Roll-in-Reel for the documentary "None of the Above," which takes a look at non-voters. Includes interviews with non-voters across the country on or around election day 1996.
00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with color bars and a countdown.
01:06Copy video clip URL Cut to an interview with Political Consultant David Axlerod. He talks about the lack of research and data on non voters in the country. “We don’t have much of a dialogue with self professed non voters…they’re just not part of the equation.”
00:28Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of the Bowser family in Morro Bay, CA. In the early dawn, the Bowsers, Michael and Holly, along with their three children, try to catch a couple of fish before daybreak. In this segment, we listen to Michael and Holly Bowser profess their discontent for politics, the voting process, and government in general. “I believe what they told us in the ’60s, drop out the system… I don’t want to know them, I don’t want them to know where I am, I don’t register to vote because they get a lot of mailing lists off of that list,” Michael says while cooking dinner. “I really don’t think my vote counts at all,” Holly says. The two go on to talk about some of their family struggles, their temporary dependence on government assistance, and their hopes for the future. This lasts for several minutes.
08:06Copy video clip URL Dissolve into footage from a County Fair in Morro Bay. Holly participates in a pie eating contest. Holly then talks about the safety of the neighborhood her family lives in. Michael and Holly continue to share their views on voting before the segment ends.
09:57Copy video clip URL Dissolve into a segment on South Africans gaining the right to vote in 1996. Proud citizens share their joy as they make their way to the polls, some having traveled far distances to do so.
12:07Copy video clip URL Cut back to a shot of Michael Bowser sitting at his kitchen table over a glass of wine. He states that there is nothing worth voting for in this country. Holly states that her vote doesn’t carry enough influence and that is doesn’t “really count.” Michael talks about his free spirited life before marriage. Holly also talks about how marriage brought Michael down to earth. Holly then talks about an abusive relationship she had been in before she met Michael. There was also some suspicion of child molestation on the part of her former partner. They continue to talk about more of their family struggles for several minutes.
17:17Copy video clip URL Cut to a John Leguizamo music video for Rock the Vote. Adorned in American flag apparel, Leguizamo sings about the importance of voting. “Black, Latin, straight or gay, if you don’t vote you can’t complain.”
17:47Copy video clip URL Linda Chavez-Thompson, Executive V.P. AFL-CIO, talks about the importance in attracting people to vote.
18:05Copy video clip URL Michael states that politicians are not in his social or economic strata and expresses his resentment for their asking for his vote. Holly states that she would put a black woman in office to “smooth things out a little better.” She also states that if the government were to do away with welfare, it might benefit her in the long run. “They can do away with welfare maybe it would be a benefit to me.” As a convicted felon, Michael Bowser cannot vote. He expresses his advocacy for legalizing drugs. We go on to see Michael out at the shooting range. He briefly talks about his views on gun control. At the end of the segment, the Bowsers are asked whether they want their children to vote when they are of legal age. They both state that the decision is up to their children.
22:10Copy video clip URL Cut to a street interview with a Chicago Police Officer. He emphasizes the importance in voting and states that those who don’t vote can’t complain about the aftermath. An African-American family talks about their not getting a chance to vote in this election. They apparently went to the wrong polling place, but weren’t told where they could go to vote instead. A young white man cites apathy as his main reason for not voting. “I think if people are looking to politicians for their answers, well they’re in the wrong place.”
24:37Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of non voter Gene Tencza as he shows the videomakers around his farm in Orange, Massachusetts. Tencza talks about his reasons for not voting. “I never decided not to vote, I just never decided to vote… I feel that it ought to be left to the real people that are really interested in participating rather than me. I’m pretty much happy with the way it is.” Tenzca also talks about his love for history as well. He also reminisces about being a fan of Dwight D. Eisenhower as a child.
29:02Copy video clip URL Cut to an “I like Ike” 1952 Cartoon TV spot. Tenzca continues to talk about his love for history.
30:55Copy video clip URL Prof. John McKnight of Northwestern University talks about the American population’s consistent decreased trust in large institutional leaders after WWII.
32:09Copy video clip URL Joel, a tattoo artist from Allentown, PA, states that, “Politics sucks.” Being completely turned off by the political process, Joel expresses his anger over the lack of access to politicians and the political world. “As far as I’m concerned it’s all red tape and bullshit.” When asked if he would run for president he says, “Never, they don’t pay enough.”
33:49Copy video clip URL Cut back to footage with Gene Tenzca in Orange, Mass. We follow Tencza to his workplace. Tenzca is a toolmaker. Fellow colleague of Tenzca, Ken Haenisch, talks about the importance of voting. “I spent a year in Vietnam so we have a right to vote. I believe in it strong.” The two debate over the right to vote. We eventually cut back to comments made by Professor McKnight.
38:24Copy video clip URL Author and Professor Frances Fox Piven briefly talks about the meaning of voting.
39:19Copy video clip URL Cut to footage from the 1996 Democratic National Convention at the United Center in Chicago. We speak with employee Michael Johnson about his views on voting. Michael has never voted because he doesn’t feel that there is anything worth voting for. He talks about the importance job proliferation and neighborhood improvement. We travel with Michael as he spends time with his children and plays a little bit of basketball. Michael states that he’d be a Democrat rather than a Republican if he were involved in the political process. He says that Jesse Jackson would’ve been a “nice President.” He also makes a very interesting point about the current political landscape. “Some Democrats seem to be Republicans. Some Republicans seem to be for the people, you know. It’s hard to tell now. You got a donkey with an elephant nose.” Professor Piven also talks about what she calls the “twiddily dee twiddily dumb party system.” We then continue to see Johnson at work and with his family.
45:43Copy video clip URL Cut to a “ROCK THE VOTE” promo featuring hip hop artist Coolio. Afterward, we continue to spend time with Johnson in his neighborhood as he commutes home from work. We also visit his old neighborhood, Cabrini Green. Michael talks about his working only part time and the lack of benefits. We also watch as Michael celebrates his daughter’s birthday with her.
53:22Copy video clip URL Political columnist Molly Ivins talks about government influence in the country and how it affects American lives. We cut back to Michael who talks about his past gang and drug involvement. This lasts for several minutes.
58:25Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of New York college student Giovanna, who talks about her lack of involvement in the political process. We learn about her interests in acting and exercise. We also see her at work as a waitress.
01:05:10Copy video clip URL Cut to a “This is Lush” ROCK THE VOTE segment. We continue to spend time with Giovanna as she performs in a dress rehearsal for an upcoming theater production. She shares her thoughts on the political process and states that never really liked politics. “I don’t really care who wins or loses at all. From president to president I haven’t seen much of a difference. … Every time there’s a new president, I hope that something’s going to change.”
01:09:30Copy video clip URL George Carlin comments on the American experience. This is followed by comments from Professor McKnight and a Rock the Vote Promo featuring Joan Osborne.
01:10:44Copy video clip URL Cut to footage from a KKK rally in Portage, Indiana in May 1996. Steve Bowers talks about the political process and refers to it as a “joke.” We also speak with a few other rally attendees about their involvement in politics.
01:12:56Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of Frank RePass in front of his home in New Orleans, LA. We learn about Frank, his family, his job, and his views on voting. In his living room, RePass shares his reasons for not voting, but emphasizes that he cares about his community and country. His wife, Cindy RePass, talks about the safety issues that come along with living in the city.
01:16:34Copy video clip URL Frank highlights four basic reasons why he chooses not to vote. He goes on to say that he doesn’t vote because he dislikes the people that run for office and that they rarely state the truth about the issues. Cindy RePass talks about why she is Republican.
01:21:07Copy video clip URL Frank plays street chess with his friend and fellow chess player Harold in downtown New Orleans. Cindy and Frank talk about their religion, hobbies, and marriage. We watch as the family attends Sunday morning Mass. We also travel with Frank to his law office in downtown New Orleans. Frank continues to talk about his life and political views. This lasts for the remainder of the tape.
01:26:30Copy video clip URL Tape ends.