By the time the next issue of this rag hits the streets, the seemingly interminable campaign to elect America's next president will be over. We hope. After all, it took one month and the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the outcome in 2000.
It was, in fact, that controversial decision and the circumstances leading to it that inspired documentary filmmaker Katy Chevigny and 14 film crews to make Election Day for the excellent Public Broadcasting series P.O.V.
The documentary looks at events on Election Day 2004 in 11 places across the country, including Dearborn.
The good news is that the cameras captured much evidence of an America where citizens remain passionate about exercising their right to vote. "The bad news," however, as a blurb publicizing the film notes, "is that close scrutiny of American elections finds a surprisingly antiquated system, which often works as much to frustrate voter participation as to encourage it and which harbors wide disparities in access between rich and poor neighborhoods. The presence of international observers suddenly seems not so out-of-place when one observer finds confusion and two-hour waits in St. Louis' poor, predominately black precincts while wealthier white neighborhoods have smoothly operating polling places."
To read more about efforts to promote voting rights this time around, see our story "Election Protection" on Page 10. But, if you are looking for something to do on Saturday, Nov. 1, head on over to the Madame Cadillac Building at Marygrove College (8425 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit), where the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights and the Michigan State Council of Senior Citizens will be offering a free screening of Election Day and a panel discussion that promises to provide "everything you need to know before you go to the polls" on Nov. 4. The fun starts at 2 p.m. Call 313-579-9071 or 313-549-8992 for info.