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Need to Know, October 29, 2010: Election special edition

We have a special election edition of Need to Know this week. Our Watch List investigation focuses on efforts by both parties to control the future balance of power by controlling the way congressional district lines are redrawn. We’re also looking at the new and not exactly improved voting machines that are meant to make voting easier and more honest, along with some disquieting possibilities for what can be done with the software for these machines.

And our host Alison Stewart sits down with Salon’s Rebecca Traister and Princeton University associate professor Melissa Harris-Perry, two women who have a lot to say about how women have changed the political playing field this year.

Also this week, more advice from our new contributor Peter Sagal (host of “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”).

You can find all of Need to Know’s coverage of the 2010 midterm elections here.

Watch the individual segments:
Ballot Boxing

Ten years and billions of dollars after the Bush-Gore debacle, America’s voting system is still a mess. Machines can be hacked, votes can be stolen and voters’ intentions can’t be verified in a close race.
Drawing the lines

Need to Know investigates the fight to redraw congressional district lines, and interview two of the biggest figures in that battle: Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Harold Ickes.
A political climate

A California ballot initiative is getting national attention as the first time U.S. voters will determine policy on global warming — and out-of-state interests are spending millions to sway the result.
Rebecca Traister and Melissa Harris-Perry

In this extended web interview, Rebecca Traister and Melissa Harris-Perry join Alison Stewart to discuss whether the record numbers of women running for Congress equal progress on women’s issues.
Just ask Peter Sagal: Political debates

Need to Know’s Peter Sagal offers some helpful suggestions to candidates facing eleventh hour political debates.