Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Voting machines; Alexander Vindman

John OliverOn the November 3 episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliverone of the primary objectives was talking a thing or two about Alexander Vindman. He was a man targeted amidst everything that is going on in Donald Trump’s impeachment investigation, and in some ways, you can call him the latest lightning rod.

The show in its opening minutes gave you a takedown of the Republican Congress over Vindman and some of the headlines around him — and, beyond that, some old footage from Ken Burns from when Vindman was much younger. There were laughs aplenty here, but in the end, we want to move forward to the main segment tonight: Voting. It’s something that a lot of us do, but at the same time, something that so few of us are aware of in terms of how it actually works. What are some of the mechanics? Also, what makes voting machines work or not work?

Ultimately, we think that this is a segment that was very much needed, now more than ever. Why? For starters, there are actually a number of big elections happening in various parts of the country. Also, there’s enough time for operators and election boards out there to examine their machines. There is no uniform machine that everyone uses, some are outdated, and there are others that can be very much vulnerable to hacking. There are also some machines out there that have not been updated with key anti-security measures in years.

So will states choose to do anything about their voting-machine problem moving into the next major election? Here’s the funny thing — Oliver found himself agreeing with Donald Trump for a moment on the subject of paper backup ballots as a good thing. It does seem as though states are going to buy some new machines, but Congress is currently in deadlock when it comes to how much money should be allocated.

In the end, as Oliver said, we should have more faith in our voting machines than in the one keeping Sean Spicer on Dancing with the Stars.

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