Democrats and Republicans respectfully, and its humor, with the comic Mo Rocca as guide, is closer to Garrison Keillor than to Michael Moore … This lighthearted, colorful, nonpartisan documentary … lives up to its title, exploring problems of nationwide accessibility and fairness.” —David DeWitt, The New York Times
“Eye-opening and highly entertaining … If you have any sort of investment in this country, we recommend seeing Electoral Dysfunction.” —Mindy Bond, Flavorpill
“Engrossing and eye-opening … the movie has a charged, electric feel to it. Electoral Dysfunction is utter catnip for politicos and documentary film fans, but its attractive presentation and easygoing nature also make this important and instructive movie approachable for level-headed audiences of various political stripes.” —Brent Simon, Past President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association
“Fascinating, fun, frightening [and] enlightening” ~WBEZ Radio Chicago/NPR
“An irreverent look at voting … funny and insightful.” —WTSP-TV Tampa
“Electoral Dysfunction has a bit of everything — comedy, tragedy, farce. It’s educational, amusing and sometimes appalling…” —Montreal Gazette
“A stunning investigative work leading to a disquieting statement about the disparities of the American electoral system … a survival guide for the American getting ready to vote.”—Panorama-Cinema
“Rocca wryly, yet respectfully, follows the hard-driving efforts of Jennings County Democrat Mike Marshall and Ripley County Republican Dee Dee Benkie as the engaging opponents pull out the stops to help ensure their party’s win. It’s a generally fair and balanced snapshot of Tip O’Neill’s assertion, ‘All politics is local.’ … But it’s the shocking, follow-up news of Marshall’s 2011 grand jury indictment on 45 felony counts allegedly related to his voter registration work (he claims innocence and political witch‐hunting) that hammers home America’s red‐blue rancor and closes the film on a vital note of gravitas.” —Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times