Tags: Trump Administration | electronic | Voting | paperless | hacking | Rigged | elections

Paperless Voting Triggers Hacking Concerns

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By    |   Wednesday, 07 Sep 2016 11:15 AM

Some key states, which have fully automated and virtual voting systems, with no paper trail to back-up any stolen or deleted data, have raised concerns over "rigged" election results, according to Politico.

Supporters of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in a fix about hackers tampering with the November outcome.

Among all states, Pennsylvania is noted as one of the major trouble spots where many counties still use ATM-style touchscreen voting machines without the paper backups.

Republican supporters, along with Trump have made claims that the Democrats can "rig" the election to see Clinton as president and even if she does win, it can be used by them to attack her legitimacy, the report said.

Other states where paperless machines are used include Georgia, Virginia and Florida.

With voting around the corner, it's too late for states to now make technological changes, even if federal funds are made available.

However, security experts suggest states should switch to optically scanned ballots for best long-term solution. The optically scanned ballots produce electronic results but leave behind a paper record that can be recounted manually if the need arises.

More than 70 percent of U.S. voters will cast paper ballots in November, the report stated. Another alternative is the electronic machines to produce a "voter-verified" paper record, similar to an ATM receipt, which election officials can store in case they're needed for an audit.

Pro-Trump political consultant Roger Stone said in an interview in July that the result would be a "constitutional crisis," warning that supporters of the Republican will stage "widespread civil disobedience" if they believe Clinton had cheated her way to victory.

"When I mean civil disobedience, not violence, but it will be a bloodbath," Stone was quoted as saying. "The government will be shut down if they attempt to steal this and swear Hillary in. No, we will not stand for it. We will not stand for it."

In another interview, Stone said: "For anybody who thinks that election fraud is not common in this country, the voting machine today is merely a computer. And all computers can be rigged to have a predetermined outcome."

Alex Halderman, a computer science and engineering professor at the University of Michigan who has researched voting machine security, pointed out, "Paper trails are absolutely essential with current security technology. It's a serious problem that there are these states that don't have any kind of auditable record."

However, defenders of the electronic machines, mostly manufacturers and some state election officials, say that they use security checks and other safeguards, including post-election digital audits, to ensure the integrity of the results.

Virginia Elections Commissioner Edgardo Cortes believes that hacking the machines is not an easy task.

"You'd need physical access to equipment to be able to do anything to it," said Cortes adding, "It would be a substantial undertaking to try to do something like that."

Highlighting the point that paper records aren't the only way to verify the vote count, Merle King, a professor of information systems at Kennesaw State University, said, "There is this notion that without paper there can be no meaningful audit. That's an interesting assertion, but I believe it's inherently incorrect."

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Some key states, which have fully automated and virtual voting systems, with no paper trail to back-up any stolen or deleted data, have raised concerns over rigged election results, according to Politico.
electronic, Voting, paperless, hacking, Rigged, elections
Wednesday, 07 Sep 2016 11:15 AM
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