We all know how toxic our elections are. Proponents of Ranked Choice Voting think this process can make our elections less negative, making campaigns focus more on coalition building and not slash and burn advertising.
As part of a documentary series AMERICAN SPRING: Grassroots Democracy , I went to Maine in 2018 where they had the first statewide Ranked Choice Voting election in the U.S.. I talked with voters, reporters, candidates and activists, combined that with expert interviews like 2-time Pulitzer Prize recipient Hedrick Smith, with the goal of giving viewers a succinct but comprehensive view of what RCV is.
The 10-minute short documentary will be released on the web and promoted to organizations seeking to educate voters on RCV. The project is in post-production. I hope to have a final version by the Spring of 2020. This will give voters in states where RCV will be on the ballot in November of 2020 ample opportunity to view the documentary.
AMERICAN SPRING (video link) will be a series of short documentaries, exploring the problem and solutions to reestablish our democratic republic in the digital age. From nuts and bolts election reforms (maybe RCV?) to reimagining our civic institutions, each 10-minute (or so) short will explore a reform designed to increase public trust or reduce hyper-polarization in a political system plagued by public corruption, digital propaganda and deteriorating institutions.
The first episode of the series has been released. Paid For By the People (video link), first explores the deadly impact big money in politics has, then looks at real solutions that are working today to end special interests funding elections. But the piece also outlines the road blocks ahead and only "We the People..." can stop special interests from buying our elected officials.
Donors can be very confident this short documentary will be made and distributed. I already released the first short documentary for the series and I've completed all the shooting and interviews for the RCV short entitled "Unspoiled Elections." In addition, I have a track record of producing a full feature documentary in the era of post-truth media and politics we currently live in. Here is the trailer and check out the website for DEMOCRACY THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS.
Funds will be used for post-production resources like editing time, improved graphics, music and lots of other little things that make good projects become great ones. Given this series deals with POLITICS and that is a touchy subject, many people ask me "what I am"...as in, "what angle do I take" or "am I liberal or conservative"? The liberal/conservative angle is silly in my mind (but I consider myself a liberal) as it does injustice to all the people--like myself--who are far more loyal to our democratic republic than being loyal to a faction within our system. Given that, my angle is to TRY and be agnostic about how something will impact the different factions. I'm trying to look at potential solutions to our current problems that prepare us for the digital age. I believe we are experiencing major societal transformation that will reset everything. And in 20 years what we call liberal or conservative today will be meaningless. That's the angle I'm coming from.
I hope you can support my efforts to produce informative, yet entertaining, content that examines our current problems and taps into a variety of activists and experts that may offer some solutions.
- Jon Hite
- James Cenci
- Suzanne Hagerty OBrien
- Bill Cook