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Voting Machines/ Bizarre Fiction

Date Thursday - November 3, 2016
Host George Noory
Guests Bev HarrisJudika Illes

Founder of Black Box Voting, a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative reporting and public education organization for elections, Bev Harris, has become known for her work researching the truth behind electronic voting machines. In the first half, she discussed some of the problems in voting technology and how they can further remove the checks and balances required for fair election outcomes. In terms of voter tampering, it's not the Russians we need to worry about, but insiders, such as subcontractors, that have access to the voting systems and software, she pointed out. Historically, voter tampering has been more of an issue for local elections, she added.

Remote desktop access, in which one computer is taken over by another, and results being transferring to a USB thumb drive are two ways in which voter tampering can occur, she detailed. Harris recommended that people tasked with watching the voting process, offer USB drives still wrapped in their original packaging for the transfer. Another exploitation called 'Fraction Magic' allows results to be subtly modified so that people might not suspect anything, she cautioned. Fortunately, there is a new way to verify that voting results are accurate, Harris reported. New voting machines take a picture of every ballot, she said, and these anonymous tabulations could be cross-checked against voting results to make sure no tampering has occurred.

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In the latter half, scholar, writer, and teacher, Judika Illes, an expert in witchcraft and religious traditions, spoke about her latest work putting together an anthology of classic stories by masters of bizarre fiction including Dion Fortune, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, H. P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, and more. The stories explore the relationship between the living and the dead, and contain provocative ideas about various phenomena happening to humans. Among her favorites in the collection are a ghost story by Marie Corelli, and "The Spider" by Hanns Heinz Ewers, who was known as the German Edgar Allan Poe, and specialized in "decadent supernatural tales."

A spooky story by Algernon Blackwood, who was an occult expert in addition to being a fiction writer, seemed to make use of some his real life knowledge of ghost hunting, she remarked. She traced the style of weird fiction to Edgar Allan Poe, who was a real visionary, and quite radical in his writing of macabre and sometimes grotesque stories. He really opened the door for many writers who came after him such as Lovecraft, she noted. Illes also talked about her study of witchcraft and spells. A spell can be a demand for something, as opposed to a prayer which is a request, she explained.

News segment guests: Lauren Weinstein, Dr. Peter Breggin

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