In our modern times, electronic innovation is becoming increasingly prominent. Paper records normally kept in a filing cabinet are now digitally stored on secure database systems, creating easier access and making searches more efficient. Communication has become faster with text messaging, e-mails, and social media. This and many other examples reflect growing technological gains, but also an increasing dependency on the digital world.
With digital storage as opposed to physical, there are risks. Systems, databases, and websites can be hacked, granting access from other individuals abroad. E-mails and text messages can even be intercepted by the government, and have been for some time.
Given the risk in what we do digitally, there is a significant concern with electronic voting machines.
The United States of America has come a long way since the birth of our nation, the massive growth making its management rather tedious. When it comes to counting votes, it’s not what it was a couple hundred years ago.
Why not use electronic systems to count the votes? Why not use electronic systems to record elections and make the decision faster? While there are gains, there are also flaws and serious concerns.
The FBI has issued a nationwide alert regarding statewide elections after Illinois and Arizona both experienced breaches of state election offices. Politico discussed the implications in a recent article, noting input from various professionals and experts. The growing consensus is that an attack on U.S. elections could be coming, with some suggesting it is related to Russia.
Russia has been criticized recently for a series of hacks within the United States that were connected to their intelligence agency. Of the several hacks, one of the more prominent instances was the massive leak of e-mails between Democratic National Committee officials. This forced out Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was forced to resign after a massive party backlash.
The damage to elections could range from actual to perceived. Voter polls could be altered and data could be compromised, which would represent actual damage to the election. Even if nothing were actually altered, the presence of hacks around the election could threaten the integrity of an electoral system perceived by some to be rigged.
This represents a greater threat than the long-standing fear of rigged voting machines. Politico themselves have previously noted how easy it is to hack one, which is a concern many have stated for years. Now these fresh hacks on state election offices represent a greater, wider threat.
With this national warning issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there has been an admission that digital voting and electronic elections aren’t as secure as government officials would lead us to believe. With even mainstream news sources showing how easily the system is compromised and even altered, it creates another alarming problem as we approach November.
Russians aren’t the only hackers in the world. Who else, foreign or domestic, could meddle with U.S. elections? This is something that Americans must consider going forward.