Fear of Election Fraud Growing – Millions to Stay Home
Warnings by Banzhaf and Others of Election Hacking Affecting Voters
According to a new study, more than 15 million registered voters may not vote for president because of concerns about cyber hacking, with a majority believing that electronic voting machines involved in the presidential election could be hacked.
This dramatic change in attitude – since there have never been indications in previous elections of voting machines being tampered with – came about as a result of two recent demonstrations by professors about how easily they were able to hack voting machines; actual hacking of the White House, Pentagon, Sony and other seemingly impregnable security fortresses; a report from a cyber think tank that “hacking elections is easy”; warnings by many major media outlets about the presidential election being vulnerable to hacking; and detailed reports by people like public interest law professor John Banzhaf that the forthcoming election faces a “perfect storm” of factors which could easily sink it. He said presidential elections are very vulnerable for five reasons:
1. An FBI report showing how election computers in two states have already been hacked by using well known software readily available to anyone – even teen amateurs – on the Internet;
2. The Electoral College makes it possible for the hacking of only a few thousand votes in one state to change the outcome of the presidential elections;
3. Many electronic voting machines which are currently in use leave no paper trail so that hacking could be readily detected;
4. More computers involved in the elections are especially vulnerable to hacking because they are connected to the Internet;
5. A sizable number of states permit voting over the Internet where they are especially vulnerable to falsification and manipulation.
Banzhaf is not alone in his warnings. CNN reluctantly reports that “we’ve officially entered the era of the hackable [presidential] election.” Mother Jones reports that “the concern that somebody might try to hack voting machines no longer seems outlandish.” Politico says a computer expert remarked that if some of the more susceptible voting machines hadn’t yet been hacked, “it was only because no one tried.” Money magazine says we’ve officially entered the era of the hackable election. Wired claims that the move toward electric voting machines turned out to be a “technological train wreck.” And ABC TV News featured a piece entitled “Yes, It’s Possible to Hack the Election.”
Critical Information Technology has just warned that “Voter machines, technically, are so riddled with vulnerabilities that even an upstart script kiddie could wreak havoc on a regional election, a hacktivist group could easily exploit a state election, [and] an APT could effortlessly exploit a national election.”
Banzhaf notes that hackers and others don’t have to actually alter the outcome of the presidential elections to do incalculable harm. Simply casting doubt on the validity of the results, especially if the losing nominee and/or his supporters voice suspicion concerning the outcome, could undermine the faith of millions in the entire election process, he predicts.
If some results appears suspicious, if only a few voting machine display clearly exaggerated results, or if the word “hacked” or a picture of Guy Fawkes appears on the screens of a few computers used to compile votes, disappointed voters could become very upset, and then riot or worse to express their justified outrage.
Election Fraud – what do you think?