Stoking the Fears of a Hacked Election is an Opportunistâ€™s Dream
Conspiracy minded Americans, including GOP nominee Donald Trump are declaring the 2016 election rigged before it happens and quoting white papers such as the 2015 report entitled “America’s Voting Machines at Risk” to prove their point.
Because the report published by the Brennan Center for Justice (BCJ) revealed that voting machines currently in use are outdated and are at risk of failures, this sect of the population who already distrusts technology has found a new enemy to democracy – electronic voting machines.
Adding fuel to the election hacking conspiracy, these connoisseurs use the 2012 Mexican election that was “stolen” by a Columbian hacker apparently linked to a right-wing political power broker who allegedly engineered a fraudulent election; claiming that the same thing could happen in the US.
This type of scenario could happen according to Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting. Smith explained : “Wherever there’s a fully electronic voting system, there’s potential for tampering of some kind. If you can get at an election management system, you could potentially alter results, or muddy up the results, or you could even just shed doubt on the outcome because you make it clear that there’s been tampering.”
Closer to home, David Levin, a security analyst was arrested in Florida for showing YouTubers how easy it is to hack into electronic voting machines. Levin said in his video : “Yeah, you could be in Siberia and still perform the attack that I performed on the local supervisor of election website. So this is very important.”
As the BCJ points out, “80 percent of Americans will vote either on a paper ballot that’s read by a scanner, or on an electronic voting machine that has a paper trail that they can review” and this is a problem for locally run elections that use a myriad of machines with varying degrees of security.
This includes voting machines that use wireless access , although those devices have been replaced because of the ease by which someone could tamper with results.