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Troops' Ballots MIA; ACORN Under More Scrutiny; More Grief for Actress Jennifer Hudson; CNN's Truth Squad Checking Up on the Candidates

Aired October 28, 2008 - 11:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: It is Tuesday, October 28th, exactly one week until Election Day. Will your vote be counted? That is a loaded question for U.S. troops in battle. Ballots missing in action.
Plus, the fight against fake voter registrations here at home.

New clues possible today in an Oscar-winning actress's real life tragedy. We're live in Chicago.

And take another look at those fees on your bank statement. There is a good chance you're paying more for using your ATM card.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Tony Harris. And you are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Well, how about this? Early voting has reached all-time record levels.

State election officials say more than a million people have already voted in Georgia. That is nearly a fifth of that state's registered voters. And more than a million have voted in both Florida and North Carolina.

Hard to say how long you'll wait to cast your ballot in various states. We've heard reports of waiting anywhere from 15 minutes to four, maybe five hours, maybe even more.

Contrast those images, if you will, with our troops in the battlefield possibly not having a say at the ballot box.

Our Carol Costello looks at why the votes of many U.S. forces overseas are not being counted. .


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They risk their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet their vote for America's president often does not count.

ROSEMARY RODRIGUEZ, U.S. ELECTIONS ASSISTANCE COMMISSION: And these are the voters that are in some cases preserving our liberties and out there with our their lives on the line.

COSTELLO: Rodriguez works for the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission, a nonpartisan group. In the last general election, as best she can determine, only about 30 percent of overseas military ballots were actually returned and counted.

LT. MELISSA COX BOSSE, U.S. NAVY (RET.): It's disenfranchising our military. And frankly, I think it's very unpatriotic.

COSTELLO: One reason so many of the votes are not counted, every state has its own rules for absentee voting, and they can change in the middle of an election cycle. For example, in Virginia, a federal write-in ballot required a witness's signature and address. But for soldiers overseas that proved confusing, because there is no box provided for a witness's address.


COSTELLO: Rokey Suleman, the Fairfax County, Virginia, registrar, initially said he would have to discard 63 votes because voters neglected to list a witness address.

SULEMAN: These ballots that aren't being met I can't accept as valid ballots at this point. If the law changes, I welcome a review of the law. I think this law is horrible.

COSTELLO: Late Monday, Virginia's attorney general agreed, saying all county registrars can now ignore that part of the law.

A bigger problem, the U.S. mail. It may be able to deliver your mail through rain, sleet and snow, but not a battlefield. Congressman Kevin McCarthy says absentee ballots mailed from war zones are not getting to county registrars fast enough to be legally counted.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R), CALIFORNIA: With all the modernization that we have, we should be able to move these ballots, track them at the same time, bring the modernization of the technology that we have today to make sure our heroes across this world get treated fairly.


HARRIS: And that was our Carol Costello reporting.

The community activist group ACORN under more scrutiny today. A top official in Indiana says he believes the group went too far in its push to register voters, and he wants a criminal investigation.

Correspondent Drew Griffin of CNN's Special Investigations Unit has been following this story closely.

Drew, good to see you again.

What's the latest on this? What have you learned?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: This is the Indiana secretary of state doing his own probe, and found not only ACORN submitted hundreds and hundreds of fraudulent registration forms, but now asking for investigations by the U.S. attorney and the local prosecutor for possible felony investigations against this group. As we reported three weeks ago, the ACORN voter registration drive in northwest Indiana was fraught with problems. More than 2,000 voter registration forms turned in by ACORN were no good, many handed in with the same handwriting for multiple applications. Tony, you remember a few dead people, registering...

HARRIS: That's right, yes.

GRIFFIN: ... that famous Jimmy John's (ph) sandwich shop. Kind of a joke. But that was causing incredible amounts of extra work for the elections officials and the potential, they said, potential for possible voter fraud if they didn't catch them all.

Well, now the Indiana secretary of state says his review of the ACORN submissions leads him to the opinion ACORN did indeed break the law. In a letter to the U.S. attorney, the FBI and the local Lake County prosecutor, Indiana's Republican secretary of state, Todd Rokita, says, "Our preliminary examination of these 1,438 voter registration applications reveal significant credible evidence that the organization, its officers, agents and employees, through direct action, conspiracy or inducement..." violated four Indiana State election laws, violated Indiana's racketeering and corrupt organizations law, and violated federal election law.

Now, ACORN has defended itself in the past, saying it's required by law to turn in all those voter registration forms, fraudulent or not. But the secretary of state says if ACORN knew they were fraudulent, it should have turned them into the prosecutors, along with evidence as to who committed the fraud, and says, "Simply put, complying with the law to submit legitimate applications does not allow ACORN officials to evade the law against knowingly submitting fraudulent applications."

Now, Tony, what does ACORN say?


GRIFFIN: Well, they sent us a statement through a public relations firm detailing procedures in Indiana, admitting there were problems and that the group even shut down its Gary, Indiana, office for three weeks to try to clean it up. But the group insists it followed the law in Indiana and says, "As with all of our work, we defend our quality control procedures and look forward to cooperating with the Lake County Board of Elections to prosecute those who have defrauded us."

The U.S. attorney and Lake County prosecutor, they're not commenting on this call for investigation just yet.

HARRIS: Making notes here. I can't tell you how many times I've been stopped by people, "Will you please get to the bottom?" "Help me understand this ACORN story."

OK. Let's see if we can ferret this out a little bit.


HARRIS: I'm in Indiana. Let's just say Indiana, the focus of your reporting here.

And I bring you on board and I say, Drew, I want you to go out and I want you to register a thousand voters? Do you think you can do it? Yes. And here is what you can earn for doing that.

What is the allegation here? What is your reporting telling you about what ACORN is really saying to you in this case as you go out and attempt to register voters? To register those voters by any means necessary, or, here are the rules, the guidelines, the regulations, and don't step over the line here?

GRIFFIN: Here is the hole in my reporting. Remember when we had Bertha Lewis on?

HARRIS: Yes. Yes.

GRIFFIN: She was going to open the door, we were going to see everything they do?

HARRIS: Yes. What happened with that?

GRIFFIN: We're still in negotiation with ACORN to try to see how to get in their door and see what their processes are. But what ACORN...

HARRIS: Well, that is disappointing.



GRIFFIN: But we're still working with them to try to -- they've got lawyers involved and everything.

HARRIS: All right.

GRIFFIN: But they say, look, we pay people to go out and register voters, and those people, some of them, are bad apples and they defrauded us, ACORN.


GRIFFIN: But what the Indiana secretary of state is saying, look, the buck stops with you, ACORN. Number one, you have to have better control of these people. Number two, if they come in with fraudulent voter registration forms, you should turn them into prosecutors immediately.

HARRIS: It is incumbent upon me when you come back with those registration forms to at least take a cursory look, isn't it?

GRIFFIN: Well, no. ACORN is saying that they did look and that they did turn in to the voter registration office these fraudulent documents. They say they flagged them.


GRIFFIN: Election officials not so sure they flagged them.

HARRIS: Did ACORN turn in the folks who turned in the questionable documents?

GRIFFIN: As far as we know, no.

HARRIS: And there you go. I hope that helps. It helped me, that's for sure.

Drew, thanks.

GRIFFIN: Thanks, Tony.

HARRIS: Appreciate it.

How can you make sure your vote is counted, and counted accurately? One group is using videotape. We will show you that report in the next half-hour.

And we want to hear from you if you're running into problems at the polls. Call the CNN voter hotline, help us track the problems, and we'll report the trouble in real time.

Take a look at the number here at the bottom of the screen, 1- 877-462-6608. We are keeping them honest all the way through the election and beyond.

More grief for actress Jennifer Hudson and her family after a body found in an SUV is identified as her 7-year-old nephew, gunned down like her mom and her brother.

Our Susan Roesgen is in Chicago now where the investigation is moving forward.

Susan, good to see you. What is the latest on this investigation?

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'd say, Tony, that the investigation isn't really moving forward very far. It's just about stuck.

You know, they've got no motive. They have no weapon. And no real suspect, just this person of interest.

Also, Tony, we checked with the medical examiner's office this morning. The autopsy has just begun now on the body of the 7-year- old.

We know that he was shot to death, but something else might come out of that autopsy, perhaps it would be some kind of clue here for the investigation. And in the meantime, Jennifer Hudson, this big star, but even her stardom cannot be a protection from her pain. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROESGEN (voice-over): Jennifer Hudson sang the National Anthem at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. And she had come a long way from her Chicago childhood. But this is where the star came back, to her family home, where her mother and brother were found dead on Friday, her young nephew missing.

Over the weekend, Hudson offered a $100,000 reward for 7-year-old Julian King's safe return. But Chicago police found a body in the back of this stolen SUV and confirmed it was Hudson's nephew.

DEP. SUPT. JODY WEIS, CHICAGO POLICE: The hearts of many showed support in the search efforts for missing 7-year-old Julian King. Tragically, search efforts ended shortly after 7:00 a.m. this morning.

ROESGEN: Now the questions are, why and who? The police have been questioning William Balfour, the boy's stepfather, but they have released very few details. And if Balfour has been in custody since Friday night, who might have been driving the stolen SUV, and how long had the child been dead?

It is a terrible blow for the big city star with hometown roots, the "Dream Girl" who could not have dreamed of such personal tragedy.


ROESGEN: Now, we haven't had any word yet, Tony, of any kind of funeral arrangements yet. And we don't know, also, whether there might be some sort of public memorial service for this family.

The entire city of Chicago has been talking about this, the front page of the newspapers, on radio, television. This is a really big story in a city that unfortunately has a lot of murders every day -- Tony.

HARRIS: Yes. Susan, has Jennifer Hudson spoken publicly yet about the murders?

ROESGEN: No, she hasn't, Tony. We caught a glimpse of her going into the morgue yesterday. She went in with a few other family members. And in fact, a spokesman there at the medical examiner's office said that she was very composed, that she was leading the group in to do this, that she was sort of leading the family group, and that she took everything as best as could be expected. But nothing publicly from her at all.

HARRIS: Susan Roesgen for us in Chicago.

Susan, good to see you. Thank you.

The candidates and their health care proposals -- our truth squad examines their plans. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS: OK. Counting down to the presidential election, 10 issues in 10 days. We're breaking down the candidates' positions on some of today's biggest challenges today. Today, we focus on health care, and here is where the candidates stand.

Barack Obama proposing a national health insurance program for those without employer coverage. He would not mandate individual coverage for all Americans, but would require coverage for all children.

John McCain opposes mandated universal coverage. His plan would increase awareness of children's health insurance programs.

Those are a few of the particulars, but what do those plans really mean to you and your family?

CNN Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins me now.

Elizabeth, let's break some of this down, because health care is an economic issue, as we know.


HARRIS: Which means it's issue number one.

So help us here.

COHEN: Absolutely. So what we did to make this simpler, because god knows there's nothing more confusing than health care reform -- I mean, man...

HARRIS: Yes. Yes.

COHEN: ... is we made up a family. We made up the Smith family and we looked at how this family would fare undifficult the Obama plan and under the McCain plan. So let me tell you a little bit about the Smiths. I made them up, so I know all about them.


COHEN: They are a family of four. They do not have health insurance like many, many Americans, and the family does work. Mom and dad work, $50,000 annual income, they work for a small business that does not provide insurance.

So let's first take a look at McCain.

What McCain would do is this family would get a $5,000 tax credit which would allow this family to buy insurance for $800 a year if -- and we put it in caps for a reason -- if everyone is healthy. The sad reality is that many people, maybe even half of all Americans, have some kind of preexisting condition.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes.

COHEN: Their insurance premiums would go up, Tony, by thousands and thousands of dollars. And so that would make things very tough.

So let me tell you one other thing under the McCain plan. The McCain plan says that if you are low income and sick -- like, let's say Mr. Smith has heart problems...


COHEN: ... the Smiths would get some kind of premium assistance, but McCain doesn't say how much. So who knows how much they're going to get?


How about our mythical Smith family? How does this family fare under Obama's proposal?

COHEN: All right. Let's take a look at that. This is how the Smiths would do under the Obama proposal.

First of all, what would happen is that they would just get cash from the government. They would just get a subsidy of some kind because they are relatively low income.

How much they would get? Who knows. That is not specified in the Obama plan.

In addition, the government would help their employer provide insurance. Now, we were talking about this with Ken Thorpe (ph) at Emory University. He says that this is really crucial because when your employer provides you insurance, nobody is looking at your preexisting conditions because you're part of this big group.

HARRIS: That's right. That's right. This big pool.

COHEN: This big pool.


COHEN: So there's a huge advantage to being part of an employer group rather than just going out there on your own.

HARRIS: Got you. But I'm still a little confused here. It just feels really complicated.

COHEN: As you should be. It is.

HARRIS: How do I know for my family which one of these proposals from these candidates really makes the best sense for me and my family?

COHEN: Now, the truth is, I'm going to be honest here, that it's going to be very difficult to tell which plan is going to be best for your family. So, you can take sort of -- because every family has their own circumstances.

HARRIS: Right. Right. COHEN: But you can take a step back and look at it this way. The Obama plan puts much more emphasis on having the government make things better. In other words, he says we're going to take down health care costs, we're going to make health care more efficient. And in that way, we're going to bring down the cost of premiums.

The McCain plan relies much more on the market making things right.

HARRIS: I see.

COHEN: And to tell you the truth, both the market and the government have had decades to get it right and neither one has.

HARRIS: That's a great point.

COHEN: So there's reason to...


HARRIS: Be concerned about both.

COHEN: Right. But you might have more of a government philosophy, you might have more of a market philosophy. And sometimes it boils down to that.

HARRIS: That's good analysis. Something to think about.

Elizabeth, as always, thank you.

COHEN: Thanks.

HARRIS: All right. Your bank -- here we go -- may be taking money right out of your wallet, and you don't even realize it. Our Personal Finance Editor Gerri Willis with tips on keeping your cash. That's next.



HARRIS: We are hustling off now to Ocala, Florida. Joe Biden holding a campaign rally. Let's listen in.


SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And if you don't know where those locations are, just go to, and we'll help you find out where to go.

But folks, don't wait. Do not wait. In this state you don't need to be told that every single solitary vote counts. So, if you've got the time to listen to me, you've got to time to go vote early.

(APPLAUSE) Folks, the question in this election is not, are you better off than you were four years ago, because all kidding aside, everyone knows, in all seriousness, Republicans, Democrats, everybody knows, knows the answer to that question. The real question is, and I mean this sincerely, the real question is who will make us better off four years from now.

That's what we should be focusing on. And you've got it right. Barack Obama -- Barack Obama, in my view, is that clear choice.

You know, you may have seen that in the last debate, John McCain felt obliged to tell you all he was not George Bush. And just recently John McCain actually went so far as to compare Barack Obama to George Bush. And the end of last week, John McCain started attacking George Bush's budget and fiscal policies.

Now, look, folks, I know Halloween is coming. I know Halloween -- but John McCain dressed up as an agent of change, that costume doesn't fit, folks. It doesn't fit, especially when you realize that John McCain is the one for the better part of the last year -- has been telling us we've made great economic progress under George Bush.

Now, on Sunday morning, this past Sunday, John appeared on "Meet the Press," and when pressed, John said that he and President Bush "share a common philosophy." As my 10-year-old granddaughter Finnegan Biden would say, "Whoa. You're kidding?"

John, you didn't have to tell us. We know that.

Look, folks, I know we're not running against George W. Bush, but we are, in fact, running against the very Bush economic policies that John McCain wants to continue and is promising to continue. Policies that call for more taxes, for companies that send jobs overseas, while providing no relief for a hundred million middle class families. Policies that call for taxing your health care benefits as if they're income. Policies that call for another $4 billion in tax cuts for the ExxonMobils of the world, as if they need it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I love it when John McCain and Sarah Palin stand on the stage and say, hey, maverick. They're both mavericks. You know? They talk this maverick deal.

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, a friend of mine, a United States senator from Pennsylvania, Bob Casey, to paraphrase him, he said you can't call yourself a maverick when all you've been the last eight years is a sidekick.


Look, folks, if you give Barack Obama and me the honor of serving as your next president and vice president, here is what we're going to do. It's straightforward and simple. We're going to devote every waking hour, day and night, to two objectives.

One, first, restore the middle class, give them a fighting chance. (APPLAUSE)

And two, and equally important, reclaim America's respect in the world so we can lead the world again.

And Ladies and Gentlemen, that first step in reclaiming America's respect is to end this war in the Iraq!


And we will end it. We will end it responsibly by laying out a timeline to draw down American forces and transfer the authority to the Iraqis, 400,000 of whom we have trained. A very plan that Barack laid out almost a year and a half ago that George W. Bush has now embraced. The only odd man out, the only one left out there is John McCain.

Ladies and Gentlemen, and when it comes to restoring the middle class, Barack Obama and I recognize that when the American middle class does well, the rich do just fine and the poor do better. Everyone is better off. And so we want to rebuild the middle class. And here is what we'll do. Cut taxes for working people, cut taxes for small businesses, encourage and lay out a clear plan to end our dependence on foreign oil.


Invest in rebuilding America. It's roads, it's bridges, it's water systems, created right here in the state of Florida. Over that period, 120,000 new high-paying jobs.


Rebuild the middle class by making health care available and affordable to everyone in America. And make a deal for the young people of this country. If you serve your country, not just in the military, but in undeserved communities, in hospitals, schools, we'll guarantee you get to college.


But folks, it's ultimately it's about jobs. In a sense, it's even more than jobs. It's about dignity. It's about respect. It's about understanding what so many of our fellow Americans are going through.

You know, when a lobs is lost, or a house is foreclosed upon, it's more than an economic occurrence. It's emotionally devastating. You know, it's about having to make that longest walk of all up that short flight of stairs to your daughter or son's bedroom to say, honey, I'm sorry. I'm really sorry, but you can't go back to the school next week or next month. We're going to have to move. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, honey. But I lost my job or we're not going to be able to live in this house anymore.

Ladies and gentlemen, that conversation has taken place -- that walk has taken place in 400,000 Floridian homes so far since George Bush is out there. And ladies and gentlemen there are hundreds of thousands of Floridians who, as they say, are upside down with their mortgages. Where they owe the bank more than their house is worth. If we can help Wall Street, folks, we sure can help Silver Springs Boulevard right here in Ocala.


And that's why Barack Obama and I, we can't wait, we can't wait when Bill Nelson and I go back in November, before the next president's sworn in. We've got to act now. That's why we're calling for a three-month moratorium of all housing foreclosures in America.


For those living in their homes, that's why we believe we should reform now our bankruptcy law, giving bankruptcy judges the authority to reduce the amount of the principle owed. Give the authority to go out and reset the terms of the mortgage so people can stay in their homes.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's about giving people a fighting chance. These people played by the rules. They did it all the right way, the vast majority of them and they need help. But folks, at the end of the day, if we want to strengthen the middle class, if we want to regain our position in the world, we have to do one more thing. And I mean this sincerely. We have to unite this country. We cannot remain red and blue.


Ladies and gentlemen, these -- this notion of reaching out to the very people who are attacking us now, is an important thing for you to understand. Barack and I, God willing, if we win, we're going to reach out to everyone, even those strongly opposed to us, ladies and gentlemen. We have to reconcile the differences in this country if we're going to make any progress.

You know, new leaders and new ideas are often met with new attacks, negative attacks built on lies. Lies that are the last resort of those who have nothing new to offer. Those tactics are now being used against Barack Obama right now. And the reason they're being used is obvious to you all. The reason those attacks are occurring is because it's a further attempt to continue the Rovian practice, Karl Rove, of trying to divide America. He's trying to distract you and the rest of the American people from what really affects your lives.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I know Barack Obama. He has steel in his spine.


And Barack Obama, he can take one more week of these personal attacks. But our country can cannot take four more years of this divisive politics. Four more years of this economic policy. It's time to end it.

Ladies and gentlemen, great presidents, great presidents, Republican as well as Democrat, have always turned dire circumstances into real opportunities. The turbulent economy that we've been in, Barack Obama has demonstrated a steady hand. In a dangerous world, Barack Obama has demonstrated sound judgment to a nation desperate for a better day. He offers new ideas, new leadership and real hope.

Folks, our problems are too big and our politics have been too small for too long. Ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama knows THAT we have to bring people together to remind us we've been through tough times before. We've always overcome them together. Barack Obama will appeal to the better angels of America to unite this nation.

Ladies and gentlemen, and we've got to remind everybody, Democrats as well as Republicans and Independents, we are one nation under God. We are indivisible as a people.


We're all Americans. We're all patriotic. And that's the core of who Barack Obama is. And that's why I believe Barack Obama will be a great president of the United States of America.


You know, folks, my dad always told us, all our kids in his family, champ, when you get knocked down, just get up. Just get up. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I've never seen a time in my career when so many Americans have been knocked down with so little help to get up. It's time to get up. Together to get up. To bring the change we need to a country we love.

Ladies and gentlemen, I've been all over the country. I promise you, America is ready. You are ready. I am ready. Barack Obama is ready. It's our time. It's America's time. So, let's get up and take back this country we love.


Ladies and gentlemen, God bless you all. And may God protect our troops. So get up, ladies and gentlemen. Take it back. Thank you very much.

HARRIS: Joe Biden in Ocala, Florida, pounding away at the McCain/Palin ticket and then turning and making his version of a closing argument, making the affirmative case for his ticket. Joe Biden in Ocala, Florida, to the strings of Stevie Wonder in Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

Seven days and counting. The presidential campaigns criss- crossing the country. More from the best political team on television.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS: Counting down to the presidential election, 10 issues in 10 days. We're breaking down the candidates' positions on some of today's biggest challenges. Today we are focusing on health care. Just where do the candidates stabbed? Both campaigns spending a lot of time making claims about their opponents' health care plans. CNN's Josh Levs is here to take a closer look at some of those accusations.

Break it down for us, Josh.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tony, when the producers said health care, I said, I've got tons for you. They've been all over each other on health care. And I don't know if you know, but in recent days especially, there have been a lot of attacks on Medicare.

Here's one thing Barack Obama said.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In fact, Senator McCain has voted against protecting Medicare 40 times. 40 times he's failed to stand up for Medicare.


LEVS: You can see our verdict on that one right there, misleading. Now, the Obama campaign provided CNN with a list of the 40 votes that he was referring to. We analyzed them. Here's our graphic.

Only a few of these are clear-cut bills on Medicare funding. Some are resolutions that express the Senate's opinion on an issue but don't on their own, actually change any funding. There are also some massive budget bills that included Medicare cuts and there were some procedural bills, like a Democratic amendment to a Republican- sponsored bill. So, when we pull that together, we ruled this attack, Tony, misleading.

HARRIS: And from the other side, Josh, any truth to the claim that Obama's health care plan would actually force children into a government-run health care program?

LEVS: Right. That's one thing we've heard, too.

Let's look at what John McCain said.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I'm elected president I won't fine small businesses and families with children as Senator Obama proposes, to force them into a huge government-run health care plan.


LEVS: And that one is also misleading. Obama says he will mandate health insurance coverage for children. Last year he was quoted by the "Des Moines Register" saying, this. Take a look. Parents will not have an option and I would fine parents, if for some reason, they refused. But, his campaign is they have no plans to fine anyone. He doesn't think it will be necessary. His campaign says, any child who enrolls in school or enters the health care system, will be enrolled automatically into a program. Lots more details at his web site -- where they both on their web sites, write about their health cares plans.

And you know what, even in his case it wouldn't have to be a government-run plan. It leaves open the option of private insurance. So, in the next hour we're going to take more looks at this. Another slice of that attack from John McCain, and another one from Barack Obama.

HARRIS: Can't wait. Thank you, sir.

LEVS: You got it.

HARRIS: Thanks, Josh.

Our Veronica De La Cruz has been tracking the health care discussion online and on the streets of NYC. She joins us now with some of what she's found.

Veronica, did you take the little camera out again?


HARRIS: Day two of the experiment. We like it so far.

DE LA CRUZ: It is day two of the experiment. I grabbed this little camera. You remember yesterday I went down to Chinatown, I spoke to Asian-American voters about issues. Well, you like it, right?

HARRIS: Yes. I loved it.

DE LA CRUZ: You sure?

HARRIS: Yes, it was great.

DE LA CRUZ: OK. So, last night I tried it again. We talked about health care this time. We talked about how it might be a factor in the way people are going to vote. And here's what we came up with.

Take a look, Tony.


DE LA CRUZ: We're walking around the streets of Manhattan. And the topic of discussion is health care. We're asking people if they think it's an important issue in the election. And we're asking how they feel about the candidate's plans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people right now don't have health insurance. And it's not because they don't want to. It's because they can't afford it.

DE LA CRUZ: How do you feel about health care? Is that a really important issue to you in this election?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I looked up a lot of stuff about health care in other countries. I feel like America's health care system is not up to par at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The latest numbers is 40 million children in the United States are either uninsured or underinsured. That's ridiculous.

DE LA CRUZ: How do you feel about the candidates' health care plan? i.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want them to go deeper, both of them. And I want them to actually talk and speak to the issue of where they're going to stand on lobbyists and charities that lobby for the sole purpose of collecting money for health care issues and how much of that is allocated to actual goal of curing the disease.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE; I think we need to have universal health care for all citizens. And we're not having that right now. So, it needs to change. And I don't think any of the candidates are going to do it.


DE LA CRUZ: So unfortunately, overall, Tony, it seems like people have a pretty pessimistic view of health care in this country.

And, you know, kind of cool. We're doing it all with this little tool right here. We also want to check the blogs, Tony. This is from the Dr. Susan Blumenthal had this to say.

She says, "Despite spending over $2.4 trillion a year in health care, the United States only 42nd in life expectancy. With our current sick care system, Americans cannot afford socially, politically, economically or otherwise to remain on the sidelines."

And Tony, I have a surprise for you. This is experiment number two. Check this out.

HARRIS: What is this?

DE LA CRUZ: This is our Facebook group.

HARRIS: What do you mean our face book group?

DE LA CRUZ: This is out -- Veronica De La Cruz in the CNN NEWSROOM with Tony Harris. This is a way for you out there, to connect with both Tony and I. Join in on the discussion. We are talking about health care. We just started this, Tony. A hundred people have joined.

And here's what some of them are saying. HARRIS: Well, hang on one second. Before you get to that --

DE LA CRUZ: Yes, yes.

HARRIS: This is our Facebook page?

DE LA CRUZ: This is our Facebook page, yes.

HARRIS: Well, where's my face on our Facebook page? Can a brother get his face on our Facebook page.

DE LA CRUZ: No, you're in there. I swear. Just if you can go to pictures and click on pictures. There are like, maybe two pictures on there.

HARRIS: You have to go to, what, five different links before you get to me on our page.

All right. Go ahead. I'm sorry.

DE LA CRUZ: I'll swap the picture. I just thought since I was reading the comments, maybe people would identify with, oh there's Veronica, the girl who reads the Facebook comments. Right.

HARRIS: Yes. That's just such great thinking.

DE LA CRUZ: Right?


DE LA CRUZ: Really, really quick.


DE LA CRUZ: One of the comments on there right now. We've got to get back to health care, Tony. This is from Todd Coleman. He says, "I feel there's too much of incentive for pharmaceutical companies to focus on maintenance drugs, rather than providing cures. What incentive is there for curing a disease or a condition? Where does the income come from? once a disease condition is cured, you lose your customer."

So there you go. That is just a small sample of what's happening on Facebook right now. It's healthy discussion. You can go ahead and seek us out by looking on to Facebook, search Tony Harris and Veronica De La Cruz in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Tony, I'll -- I'm going to change the picture.

HARRIS: OK. All right. Thank you, Veronica. Thank you.

DE LA CRUZ: Sorry.

HARRIS: See you tomorrow, or next hour.

Check out our political ticker for all the latest campaign information. Just log-on to, your source for all things political.



HARRIS: You have seen the long lines, heard about potential voter registration fraud. What's going on at the polls? What is going on?

Thank you, Marvin.

Would you take a video cam along to find out?


HARRIS: You know many people are worried about potential problems at polling stations on Election Day. One grassroots group will be watching carefully with video cameras in hand.

Our Deborah Feyerick reports.


JEFFREY KEATING, VOLUNTEER, VIDEO THE VOTE: There was a really long line. It was a couple hour wait here earlier today. So I came down to see how people were taking it.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When Jeff Keating heard early voting lines were backed up in south Florida, he grabbed his video camera to check it out.

KEATING: How long have you been in line?

FEYERICK: Keating is among more than 2,000 volunteers signed up across the country to "Video the Vote" in their local area.

KEATING: We've been hearing all that the polling places only have two printers and everything needs to be printed out when you're done.

IAN INABA, CO-FOUNDER, VIDEO THE VOTE: I think there is a growing concern in this country whether or not people's vote counts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hereby declare Governor George W. Bush the winner.

FEYERICK: Filmmaker Ian Inaba created Video the Vote two years ago to prevent the kind of voter suppression he documented in his movie "American Blackout" about the last two presidential elections.

INABA: Some of the tactics and the policies that are put in place in order to try to prevent voter fraud actually end up suppressing legitimate voters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I received 3,422 challenges. FEYERICK: On the ground in Montana, Video the Vote helped expose and stop GOP efforts to purge voter lists. In Virginia, volunteers discovered a lack of machines in areas expected to have a high voter turnout.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I pressed to enter my vote for the Democrat, the check mark jumped to the one above, to the Republican.

FEYERICK: In West Virginia, apparent glitches in electronic machines have been improperly registering votes.

INABA: We do expect there to be a lot of problems, particularly in the swing states, where voter registration drives have increased the number of voters on the rolls there.

FEYERICK: Video is now being uploaded on the Web site,, tracking problems realtime.

INABA: Video the Vote will be the eyes and ears of America on Election Day. I think it's important to try to reinstill confidence in the American voting public.

FEYERICK (on camera): The power of a grassroots movement trying to ensure every vote is recorded.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.


HARRIS: And again, we want to hear from you. If you run into problems at the polls, call the CNN voter hotline, help us track the problems and we will report the trouble in realtime. Here is the number at the bottom of the screen here -- 1-877-462-6608. We're keeping them honest all the way through the election and beyond.

What would you do with a fire truck? Just wait until you see how one man really makes his dream come true.


HARRIS: Pizza, beer and a vintage fire truck. A Connecticut pizzamaker has turned into a reality. He bought this a used fire truck and opened Pizzeta company, a mobile pizza unit. It's basically a pizza shop on wheels with all the amenities including beer on tap. Love that.


CHRIS OWENS, PIZZETTA OWNER: We can do private parties or we can do town fairs, public festivals, like I said, fundraisers. The sky is the limit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Plus you get to drive a fire truck.

OWENS: I know. I get to drive my own fire truck.


HARRIS: Got to figure out a way in this economy. Chris Owens says he can make about a half dozens pizzas in around 10 minutes. Now that is pretty fast food.