Have your state’s election outcomes been shaped by meddlers domestic and/or foreign? Will elections be vulnerable to fraud in 2018 and beyond? Here are several reasons among many to be concerned:
- The DNC and RNC were hacked in summer 2016. Hackers released info from DNC computers to the public. Thus far they haven’t been tied to release of the RNC info. (You gotta keep a card up your sleeve.)
- In early October 2016 the Obama Administration first publicly linked the party hacking to Russia. US intelligence agencies had concluded well beforehand that Russia was behind the hacking.
- In early June 2017 a leaked NSA document posted by The Intercept showed the public that Russian military intelligence had hacked a voting system company that has contracts in eight states (CA, FL, IL, IN, NY, NC, VA and WV).
- While still FBI Director in September 2016, James Comey warned that evidence has been found of unauthorized remote scanning of states’ voter databases, which he described as a precursor to altering election outcomes.
- Anyone with physical access can easily tamper with a voting machine’s software, as explained in the article How to Hack an Election in 7 Minutes.
Below is a Trump Watchdogs work in progress with information about election procedures and possible interference in each state. If you can contribute to this effort, please do.
Arizona Voter Data Hacking
- The Associated Press reported in September 2016 that the FBI knew of an effort to mine data from the Arizona voter registration system. A spokeswoman for the National Association of Secretaries of State said that the hacker did not manage to infiltrate the system.
- The attempt to hack Arizona voting included a state worker opening an email attachment that contained malware meant to attack servers holding information about 4 million Arizona voters.
- CBS News in Phoenix (same link as above) reports that there were nearly 200,000 intrusion attempts in September 2016 alone. More than 10,000 were rated as posing a serious threat.
California Voter Fraud
Following Hillary Clinton’s apparent win of the popular vote, Donald Trump told America that actually HE had won the popular vote — because in his world, California (along with New Hampshire and Virginia) was riddled with voter fraud. In his story of the election, millions of votes cast for Clinton were illegitimate. He tweeted on November 27:
Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California – so why isn’t the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
State election officials met Trump’s claim with disdain, citing their safeguards and Trump’s lack of evidence.
The LA Times surmised that Trump had gotten his “news” from Alex Jones, who published on November 14 a story alleging that “three million illegal aliens” had voted in the presidential race. The Jones story led with a claim of data from a voter fraud app. Perhaps coincidentally, the app is owned by the same person who directed a Newt Gingrich for President superPAC in 2012. Furthermore the Jones story extrapolated on numbers that the data collectors themselves had described as flawed.
More recently the White House has asked California to provide voter information to the newly created Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity. The requested information includes the name, address, date of birth and partial Social Security number of each voter who has cast a ballot since 2006. California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla has refused to comply. Quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle: “California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud.”
Oregon Election Security
- We did not find claims of Oregon election hacking in a cursory search of public reports.
- Oregon election officials at the county and state levels claim to have an especially robust network of independently-run county systems. Objecting to Donald Trump’s claim that the 2016 election was easy to rig, Oregon’s Secretary of State (generally described as a conservative Republican) penned a letter to the President explaining exactly how the Oregon system is robust.
- Election officials in Oregon’s most populous county have posted their vote tallying procedure online.
Pennsylvania Voters Vulnerable
- Pennsylvania might have America’s most easily compromised voting machines. During the 2016 presidential election, most county voting systems in Pennsylvania were running outdated versions of Windows that have well-known security flaws. Also, electronic voting machines in PA do not have paper records of votes.
- With 20 electoral votes, Pennsylvania has considerable sway in national elections.