FROM Lawrence Norden
US elections: Repaired… or fixed? In the year 2000, legal dispute over the failure of Florida's voting machinery led to the selection of President George W. Bush by the US Supreme Court. Other results were a crisis of confidence in America's electoral process — which produced many changes. Exactly one year ago today -- in another presidential election -- some of those changes were called into question, and there were echoes last night. In this last week before To the Point goes from daily radio to podcast only, we look at what's happened since the program started 17 years ago. We hear about the security of voting machines, voter ID, Gerrymandering and what politicians like to call the "sacred right of every American" to cast a ballot.
The War over Voter ID Heats Up In 16 states, Republican-dominated legislatures have tightened access to the polls. Pennsylvania has become the ninth to require Photo ID's. But the Obama Justice Department says these and other restrictions could deprive large numbers of citizens of their right to vote. We hear a heated debate: Are such restrictions designed to combat voter fraud or keep some Democrats away from the polls?
Republicans, Democrats and Voter ID In 16 states, Repubican-dominated legislatures have tightened access to the polls. Pennsylvania's become the ninth state to require voters to provide photo identification, and Virginia — another swing state — could be next. Republicans say they're trying to combat rampant fraud in the electoral process. But Democrats and the Obama Justice Department say there's little evidence of a problem. They insist that new voter ID laws are designed to make it harder for Democrats to cast their ballots, including minorities and especially Hispanics. We look at an issue as old as democracy. Could it be decisive in this year's presidential election?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?