Democracy

PR Watch Looks at E-Voting

The second quarter 2004 issue of PR Watch is now online, featuring several articles by Diane Farsetta that look at the spin and dangers surrounding electronic voting machines. Despite questions remaining about the security and reliability of electronic voting, for-profit e-voting companies such as Diebold believe that their heavy lobbying are the key to winning support for public adoption of their voting devices.

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Hill & Knowlton Gets Out the (Lost) Vote

The Hill & Knowlton PR firm "is working to allay any voters' concerns in Florida's fourth largest county amid reports that votes were not counted by new electronic balloting machines in an August primary." The firm's $160,000 contract with Hillsborough County includes promoting e-voting machines and encouraging "voters to turn out and cast ballots." Hill & Knowlton is also helping Republican elections s

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Florida Revisited

Within an hour after voting began in Florida, "the system collapsed in Broward County, ground zero for the 2000 fiasco in the state," comments Markos Moulitsas. He lists other allegations of election fraud and voter suppression in states including Nevada, Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and South Dakota, On his Dkosopedia website, Moulitsas is hosting a "Voter Registration Fraud Clearinghouse, where people are invited to report irregularities.

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Jailed for Blogging

Juan Cole reports that Omid Memarian, an Iranian writer, journalist, weblogger and social activist has been arrested, making him the fourth journalist to be arrested in an apparent Iranian crackdown on reformist journalists and webloggers who are seen as enemies of the regime. Cole urges people to complain to the Iranian government or their interests section in Washington, DC.

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They Fought the Law and the Law Won

"As Republicans inside Madison Square Garden praised the NYPD for keeping order," writes Michelle Goldberg, "grim stories of preemptive, arbitrary arrests, filthy jail conditions and long detentions without access to attorneys circulated among protesters, lawyers and quite a few ordinary New Yorkers who were arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. ...

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Block the Vote

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other civil rights leaders say the Republican Party is mounting a campaign to keep African-Americans and other minority voters away from the polls this November. "In recent years, many minority communities have tended to align with the Democratic Party," states a new report cosponsored by the NAACP and People for the American Way.

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Pre-Emptive "Traitor" Baiters

"Federal agents and city police are keeping tabs on people they say might try to cause trouble at the Republican National Convention, questioning activists, making unannounced visits and monitoring Web sites and meetings. ... The intelligence unit of the New York Police Department ...

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