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#159#160#161#162 Episode #163 - Closing the Door and Widening the Gap
(Rigged Elections and Predatory Lenders)

#164#165#166#167

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Sat 19 April 2003  Barbara Simons, Smithy
Listen to hour#1 in New Tab (Right Click + Save As... to download)Listen to hour#2 in New Tab (Right Click + Save As... to download)
Download Hour1 Download Hour2 In the first hour computer scientist Barbara Simons explains the dangers of computerised voting. In the second hour Smithy looks at the mortgage industry's exploitation of the poor, with another edition of the Wizards of Money.
Free and fair elections are the basis for America's claim to democracy. Our electoral process is manipulated in a variety of ways that result in a government that arguably fails to reflect the needs of most of us. Reformers who seek to redress this state of affairs hang their hopes on somehow being able to wrest elections back from the corporate money stream. Now, even the slender hope of changing the country's direction through the ballot box could be extinguished by the machine that records your vote, or more to the point, doesn't record your vote.

During the tense months of wrangling that followed the 2000 election, the corporate press steered clear of the allegations that election fraud was committed by the Bush campaign and focused instead on the mechanics of voting equipment, hanging chads and pregnant chads. Congress, taking a cue from the press, instead of focusing on the misconduct of officials from the lowest level to the people on the top court, decided to forever vanquish the hanging chad by drafting a piece of legislation called The Help America Vote Act, HAVA that would fund the installation of high-tech touch screen voting machines across the nation. These machines are touted as cost effective and labor saving, as well as being a boon to blind people or those who would prefer a ballot in a language other than English.

But computer scientists are raising the alarm that these voting machines' most salient feature is the ease with which elections could be rigged and the difficulty of detecting tampering before or after the fact.
Thanks to Wizards of Money
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