No such thing as an un-hackable voting machine

President Trump's Voting Integrity Commission unexpectedly revealed important evidence suggesting that a return to paper ballots is the only way to prevent the possibility of major fraud from sophisticated hacking efforts.  Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times covered the hearings:

The country's voting machines are susceptible to hacking, which could be done in a way so that it leaves no fingerprints, making it impossible to know whether the outcome was changed, computer experts told President Trump's voter integrity commission Tuesday.

The testimony marked a departure for the commission, which was formed to look into fraud and barriers to voting, but which heard that a potentially greater threat to confidence in American elections is the chance for enemy actors to meddle.

"There's no perfect security; there's only degrees of insecurity," said Ronald Rivest, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He said hackers have myriad ways of attacking voting machines. "You don't want to rest the election of the president on, 'Maybe the Wi-Fi was turned on when it shouldn't have been.'"

He and two other computer security experts said bar codes on ballots and smartphones in voting locations could give hackers a chance to rewrite results in ways that couldn't be traceable, short of sampling of ballots or hand recounts – and those work only in cases where there's a paper trail.

Andrew Appel, a professor at Princeton University, said it would be easy to write a program that cheats on election results and deletes evidence of the hack as soon as the results are reported.

Given the level of sophistication of Russian and Chinese hackers, among others, we simply guarantee the integrity of an electronic voting system.  We need tangible proof that can be watched and guarded.

It is an urgent matter of national security.  The left has spent nine months fantasizing that Russia struck a deal with Trump, a theory for which evidence has failed to materialize.  But the testimony heard yesterday makes it clear that such a deal is quite thinkable, now that American politicians of any party realize that the world's best hackers can hand the election to them without a trace of evidence.

Hat tip: J.J. Sefton

President Trump's Voting Integrity Commission unexpectedly revealed important evidence suggesting that a return to paper ballots is the only way to prevent the possibility of major fraud from sophisticated hacking efforts.  Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times covered the hearings:

The country's voting machines are susceptible to hacking, which could be done in a way so that it leaves no fingerprints, making it impossible to know whether the outcome was changed, computer experts told President Trump's voter integrity commission Tuesday.

The testimony marked a departure for the commission, which was formed to look into fraud and barriers to voting, but which heard that a potentially greater threat to confidence in American elections is the chance for enemy actors to meddle.

"There's no perfect security; there's only degrees of insecurity," said Ronald Rivest, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He said hackers have myriad ways of attacking voting machines. "You don't want to rest the election of the president on, 'Maybe the Wi-Fi was turned on when it shouldn't have been.'"

He and two other computer security experts said bar codes on ballots and smartphones in voting locations could give hackers a chance to rewrite results in ways that couldn't be traceable, short of sampling of ballots or hand recounts – and those work only in cases where there's a paper trail.

Andrew Appel, a professor at Princeton University, said it would be easy to write a program that cheats on election results and deletes evidence of the hack as soon as the results are reported.

Given the level of sophistication of Russian and Chinese hackers, among others, we simply guarantee the integrity of an electronic voting system.  We need tangible proof that can be watched and guarded.

It is an urgent matter of national security.  The left has spent nine months fantasizing that Russia struck a deal with Trump, a theory for which evidence has failed to materialize.  But the testimony heard yesterday makes it clear that such a deal is quite thinkable, now that American politicians of any party realize that the world's best hackers can hand the election to them without a trace of evidence.

Hat tip: J.J. Sefton

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