Odds and Ends 

After Iowa caucus flub, can tech be trusted in elections?

An app intended to speed up reporting of election results for the Iowa caucuses has failed spectacularly, not only confusing the electorate but perhaps poisoning their feelings toward making any technological “improvements” to the voting process whatsoever. TechCrunch staff reporters Brian Heater, Jonathan Shieber, Zack Whittaker, Devin Coldewey and Ingrid Lunden discussed the issue informally. Brian Heater: We all agree that this is a good sign of a healthy democracy, right? Jonathan Shieber: Totally agree with Brian here. Brian Heater: I’m legitimately finding it difficult to discuss these sorts of…

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Odds and Ends 

The government is about to permanently bar the IRS from creating a free electronic filing system

Thanks to pressure from tax preparation industry, Congress is getting ready to ban the Internal Revenue Service from ever building a free electronic tax filing system. As ProPublica reports, the effort is a bipartisan one. The House Ways and Means Committee, led by Massachusetts Democrat, Richard Neal, passed the Taxpayer First Act. The bill would make changes to the IRS and is sponsored by Georgia Democratic Congressman John Lewis and Mike Kelly, a Republican from Pennsylvania. One of its stipulations would make it illegal for the IRS to create its…

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