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FROM THIS EPISODE

Six years after the presidential debacle in Florida, there still is no national system to oversee federal elections.  Will electronic voting machines provide accurate vote counts?  What about technical snafus, ill-trained poll workers and partisan manipulation?  Plus, President Bush declassifies an intelligence report on terrorism and, after months of dire predictions that it would never happen, the price of gasoline is declining.  Is it politics, the market or both?

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Katie Cooper
Karen Radziner

Main Topic Are America's Elections Free and Fair? 35 MIN, 19 SEC

In America, the right to vote is supposedly sacred, but conflicting laws and shady practices cast doubt on the fairness and accuracy of many elections. Electronic voting machines are the latest cause for concern about technological snafus, ill-trained poll workers, and opportunities for partisan manipulation. Using computer software, Texas Republicans and California Democrats have drawn district boundaries that virtually guarantee who wins and who loses. After the vote-count debacle in Florida, which decided the year 2000 presidential election, Congress passed HAVA, the Help America Vote Act. What's happened to election reform?

Guests:
Robert Pastor, American University
Deb Markowitz, Vermont Secretary of State
Avi Rubin, Technical Director of the Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins University
Kevin Kennedy, Executive Director of the Wisconsin State Elections Board

Making News Bush Meets with Afghan President, Denies Iraq War Spurs Terrorism 5 MIN, 50 SEC

President Bush said today he has declassified the National Intelligence Estimate that reportedly said America has become less safe from terrorism than it was before the war in Iraq. Bush spoke at the White House after a meeting with Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan.

Guests:
Richard Wolffe, Correspondent, MSNBC

Reporter's Notebook Is There a Campaign-Season Ploy behind Falling Gas Prices? 7 MIN, 51 SEC

For months, energy consultants warned that increasing gasoline prices might never come down. Now, some of those same consultants say there might be a dramatic plunge after all. As prices decline, President Bush's poll numbers are inching up. A Gallup poll shows that 42% of Americans think that gas prices are falling because of manipulation by the Bush Administration. Oil experts sneer at the idea of such a conspiracy, saying that market forces are too complex and involve too many people.

Guests:
Tyson Slocum, Director of Public Citizen's Energy Program

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