Sunday, March 1, 2009

Money, influence and the fate of democracy in New York - Daily News

Money, influence and the fate of democracy in New York:

When newspaper editorial boards and good-government groups give dry-sounding lectures about the need for political reform, they are talking about situations like the scandal unfolding at the city Board of Elections over the long-overdue modernization of New York's ancient, breakdown-prone mechanical voting machines.

New York, one of the last states to comply with federal laws and court orders requiring an upgrade of voting machines, is holding public hearings - the next is Wednesday night - on the pros and cons of different computerized voting systems.

But the public hearings may be window-dressing for a rigged process. It appears that critical decisions about how we tabulate votes - the very core of our democracy - are being influenced, and perhaps controlled, by lobbyists and political fixers more concerned about their power, perks and paychecks than the public good.

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