From The New York Times Magazine, can you count on these machines? After the 2000 election, counties around the country rushed to buy new computerized voting machines. But it turns out that these machines may cause problems worse than hanging chads — is America ready for another contested election? Our voting system is a loser: An interview with William Poundstone, author of Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren't Fair (and What We Can Do About It). Does the mass-media have political influence? It is not clear that the media imparts a bias; it could be that improving access to any media informs voters and prompts them to turn against an embattled incumbent. Vance Packard’s 1957 The Hidden Persuaders showed how sinister advertising techniques were being imported into politics.