“Cheated!” draws from video and photographs to illustrate the story of the courageous citizens of Columbus, Ohio, who investigated and litigated against the massive voter suppression and fraud they experienced on Election Day, November 2, 2004. Because these hardy patriots refused to concede, they ignited a Voting Rights movement that spread like wildfire across the grassroots of America.
We begin on Election Day, November 2nd, in urban Columbus. Rain pours on unbelievably long lines of citizens at the polls determined to vote for change. There’s mass confusion as voters discover they’ve been struck from the poll books. Machines are malfunctioning; some are hopping from Kerry to Bush. Frustrated voters are forced to leave for work and family, their votes uncast. Precinct judges beg for more voting machines, but find that Franklin County Board of Elections Director Matt Damshroder and Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell are unreachable - tied up in meetings with George Bush and Karl Rove. Election Protection attorney Bob Fitrakis, Reverend Bill Moss with his wife Ruth, filmmaker Linda and college student Marlon witness the chaos. Something is terribly wrong. Here is where the White House will be won for John Kerry or George Bush. . . but the people aren’t getting to vote.