Subject: Studies in the News 06-47 (November 13, 2006)

Studies in the News

California -- One Hundred and Fifty Years Ago

1856 - "The Republicans ran their first presidential campaign in 1856, choosing noted Western explorer John C. Frémont, 'The Pathfinder.' Frémont had no political record (regarded as a plus). The American Party (Know-Nothings) nominated former president Millard Fillmore and capitalized on nativist discontent. Democrat James Buchanan emerged the victor, but failed to gain a majority of the popular vote. In fact, a shift of a small number of votes in several states would have tipped the electoral tally to the Republicans. "  

1856 - "George Freaner, one of the Presidential electors, was chosen as messenger to carry the electoral vote to Washington. The official votes of the State of California, (the counties of Plumas and Colusa excepted, as the returns had not been received by November 30, 1856) were counted by the Secretary of State and showed the following result: For Buchanan -— 51,925; For Filmore -— 35,113; For Fremont -— 20,339; TOTAL -— 107,377 "  

Contents This Week

   Youth crime declines
   LAPD failing in retraining
   Deficiencies in women's health care
   Same-sex couples entitled to same rights
   California's biomedical industry
   Credit card fees have spiked
   Immigrant remittances surge
   New consumer technology trends
   College out of reach for Hispanics
   Gaps in college access and achievement
   Workers' compensation update
   U.S. losing in renewable energy market
   Global warming and animal habitats
   Restoring the Salton Sea
   San Diego pension liability increases
   Rental ban for illegal immigrants
   Asian voter participation growing
   Increase in Californians with asthma
   Downturn in student drug use
   Emergency visits for adverse drug events
   Stem cell strategic plan
   Lawsuit over delays by Medi-Cal
   Problematic internet use
   Burdens on working families
   Los Angeles County children's scorecard
   Improving child social service programs
   Commuting patterns and trends
   California has worst roads
   California infrastructure report card
   Manipulating our virtual democracy
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, the URL for the full text of each item is provided.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:



California Youth Crime Declines: The Untold Story. By the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. (The Center, Washington, DC) September 2006. 14 p.

Full Text at:

["Perceptions of rising youth crime and violence in California cities are unwarranted based on official data. Rates for violent offenses, property crimes, and drug offenses are lower among urban youth today than they were 30 years ago and 10 years ago.... An examination of the official data show that young people in nearly every city, and their surrounding counties, are less delinquent than any generation in many decades. California’s unprecedented decline in youth crime defies conventional assumptions and has been largely unnoticed by policymakers and the media."]

[Request #S64701]

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Adjudication of Categorical Use of Force Incidents – Completion of Training Status Report: Intradepartmental Correspondence. By William J. Bratton, Chief of Police, Los Angeles Police Department. (The Department, Los Angeles, California) October 6, 2006. 4 p.

[“More than half of the Los Angeles police officers ordered by the Police Commission to undergo retraining for shortcomings identified in their use of force have failed to verify they have complied, which undermines civilian oversight of the LAPD. Of the 525 police officers ordered by the commission and chief to undergo training in the last two years, Police Department auditors said there is no proof that 285 officers completed the instruction. An additional 49 officers had been scheduled for retraining but had not completed it, according to the report.” Los Angeles Times (October 11, 2006) B4.]

[Request #S64702]

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Invisible Bars: Barriers to Women's Health and Well-Being During and After Incarceration. By Kim Carter and others, Time For Change Foundation. (The Foundation, San Bernardino, California) 2006. 98 p.

Full Text at:

["Some prisoners failed to get basic health and dental care and told researchers they had often waited months to see a doctor or get their prescriptions filled.... The report focused both on women in prison and those out on parole.... A number of inmates interviewed for the study said they faced major hurdles when they tried to enroll in drug rehabilitation programs, either because their offenses did not make them eligible or because the programs were full." Los Angeles Times (October 7, 2006) B7.]

[Request #S64703]

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Mark Lewis, et al. v. Gwendolyn L. Harris, New Jersey Department of Human Services, et al. New Jersey Supreme Court. A-68-05. October 25, 2006. Various pagings.

Full Text at:

[“Same-sex couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual married couples, but they do not have a fundamental right to wed under New Jersey's Constitution. ‘Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate government purpose,’ the New Jersey court found. The court ruled that it is up to the ‘democratic process’ to determine how marriage rights are given to same-sex couples, whether through allowing them to marry or by applying ‘some other term’ to their unions. It gave the Legislature 180 days to act.” San Francisco Chronicle (October 26, 2006) A6.]

[Request #S64704]

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California's Biomedical Industry: 2006 Report. By David L. Gollaher, California HealthCare Institute, and others. (The Institute, La Jolla, California) 2006. 52 p.

Full Text at:

["California's biomedical industry has become an economic powerhouse, employing nearly 260,000 people -- the second largest among technology industries -- and generating $62 billion in revenue last year. Citing state labor department statistics, the report said businesses and academic institutions employed 258,000 people in biomedical jobs in 2005." San Mateo County Times (October 20, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S64705]

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Credit Cards: Increased Complexity in Rates and Fees Heightens Need for More Effective Disclosures to Consumers. By the U.S. Government Accountability Office. GAO-06-929. (The Office, Washington, DC) September 2006. 132 p.

Full Text at:

["Late fees for credit card payments have jumped, but card issuers have done a poor job of explaining their policies on fees and penalties to consumers. The report describes the fees, interest rates and disclosure practices of 28 popular credit cards. It found that late fees averaged $34, up from $13 in 1995, while some credit card issuers impose penalty interest rates of more than 30 percent on consumers who pay late or exceed the credit limit." Ventura County Star (October 12, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S64706]

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Sending Money Home: Leveraging the Development Impact of Remittances. By the Multilateral Investment Fund, Inter-American Development Bank. (The Bank, Washington, DC) October 2006. 16 p.

["Remittances from the United States to Latin America this year will total more than $45 billion. That is 51 percent higher than they were only two years ago. The study's estimates on remittances are in line with population figures from the Census Bureau, which found last year that Latin American immigrants made up 6.6 percent of the nation's household population (that is, excluding people in jail, on military bases and such), more than half the total immigrant population.” New York Times (October 19, 2006) 24.]

Report. 16 p.

State-By-State Table of Remittances. 1 p.

[Request #S64712]

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National Technology Readiness Survey: 2005/2006. By Rockbridge Associates Inc. (Center for Excellence in Service, College Park, Maryland) 2006. 16 p.

Full Text at:

["Findings include trends in e-commerce and e-government; telecommuting; e-health purchases of prescription drugs; and researching ailments online. Besides voice calls, the current most commonly used features on cell phones include text messaging, web surfing, email and picture messaging. Broadband internet access and MP3 uploading are high on the list of most desired features.... This technology is common in Asia and Europe where networks are newer, but U.S. providers are only starting to offer these services." Business Wire (September 7, 2006) 1. ]

[Request #S64707]

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Higher Education: Soaring Out of Reach for Hispanic Families. By Earl Hadley and others, Campaign for America's Future. (The Campaign, Washington, DC) 2006. 23 p.

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["While rising tuition costs affect all families, a new report suggests that Hispanics are disproportionately hurt. The report found that the cost of tuition for four-year public institutions rose by $2,786 between 2000 and 2005. Meanwhile, the Hispanic median household income fell by 4 percent. The total cost of college is 32 percent of the Hispanic median household income, compared to 24 percent of a white family's median household income." Deseret Morning News (October 15, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S64710]

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State of Decline? Gaps in College Access and Achievement Call for Renewed Commitment to Educating Californians. By Colleen Moore and Nancy Shulock, Institute of Higher Education Leadership and Policy. (The Institute, Sacramento, California) 2006. 37 p.

Full Text at:

["California is at risk of losing its economic edge because not enough students are attending and graduating from college. The report ... calls on state leaders to do more to build a 'college-going culture' to encourage the pursuit of higher degrees.... The state's economic well-being will suffer 'unless we start making immediate progress and closing the gap in college attendance, college access and college completion.'" Oakland Tribune (October 20, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S64711]

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Workers’ Compensation Medical Care in California: Fact Sheets. By Allard E. Dembe, Ohio State University School of Public Health. (California Health Care Foundation, Oakland, California) October 2006.

[“In response to rapidly growing workers compensation costs, the legislature passed reforms between 2002 and 2004 that have significantly changed the way that workers compensation medical care is provided in the state.... These fact sheets are intended to inform public discussions about how medical care is provided to injured workers. They summarize the key issues relating to the costs and quality of workers' compensation care, describe options for potential system improvement, and present resource information and relevant data concerning system characteristics.”]

Overview. 5 p.

Access to Care. 5 p.

Costs. 6 p.

Quality of Care. 6 p.

[Request #S64726]

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California and the Future of Energy. By John Podesta, Center for American Progress. Presented to the UCLA Anderson Forecast Conference. (The Center, Washington, DC) September 28, 2006. 8 p.

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["Europe now has four times the wind power capacity of the United States, Brazil has become the undisputed world leader in the biofuels market, and European companies now control the top spots for turbine manufacturing. As recently as 1996, U.S. producers held 44 percent of the global solar cell market. By 2005 that figure had fallen to below 9 percent.... Today, renewables make up just 6 percent of total U.S. energy, while foreign oil imports now account for over one third of our ballooning trade deficit."]

[Request #S64713]

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Fueling the Fire: Global Warming, Fossil Fuels and the Fish and Wildlife of the American West. By Patty Glick, National Wildlife Federation. (The Federation, Reston, Virginia) October 2006. 30 p.

Full Text at:

[“Rising temperatures in the 11 Western states due to global warming will cause more prolonged droughts, more widespread wildfires, and extensive die-offs in regional plant, fish and game habitats. All told, the winter snowpack, which is the source of 75% of the West's water, has declined by up to a third in the northern Rocky Mountain region and more than 50% in parts of the Cascades since 1950. As the Western landscape becomes more desiccated, wildfires become more common, more widespread and harder to control.” Los Angeles Times (October 6, 2006) A13.]

[Request #S64715]

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Salton Sea Ecosystem Restoration Program: Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Report. By the California Department of Water Resources and the California Department of Fish and Game. (California Resources Agency, Sacramento, California) October 2006.

["State officials have released 10 proposals that could prevent the polluted Salton Sea, an internationally recognized stopping point for migratory birds, from turning into a brackish expanse of mud ringed by a choking dust bowl.... The proposals include a variety of dams, dikes and smaller lakes, at costs ranging from $2.3 billion to $5.9 billion in public funds. The report contains no preferred option, and state officials said they would not meet a year-end deadline mandated by the state legislature to make a choice. But they insisted it was more important that the numerous and divergent groups that want to save the lake have enough time to reach consensus." Los Angeles Times (October 23, 2006) 1.]

Report. Various pagings.

Executive Summary. 48 p.

Press release. 1 p.

[Request #S64717]

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City of San Diego Unaudited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2003. By the City Auditor and Comptroller. (The City, San Diego, California) October 2006. 314 p.

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[“San Diego's financial hole is much deeper than previously suggested. A retiree health care liability has grown from $978 million to $1.38 billion, and the city's share of the pension deficit has increased from $1.39 billion to $1.76 billion. The roughly $770 million increase is found in an unaudited report on San Diego's 2003 fiscal status released to replace a discredited 2002 audit that was the city's most recent annual fiscal report. " San Diego Union-Tribune (October 3, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S64720]

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An Ordinance of the City of Escondido, California Establishing Penalties for the Harboring of Illegal Aliens in the City of Escondido. Ordinance No. 2006-38R. By the Escondido City Council. (The Council, Escondido, California) October 18, 2006. 6 p.

["The Escondido City Council voted to enact an ordinance that prohibits landlords from renting to illegal immigrants. The ordinance is set to take effect November 18, but opponents likely will seek an injunction prohibiting enforcement until the issue is litigated. Under the ordinance, a complaint not based on race or ethnicity can be filed by a resident, business or city official. The landlord then would be required to provide papers indicating the immigration status of his of her tenants, which the city would ask the federal government to verify. If determined to be in the country illegally, the tenants would have to move within 10 business days.” San Diego Union Tribune (October 19, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S64721]

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Asian Americans at the Ballot Box: The 2004 General Election: Growing Voter Participation in Southern California. By Daniel Kikuo Ichinose and Dennis Kao, Asian Pacific American Legal Center. (The Center, Los Angeles, California) 2006. 32 p.

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["Voting rates for Asian Americans in Southern California lag behind the general population and, when they do vote, ethnic subgroups sometimes have very different opinions.... In Los Angeles County, 71 percent of registered Asian voters actually went to the polls, compared with 78 percent of registered voters in general. In Orange County, 68 percent of registered Asian voters cast ballots, while 73 percent of all registered voters did. To look at differing trends the study breaks down the 'Asian American' category into seven ethnicities: Asian Indian, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese." Pasadena Star News (September 27, 2006) 1. ]

[Request #S64718]

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Nearly Six Million Californians Suffer from Asthma Symptoms or Asthma-Like Breathing Problems. By Susan H. Babey and others, UCLA Center For Health Policy Research. (The Center, Los Angeles, California) October 2006. 8 p.

Full Text at:

[[The study]"found more that 4.5 million Californians, or about 13 percent of the state's population, had been diagnosed with asthma by 2003, up from four million in 2001. Researchers found that 15 percent of San Bernardino residents were diagnosed with asthma in 2003. Of Californians diagnosed with asthma, 7 percent reported suffering an asthma attack or other symptoms." Press-Enterprise (October 17, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S64722]

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Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Use 2005-06: 11th Biennial California Student Survey. By Rodney Skager and Gregory Austin, WestEd. (California Attorney General's Office, Sacramento, California) Fall 2006.

[“A decade-long decline in alcohol and drug use by California students seems to be leveling off, and a significant number of students are starting to experiment with prescription painkillers. The results of the survey showed that alcohol and drug use among ninth- and 11th-graders generally decreased about 1 percent to 2 percent from the last survey, in 2003-04. That compares to a 20 percent drop between 1996 and 2004 among ninth- graders who reported consuming beer in the last six months. Another problem area highlighted by the study: illegal use of prescription painkillers like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percodan.” Whittier Daily News (October 4, 2006) 1.]

Highlights. 31 p.

Compendium of Results. 48 p.

Charts. 11 p.

[Request #S64723]

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National Surveillance of Emergency Department Visits for Outpatient Adverse Drug Events. By Daniel S. Budnitz and others. IN: JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 296 no. 15. ( October 18, 2006) pp. 1858-1866.

["Harmful reactions to some of the most widely used medicines, including insulin and a common antibiotic, send more than 700,000 Americans to emergency rooms each year. Accidental overdoses and allergic reactions to prescription drugs have been the most frequent causes of serious reactions. Those 65 and older faced more than double the risk of requiring emergency-room treatment and were nearly seven times as likely to be admitted to the hospital as younger patients." Washington Post (October 18, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S64724]

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Scientific Strategic Plan: Draft. By the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. (The Institute, San Francisco, California) October 2006. 149 p.

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["State officials running the California Proposition 71 stem cell program issued a 10-year scientific spending plan that suggests even $3 billion isn't enough to meet all the early expectations of stem cell research.... The goal instead will be to get 'proof of principle' in the form of mid-stage clinical trial results demonstrating that a stem cell therapy can restore function in the case of a single disease." San Francisco Chronicle (October 5, 2006) B1.]

[Request #S64725]

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Ivana Zelaya, Ana Penate and Zhong Wu. v. California Department of Health Services, et al. San Francisco Superior Court. CPF-06-506687. Petition for Writ of Mandate. October 10, 2006. 19 p.

[“Poor patients are suffering serious pain and complications because the state has repeatedly failed to process Medi-Cal insurance eligibility in a timely fashion, according to a lawsuit filed on patients' behalf. The lawsuit contends that in a sample of Medi-Cal applicants from 2005, not one was processed on time. The plaintiffs seek an injunction requiring the state to process applications within 90 days, as well as a court order to speed up services to those who have been waiting for care.” Los Angeles Times (October 11, 2006) B3.]

[Request #S64727]

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Potential Markers for Problematic Internet Use: A Telephone Survey of 2,513 Adults. By Elias Aboujaoude and others. IN: The International Journal of Neuropsychiatric Medicine, vol. 11 no. 10. (2006) pp. 750-755.

["A random survey of 2,500 adults -- the first-ever attempt to quantify 'Internet addiction' in the general population -- found that between 6 percent and 14 percent of computer users said they spent too many bleary-eyed hours checking e-mail, making blog entries or visiting Web sites or chat rooms, sometimes neglecting work, school, families, food and sleep.... The survey suggests that it's not an isolated problem -- it is relatively widespread, and deserves more attention." San Jose Mercury News (October 19, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S64708]

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Heavy Load: The Combined Housing and Transportation Burdens of Working Families. By Barbara J. Lipman, Center for Housing Policy. (The Center, Washington, DC) October 2006. 32 p.

Full Text at:

["Working families in the Bay Area and across the nation have found that transportation costs eat up the savings they hoped to gain by seeking affordable housing farther from work, according. The Bay Area topped a list of 28 major metropolitan areas with low- to moderate-income families spending 63 percent of their annual salaries on transportation and housing. Oakland Tribune (October 14, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S64730]

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Los Angeles County: 2006 Children's Scorecard. By the Los Angeles County Children's Planning Council. (The Council, Los Angeles, California) 2006. 34 p.

Full Text at:

["Reversing a longtime downward trend, child poverty is on the rise across Los Angeles County as housing costs spiral out of reach for working-class families, according to a report.... An estimated three-quarters of the county's more than 1.2 million households with children struggle economically.... The cost of living has spiked more than 40% since 1999, as the county's median wage inched up to $15.28 last year." Los Angeles Times (October 19, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S64728]

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Child Welfare: Improving Social Service Program, Training, and Technical Assistance Information Would Help Address Long-Standing Service-Level and Workforce Challenges. By the U.S. Government Accountability Office. GAO-07-75. (The Office, Washington, DC) October 6, 2006. 56 p.

Full Text at:

["Despite substantial federal and state investment, states have not been able to meet all outcome measures for children in their care. Given the complexity of the challenges that state child welfare agencies face, GAO recommends that HHS develop a strategy to centralize federal program information, record all technical assistance to states in its Technical Assistance Tracking Internet System."]

[Request #S67429]

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Commuting in America III: The Third National Report on Commuting Patterns and Trends. By Alan E. Pisarski. (Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC) 2006. 172 p.

Full Text at:

["The Bay Area and New York City are the only metropolitan areas in the nation with more than 1 million residents where fewer than 80 percent of commuters drive alone. According to the report, 68.1 percent drive alone in the Bay Area; it's 56.3 percent in New York. The West had a higher proportion of commuters riding transit over the decade with significant increases in the San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas and Denver areas." San Francisco Chronicle (October 16, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S64731]

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Rough Ride in the City: Metro Areas with the Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother. By TRIP. (TRIP, Washington, DC) October 2006.

["California cities were prominent in the study, with San Jose topping the list with 66 percent of the roads deemed rough. It was followed by Los Angeles (65 percent), San Francisco-Oakland (58 percent), Kansas City, Mo., (58 percent), pre-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans (56 percent), San Diego (54 percent), and Sacramento (50 percent).... The study is based upon data the Federal Highway Administration requires states to collect." Sacramento Bee (October 5, 2006) B2.]

Report. 26 p.

Transportation California Press Release. 3 p.

[Request #S64732]

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California Infrastructure Report Card 2006. By the American Society of Civil Engineers. (The Society, Sacramento, California) 2006. 2 p.

Full Text at:

["California's infrastructure is in such bad shape that the $42 billion bond package on the November ballot would make only a dent in the problem.... The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the state's overall infrastructure a grade of C-minus and said it would take an additional $37 billion annually for at least a decade to get it up to an acceptable B grade." Los Angeles Daily News (September 27, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S67433]

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[The following studies, reports, and documents have been ordered or requested, but have not yet arrived. Requests may be placed, and copies will be provided when the material arrives.]



Stealing Democracy: The New Politics of Voter Suppression. By Spencer Overton. (W.W. Norton and Company, New York, New York) 2006. 224 p.

[“This is a critical moment for American democracy. Evolved technology—which can process each voter’s address, race, gender, political affiliation, and likelihood of voting—enhances politicians’ ability to tailor election-district boundaries, purge selected voters from registration rolls, and shape the matrix of election rules, practices, and decisions. We must remake this matrix to more fairly empower all voters rather than privileging insiders who know how to manipulate it.”]

[Request #S64734]

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