Monday, August 16, 2004

The Age : Rage against machines

By Stewart Fist
August 14, 2004

While Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 certainly deserved the Palme d'Or at Cannes, with George Bush as scriptwriter and main actor, it could hardly fail.

Rumour has it they are collaborating again on a sequel, Elections 11/04. The original idea came from Bush's brother Jeb a few years ago in Florida and Dubya's most flamboyant contribution to the new Moore epic has been to push through 2002's Help America Vote Act.

The idea is to replace those punch-card voting machines with whiz-bang computerised equipment because punch cards produced the famous hanging chads and butterfly ballots in Florida which many people found suspicious.

They resulted in Bush winning the presidency in 2000 by a 5-4 majority in the US Supreme Court (where the votes are hand counted). California's 9th Circuit Court later found punch cards "intractably afflicted with technologic dyscalculia".

Since US voting is funded and controlled at the county level, Bush's new "Floridation" Act has forced them to buy either mark-sense paper readers (when the computer scans the marks on the ballot sheet) or touch-screen systems. Touch screens are preferred because they don't leave paper trails and so are deemed environmentally friendly.

(click on the title for the whole article)


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