Once Again, We Learn Russian Election Hacks More Serious Than We Were Told

It seems that every several months the public learns new pieces of increasingly alarming information about Russian hacker activity to mess with the 2016 election. Not to be confused with efforts to buy Facebook ads or obtain a campaignís private emails, in this case Iím referring specifically to attempts to get into our voting technology

The latest news is that, this past November, two counties in Florida had their voting systems breached, with hackers gaining access into the supervisor of elections network.

This trickle of information should have every American outraged:

  • It started with news that Russia tried to get into Georgiaís voter database and failed Ė no big deal.
  • By the following year, the story was, okay, Russia tried this kind of scheme in pretty much every state, but the technology remained secure.
  • In 2018, we received acknowledgement that, actually, hackers were successful in some cases, but not in ways that the vote count could be manipulated.
  • Now itís clear that Russians were actually able to get into the systems, like in Florida, where votes could be altered.

Rest assured, though, bigwigs such as the Florida governor still promise that votes were not compromised despite the successful hacks. (He won by such a small margin, though, that he also has a vested interest in saying that.)

Feel satisfied with that explanation? Iím not, especially since learning that the Department of Homeland Security was swearing no votes had been changed without conducting any sort of audit to verify that claim.

Granted, I completely understand why the government would want to say that the integrity of the election was unaffected by hacks. If the populace were to lose faith in election results, theyíd be losing faith in the institution as a whole, which is precisely what Russia wants in the first place.

Perhaps itís true that a foreign adversary went through all that work and not meddle once it breached American cybersecurity measures. At the same time, there should be no reason to trust that thatís not the case in the future, and the U.S. is way behind on working out solutions to keep elections safe, with Republicans even denying money to improve security.

Apparently, weíre at a point where White House staffers canít even openly discuss blocking Russian election interference out of fear that itíll piss off President Donald Trump. Thatís not a good place to be given what weíre up against. Our voting technology is clearly extremely vulnerable.

For whatever reason, the FBI isnít willing to say which Florida counties were hacked, which just makes it seem more like a cover-up. Given that every news bombshell that emerges makes it less likely that that election integrity was not compromised, Iíd much rather hear the government convincingly explain how theyíll stop these acts from happening in the future than insincere assurances that nothing bad happened in the first place.

63 comments

Brian F
Brian F26 days ago

The Democrats have an unfair super delegate rule that allows party insiders to determine elections, which is cheating, so the Democrats need to end their own corruption, before they point the finger at others. Bernie Sanders would be our president if the Democrats didn't rig the primary for him to lose. The WikiLeaks emails and Julian Assange exposed the corruption of Hillary and the Democrats who caused this crook Trump to win. Julian Assange speaks the truth, unlike many trolls here like Joan E.

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Joan E
Joan E26 days ago

Good point, Susanne R.

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Joan E
Joan E26 days ago

Our nation has been compromised by hacks -- hacks in the Republican Party in collusion with the ones in Trump's adopted Fatherland Russia.

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Dan B
Dan Blossfeld27 days ago

Susanne R.,
I do not know the answer to number 1, although my answer to number 2 (paper ballots) may be the reason for number 1. Additionally, it may just be the total cost involved. I do not know, I am just guessing.

In response to number 3, it is a matter of following simple directions. Have you seen some of the ballots that have been discarded? Some go through so quickly, that no one can tell if it was an vote cast of just a smudge on the ballot. Even the best poll workers cannot determine for whom the voter tried to cast their ballot.

In my local area, Detroit, many problems occurred:

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/Combined_Detroit_Audit_Exec_summary_551188_7.pdf

1. at least 31 individuals appear to have voted by both absentee ballot and in the precinct on Election Day at the same election.
2. 68 precincts (out of 263) could not be recounted due primarily to the failure to balance the number of voters with the number of ballots.
3. Many of the discrepancies are attributed to the mishandling of provisional envelope ballots, which are issued to individuals whose names do not appear on the precinct list, but who claim to have registered to vote 30 days prior to Election Day.
3. found no widespread failure of voting equipment.

Much of the 2000 Florida recount focused on undervotes, the so-called hanging chads, that were not counted. However, a greater number of overvotes occurred (over 50,00

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Susanne R
Susanne R27 days ago

Dan B. - Why do you think the problem is with the voters? And you still haven't answered my questions:

1) Why is it that Democrats are being denied more funding for election security?

2) What alternatives do you have in mind?

And now there is a third question:

3) In your opinion, why are "voters" the problem?

There's no anomosity on my part. I'm just trying to get some insight to help me understand you and your responses. Thanks!

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld28 days ago

Susanne R.,
It was the hanging chad issue that resulted in the help America vote act in 2002. It was decreed then that voting should be electronic to avoid another 2000 type result. After election security issues, there is now a push to return to paper ballots. I think the problem is with the voters, not the system.

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Susanne R
Susanne R28 days ago

Dan B. - My question was: "So why is it that Democrats are being denied more funding for election security?"

And what alternatives do you have in mind? Things worked out so well in Florida when Bush got elected. Or have you forgotten the "hanging chad" issue that resulted in Bush's win?

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Brian F
Brian F28 days ago

Debbi W Do you ever get tired of blaming Russia? Maybe you should blame your Democratic party that has sold out to Wall Street and corporations and become corrupt like the Republicans, for this crook Trump winning.

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Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn28 days ago

Noted

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld28 days ago

Susanne R.,
Yes, from your post:
One big difference between the activist community and DNC is the activists want to end the use of troubling technologies altogether whereas the DNC wants to ensure the election machinery, however flawed, works as best as it can for the public.

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