January 26, 2021

IS THIS EVEN ALLOWED NOWADAYS? Democrats question election results: ‘We just trust the machines, and we shouldn’t.’

Matt Luceen didn’t vote for former President Donald Trump in 2020, but he came to Washington last week to protest President Biden’s inauguration, saying the election was flawed.

Mr. Luceen, a supporter of Sen. Bernard Sanders, said he toted signs that read “COUNT OUR VOTES BY HAND,” and “End the charade.”

“We don’t ever really put the paper into piles and count them by hand anymore,” the 34-year-old computer programmer said. “We just trust the machines, and we shouldn’t because we have documented proof that these machines are vulnerable.”

While Mr. Trump and his supporters have been explosively vocal about their distrust of the election system, discontent runs through a broad swath of voters from across the political spectrum.

In 2016, it was Democrats complaining that the election had been tainted by Russian interference. Two years later, the party complained that Stacey Abrams had been denied the Georgia governorship because of shenanigans with voting rolls.

Ms. Abrams never conceded, and Democrats — who took control of the U.S. House in those 2018 elections — made her cause a rallying cry, vowing to repair elections.

In 2020, it was Mr. Trump sowing complaints early and often.

The above is from this week. But remember this? Democratic senators warned of potential ‘vote switching’ by Dominion voting machines prior to 2020 election.

In a December 2019 letter to Dominion Voting Systems, which has been mired in controversy after a human error involving its machines in Antrim County, Michigan, resulted in incorrect counts, Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, and Amy Klobuchar and congressman Mark Pocan warned about reports of machines “switching votes,” “undisclosed vulnerabilities,” and “improbable” results that “threaten the integrity of our elections.”

“In 2018 alone, ‘voters in South Carolina [were] reporting machines that switched their votes after they’d inputted them, scanners [were] rejecting paper ballots in Missouri, and busted machines [were] causing long lines in Indiana,’” the letter reads. “In addition, researchers recently uncovered previously undisclosed vulnerabilities in “nearly three dozen backend election systems in 10 states.” And, just this year, after the Democratic candidate’s electronic tally showed he received 164 votes out of 55,000 cast in a Pennsylvania state judicial election in 2019, the county’s Republican chairwoman said, “nothing went right on Election Day. Everything went wrong. That’s a problem.”

The letter continued: “These problems threaten the integrity of our elections and demonstrate the importance of election systems that are strong, durable, and not vulnerable to attack.”

Dominion’s suing Rudy Giuliani, but not these Democrats. But an “unbiased” voting machine company that only sues Republicans has kind of blown its credibility already.

From the day before the 2020 election: USA Today: Will your ballot be safe? Computer experts sound warnings on America’s voting machines.

All election systems are for the most part black boxes: proprietary software and hardware jealously guarded by the handful of companies selling them. But state reviews and court cases opening up DRE systems of all makes and models for examination have for years flagged problems. . . .

“The whole community of computer scientists is mystified why election officials will not listen to experts about technology but will listen to the vendors (selling and maintaining it),” said Duncan Buell, a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of South Carolina who examined that state’s system.

Nobody should buy voting machines from Dominion, or anyone else, using secret “proprietary software and hardware.” And, really, nobody should buy voting machines at all.

Flashback: Biden Was Concerned About Manipulated Voting Machines, Called for Paper Ballots. “How are you gonna keep it from us being able to be in a position where you can manipulate the machines, manipulate the records?”

Well, he had a point.

Related: New York Times, Feb. 4, 2020: The Only Safe Election Is a Low-Tech Election: The Iowa caucus debacle proved that a 21st-century election requires 19th-century technology.

Every piece of technology involved in the voting process is a possible point of failure. And the larger and more interconnected the technical system, the more vulnerable it is to an attack.

“Many of the leading opponents of paperless voting machines were, and still are, computer scientists, because we understand the vulnerability of voting equipment in a way most election officials don’t,” said Barbara Simons, a computer scientist and board chair of Verified Voting, an election security nonprofit, in an interview with The Atlantic in 2017.

Remember when they told us to “listen to the experts?”

But look, for elections to work, people — including the losing side — have to trust that voting is basically fair. Something like 40% of Americans have serious doubts. That’s destabilizing, and trying to pretend suddenly that only kooks have doubts, and trying to silence critics with legal thuggery a la Dominion, only makes the problem worse.

MORE: Elections Canada is Explaining How Vote Counting Happens Here with Paper Ballots Only. He called out Dominion Voting Systems by name.

After Donald Trump went after voting machines, Elections Canada is explaining, and kind of bragging, about how counting votes happens here.

On Twitter, the federal electoral agency said that for federal elections here in Canada, paper ballots are always used.

Those are then counted by hand while representatives of each candidate, also known as scrutineers, watch that happen to make sure that everything is above board.

In the tweet, Elections Canada also said that they’ve never used electronic tabulators or voting machines to count votes in the agency’s 100-year history.

They even made it very clear that Dominion Voting Systems are not used.

Paper ballots, counted openly at each polling place as soon as it closes with no opportunity for new ballots to be “found” later. That’s how it should be done.

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