The special election for the 1st Congressional District isn’t South Carolina’s only political topic at the moment.
Jason Grant Smith will be previewing “I Voted?,” his documentary on electronic voting machines, at three locations across the state beginning this weekend.
Arranged by the South Carolina Democratic Women’s Council, the showing schedule is:
- Sunday, May 5 in West Columbia
4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Conundrum Music Hall (626 Meeting St)
Moderated by Corey Hutchins of Columbia’s Free Times
- Tuesday, May 7 in Greenville
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Coffee Underground (1 E Coffee St)
Moderated by Journal Watchdog’s Charlie Sowell
- Thursday, May 9 in Charleston
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Gage Hall (4 Archdale St)
Moderated by Paul Bowers of Charleston City Paper
A Q&A session will follow the screening of select clips of “I Voted?” (See preview in left column.) There is no charge to attend at any location, but tax-deductible donations to aid completion of the documentary are welcome.
Actor/director Smith’s inspiration for the non-partisan film was the strange results of a 2010 South Carolina election.
In June of that year, a prominent and much-respected candidate lost the Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate to an unemployed Manning resident who was awaiting trial for obscenity charges.
“Obviously, something bizarre was taking place and I wanted to try and understand it,” Smith says.
Smith’s research led him on a track of untraceable voting results produced by electronic voting machines, which are used in 16 states.
“I had no idea that 24 percent of the country uses touch-screen systems that are paperless and cannot be audited or recounted,” he says.
Not just a historical recap, Smith hopes “I Voted?” can inspire correction to the most principle right of voting.
“We could change elections dramatically with a federal mandate for evidence-based elections, meaning elections that can be completely reconstructed utilizing a voter-marked, durable record of intent and risk-limiting audits.”
Helping Smith schedule the upcoming screenings is another Smith, activist Susan Smith of Pawley’s Island (no relation), who also helped the director make contacts with key persons during the production of the documentary.
Also booking these events was Chris Cherry, SCDWC’s Director of Communications.
The film is still under final production, and donations to aid its completion can be offered through its website.