The Russia hoax may have helped leftists game the 2020 election

In 2017, an ostensibly non-partisan organization reviewed a study about election security from the hard-left Brennan Center.  This review makes for fascinating reading because it's a primer on how to commit election fraud and describes what Trump-supporters are complaining about in this election.

It's worth noting how I got to the review in the first place.  Eddie Perez works for the ostensibly non-partisan OSET Institute as the global director of technology development and open standards.  He is the man Smartmatic hired to go onto three Fox News shows to make statements on its behalf denying any connection with Dominion or wrongdoing.

Because I found Perez's statement peculiar, I did some research trying to find out more about him.  I discovered through his Twitter page that, at least in my opinion, he very much wants the election results to remain as they are.  I also discovered that, in July 2017, his organization — OSET — reviewed the Brennan Center for Justice's "Security Elections from Foreign Interference."  July 2017 was at the hysterical height of the Russian collusion hoax.

The Brennan Center for Justice is an unabashedly leftist organization affiliated with New York University Law School.  Its president, Michael Waldman, worked for Bill Clinton.

The report's forward, written by Amb. R. James Woolsey, a CIA director from 1993 to 1995, shows the mindset behind the report — as well as including an admission that there was no evidence that the Russians reached America's voting infrastructure (emphasis mine):

In the last few months, we have learned extraordinary details about a Russian assault on our election infrastructure. While there is no evidence that this assault altered the vote count, that fact should be cold comfort as we look to protect ourselves against future attacks.

The report identifies the as yet unprotected "most critical elements of the U.S. election infrastructure":

  • Voting machines, which could be hacked to cast doubt on the integrity of vote tallies, or to even change them; and
  • Voter registration databases, which could be manipulated in an attempt to block voters, cause disruption, and undermine confidence when citizens vote.

The report is long, so I'll focus on the review at the OSET site.  According to the review, the report properly identifies three major lines of attack that can occur in a modern election:

  1. Subversion (direct-result-manipulation);
  2. Defamation (de-legitimizing elections); and
  3. Disruption (diminishing turnout—technically a form of suppression).

The review then defines subversion and it aligns perfectly with the evidence produced regarding the 2020 election (emphasis mine):

This is exactly what it sounds like: the alteration of election results to favor one candidate over others. The most straightforward way to alter election results in such a direct fashion is to access and alter ("hack") voter tallies, either by adding additional votes or by deleting or changing existing votes. (A common misconception born out of it making good theater for news reporting is the notion of a criminal hacker attacking a ballot-casting device in a polling place.  Actually that is not a likely scenario, although it is certainly a potential avenue.  The more likely point of attack is the machinery that tally the ballots from the precincts—either at a precinct-level or back in the central election office for the entire jurisdiction). When most people consider election tampering they tend to think of this direct-result-manipulation, but in fact, these attacks are relatively uncommon, at least in the U.S.  As the Brennan Center points out in their report while discussing Russian interference in the 2016 election: "while it is important to emphasize that there is no evidence these actions changed the vote count, the attack makes clear that our country is not immune from foreign interference in our elections." Put another way, protection from direct-result-manipulation is hardly the bar we should be aiming for; there are other threats to consider.

Where the review parts ways with the Brennan report is the report's conclusion that distributed systems of voting (votes are at the state and county, not the federal level) protect against subversion.  Instead, says the review, you don't need a nationwide attack to throw an election.  All that's required is "a highly targeted attack in a very contentious swing state jurisdiction where an electoral vote lies in the balance[.]"

Wow!  It's as if the Democrats (and, probably, foreign actors) looked at the Brennan report, and then looked at the weakness described in the OSET Institute review, and had their marching orders.  They knew that nothing like this had happened in 2016, but they were completely ready to make it happen in 2020.

Image: Cyberattack by Max Pixel.  CC0.