By Brad Friedman on 3/25/2007, 11:22pm PT  

{Ed Note: All of the signed DVD premiums we had available have now been spoken for. They will soon be on their way to the folks who got in in time. Thanks to all for the support!}

The tremendous, if extraordinarily disturbing, HBO documentary Hacking Democracy is finally being released on DVD this week. I reviewed the film for ComputerWorld, just before its premier in the days prior to the November 2006 election --and just after Diebold's inane and embarrassing attempt to try and force HBO into not letting America see it. (Sorry Diebold, you lost, get over it, move on, fix your shitty voting machines, then throw 'em out, we don't want 'em.)

If you've been living in a cave, or in San Diego, the landmark film is the harrowing detective tale of Election Integrity advocates around the country, including the crew at BlackBoxVoting.org, which eventually leads to the now-landmark Harri Hursti hack of a Diebold system in Leon County, FL, in December of 2005. The hack heard round the world completely flipped a mock election without a trace being left behind. All told in before-your-very-eyes documentary footage as the sometimes hilarious, always terrifying (at least to Democracy-lovers) events unravel.

With the release of the DVD version, the filmmakers Simon Ardizzone, Robert Carrillo Cohen, and Russell Michaels, have been kind enough to hand sign a limited number of copies for premiums to BRAD BLOG supporters! For a donation of $50 or more, we'll ship one out to you ASAP! First come, first served, so click fast (and I'll update this item when we've run out).

The NY Times' review of Hacking Democracy called it "disturbing stuff," and went on to say, "it's not shocked-shocked you feel watching this; it's genuine shock." Well, little wonder they were shocked. They ignored the issue for years on end, referring to it as "the conspiracy theories of leftwing bloggers" until the story showed up on their doorstep in movie form. But don't get me started.

No doubt the still-largely-clueless Times would be shocked again by some of the DVD Extras footage including scenes deleted from the original airing. Never-before-seen segments on the DVD include...

  • Footage from America's first county to use touch-screen voting, Riverside County, California (yes, that's Jeff "1000 to 1" Stone country), reveals then-Registrar of Voters Mischelle Townsend telling us that "Electronic touch-screen ballots are 100% accurate. We've not seen a single example in which their accuracy can be disputed." (BTW, breaking news for you folks in San Diego! Townsend has now been pulled out of mothballs to serve as your interim Registrar in the wake of the recent promotion of the horrendous Mikel "sleepover" Haas! Check out this DVD to see what you're in for! You thought Busby/Bilbray was bad? You ain't seen nothin' yet!)
  • A scene in which Diebold's voting machines quite literally melted down in the July heat of Cynthia McKinney's 2004 primary in an elementary school polling place without air conditioning in Atlanta, Georgia. The machines broke down at 1pm. By 5pm, no technicians had shown up...but the police finally did, for some odd reason.
  • In Glades County, Florida, there's a hilarious scene at the Election Supervisor's office which includes Black Box Voting's Bev Harris on a chair, with binoculars, peering over a partition, trying to watch the supervisor accessing the county's central tabulator during one of their Public Records Request retrievals. The supervisor can't remember the password to get into the system. The BBV folks make it easy for them.

All in all, if you haven't seen this film, now's a great chance to do so, get yourself a collector's item, and help The BRAD BLOG, all in one swell foop! What more could you ask? But you'll have to act quickly; as mentioned, we've only got a few signed copies for ya!