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Current Topic: Elections

Rolling Down the Highway, Looking Out for Flawed Elections
Topic: Elections 10:06 am EDT, Aug  8, 2004

Bev Harris's visit to Mohave County was part of a monthlong trip in which she and her deputy, Andy Stephenson, traveled to 10 states, investigating flaws in electronic voting and giving on-the-fly computer security tutorials.

The trip started out in Ohio, where they knocked on the doors of employees of Diebold, one of the largest and most criticized voting machine companies. It ended in late July in Las Vegas at Defcon, a hackers' convention, where the consensus was that cracking a voting machine might not be so hard.

Rolling Down the Highway, Looking Out for Flawed Elections

Selling the Sizzle
Topic: Elections 1:25 pm EDT, Aug  7, 2004

Consultants like campaigns that stress "themes" and "visions" because they test so well in focus groups.

People used to complain that selling a president was like selling a bar of soap. But when you buy soap, at least you get the soap. In this campaign you just get two guys telling you that they really value cleanliness.

Selling the Sizzle

Has Michael Moore Re-Elected Bush?
Topic: Elections 12:56 am EDT, Aug  3, 2004

1. Farenheit 9/11 has a certain group of people thinking/saying, "I hate Bush and everything he stands for."

2. To avoid alienating these voters, Kerry has to act like he agrees with them.

3. Agreeing with the Moore fanatics alienates the critical swing voters, depriving Kerry of the win.

4. Bush is re-elected. Blame it on Michael Moore.

The Voting, Vote Capture, and Vote Counting Symposium
Topic: Elections 10:50 pm EDT, Jun 19, 2004

Can every vote be counted?

How does technology influence uncertainty in voting and in vote compilation?

What technical and operational policies enable the responsible evolution of voting in the information age?

This symposium addressed these questions in terms of institutions, governance, and technology.

Technology, rather than providing a simple panacea for these problems, has introduced a host of new election woes. Technology alone cannot address the problems, as technology is embedded in a larger organizational context.

The Voting, Vote Capture, and Vote Counting Symposium

A Leap of Faith
Topic: Elections 9:21 am EDT, Jun  4, 2004

Remember the name Barack Obama. You'll be hearing it a lot as this election season unfolds.

"There's a certain tone in politics that I aspire to, that allows me to disagree with people without being disagreeable."

In a political era saturated with cynicism and deceit, Mr. Obama is asking voters to believe him when he talks about the values and verities that so many politicians have lied about for so long. He's asking, in effect, for a leap of political faith.

So far, at least, the voters of Illinois seem to be responding.

Mr. Obama's effort to connect in a more than superficial way with people across ethnic, economic and geographic lines should serve as a template for future campaigns in both parties.

A Leap of Faith

Discipline Takes a Break at the White House
Topic: Elections 11:22 am EDT, May 30, 2004

All over Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike are asking what cog got loose or, put another way, how did an administration that made an art form of singing from the hymnal suddenly lose its rhythm?

While the president is thinking about his second term, many of those in his cabinet are thinking about getting out.

Discipline Takes a Break at the White House

Getting Out the Music Lovers
Topic: Elections 9:39 am EDT, May 30, 2004

Can music influence Southern voters? Apparently so.

"Music is so much a part of the Southern culture. These Nashville cats are the most powerful folks in country music. They can get this done."

Or can they?

Many country artists -- especially the younger stars -- are holding their tongues when the subject of politics is raised.

Many of them said, off the record, that their reluctance is based on the fear of a backlash from country radio.

Getting Out the Music Lovers

Who Tests Voting Machines?
Topic: Elections 8:55 am EDT, May 30, 2004

There is a real danger that elections could be stolen by nefarious computer code.

"Independent" testing labs are selected and paid by the voting machine companies, not by the government. It is difficult to determine what, precisely, the labs do. "We don't discuss our voting machine work," said a spokesman for one.

When Georgia's new voting machines were not working weeks before the 2002 election, uncertified software that was not approved by any laboratory was added to every machine in the state.

The system requires a complete overhaul.

Who Tests Voting Machines?

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