For one example, "In 2016, the Illinois Board of Elections acknowledged that voter data had been breached. Hackers were inside the system for several weeks and were downloading data when they were caught, though they did not alter any files."
So relax, the hack wasn't successful. That's what we were told back early in 2018. We're told a lot of things.
In this current national reality of greatest insecurity, there's only one explanation I can think of (but see below) for Republican officials' refusing to take steps to increase the security of our balloting systems: They welcome an intrusion that helps their side win. They must assume that any hack by the current crop of foreign computer malefactors would be in the greater GOP's favor, while not also considering for a moment that there's more than one nation of hacker nerds wanting to play havoc with us. Republicans have something to gain -- they think -- from insecure voting systems. They're playing the odds in a very dangerous game.
Do you have another credible, logical explanation for why two Republican members of the NC State Board of Elections (SBOE) -- David Black and Ken Raymond -- would vote yesterday afternoon against requiring vendors to guarantee their systems can be audited -- audited first, and visually, by the voter on a paper ballot and then by the Elections Board counting machinery? Why would two Republicans on that very Elections Board want to allow systems that are 100% unauditable? At a time when computers and bar codes manage our lives and clever black hats know how to penetrate via Internet any computer on the planet and there make mischief -- why wouldn't Republican guardians of the public trust want to increase trust?
I don't want to think of Republicans as stupid -- which, let's face it, is actually another credible explanation for the David and Raymond votes yesterday. I know they're not stupid. Therefore, they must have corrupt intent.
But why did Democrat Damon Circosta lead the "no" vote?
Carolina Public Press (CPP) reported:
After the meeting, a reporter asked Circosta if he agreed with the security concerns.
“I disagree,” Circosta said. “I fundamentally disagree.”
Members of the board were asked to identify the information and experts they used to come to their decisions. CPP asked Circosta for references to the research he used to form his decision. He did not respond, but instead provided, through the board’s press secretary, links to the Davie and Transylvania county statements advocating that system certifications not be changed.I listened in on that SBOE meeting yesterday. I heard every word that Damon Circosta uttered leading up to the vote when he suddenly went against Stella Anderson's well publicized motion. He said he had been contacted by election board officials in different counties -- well, Transylvania and Davie, to be precise -- and otherwise he offered no rebuttal evidence against the expert testimony presented in Stella Anderson's initiative. Nor did he address the unanimous urging of public speakers -- 20 of them -- some of them also expert in voting machine technology as well as representatives from the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, DemocracyNC, and other public advocacy groups that are already discussing immediate litigation.
(The only person who spoke against Anderson's motion was the rep of the very voting machine vendor that can't certify an audit of their machines -- Election Systems and Software (ESandS). That company stands to make millions selling those machines in North Carolina, because Circosta also voted, a little later in the meeting and along with the two Republicans again, to certify ESandS as a legit vendor. The state's 100 county boards of election can choose to buy those 100% unauditable electronic machines, with absolutely no worries.)
Stupid, in this case, does immediately come to mind. And images of surfer dudes.
I don't think Damon Circosta is stupid. Some on social media are calling him a "sell-out," which implies he has something to gain. I don't believe that either. So I'm flummoxed. Maybe he just wants to be seen as completely independent, which in this case also looks very much like being completely untethered to reality.
Governor Roy Cooper is already getting blamed for this latest malfunction of democracy. Brad Friedman on Pacifica Radio sarcastically thanked North Carolina's governor for appointing such a brilliant new chair to the SBOE. (Here's the audio -- bashing of Roy Cooper for appointing Damon Circosta occurs soon after minute 22.)
Cooper has been singularly unlucky in the chairs he's appointed to the SBOE. His first pick, Andy Penry, had to resign for posting partisan shit on social media. His second, Josh Malcolm, was unjustifiably hounded by Republicans for having private conversations with county elections officials in the notorious Bladen County ballot fraud case -- hounded until the governor lost confidence in him and Malcolm voluntarily withdrew. (Malcolm was the best chair -- maybe ever -- and should have been made chair again instead of Damon Circosta, IMO.) Malcolm was followed by Bob Cordle of Welsh Cow fame.
Now we have an SBOE Chair of mysterious and indecipherable certitude, while North Carolina voters in counties where Election Systems and Software reigns can have no trust in the outcome.