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What does the Mueller report tell us about the hacking of election systems during the 2016 election? Coupled with new information from NC, it might indicate that Russian hacks could have impacted voters ability cast votes in 2016, and impact election results.
The Mueller report tells us that a FL county's election network was accessed by Russian agents. npr.org/2019/04/19/714…
But we are also told that the voter registration & electronic pollbook vendor VR systems was INFECTED with malware from Russian intelligence agents. (VR has & does maintain it was not infected.) VR supplies systems used to checkin voters at polling places in many states....
....including Durham County, NC. Durham is a significant swing county in a swing state so preventing voters from voting could be significant. On election day 2016, the electronic pollbooks from VR Systems failed and voters were kept from voting across the county.
....but before the election, CNN reported that the FBI was investigating Russian hacking of a FL voting system vendor cnn.com/2016/10/12/pol…
It was possible to deduce and confirm the vendor in the CNN story was VR systems so on election day as I took calls about the failed pollbooks, I was extremely concerned the pollbook failure may be tied to the hacking of the pollbook vendor, VR systems nytimes.com/2017/09/01/us/…
Despite attempts to urge the election board to ask DHS or FBI to investigate, it declined.
Instead the Board insisted -"We did an extensive investigation, a full forensic investigation of the poll books,” Election Board Chairman William Brian Jr. said. “What the investigation showed was there was nothing wrong with the software.”
A review of the "extensive", "full forensic investigation" that county did found that characterization to be inaccurate. The county probe didn't even contemplate the possibility that malware could have caused the malfunctions of the pollbooks in 2016 nytimes.com/2017/09/01/ins…
There was no credible investigation conducted in NC to determine if the e-pollbook failures could have been caused by the malware that infected the e-pollbooks' supplier. Yet, officials baselessly insisted that the attack on VR had nothing to do with the chaos on Election Day.
But yesterday, in the wake of the Mueller report, there has been a shift. NC's State Board of Election has admitted it did not do an investigation able to assess the possibility that Russian hacking caused the pollbook failures that kept voters from voting.
"...the agency’s review to date, including questions posed to VR Systems, has not conclusively determined the cause, in part because the agency lacks the necessary technical expertise to forensically analyze the computers used in Durham County, and other government ....
agencies declined the agency’s requests to evaluate them.”
Though it was quite obvious that there is no way the state could have known that the Russian hacking of VR did not cause the pollbook failures based on its minimal investigation, the State's insistence had previously managed to minimize questions and speculation...
...and shut the door to a meaningful investigation. The State's admission and interest in more information from VR is a step in the right direction, but it's likely we will never know what happened in NC because the state did not invite an investigation from FBI or DHS right away
The pollbooks have since been wiped and used multiple times, contaminating evidence so it's not surprising agencies would decline to do an investigation. So what is the key take-away here? We MUST investigate system irregularities promptly.
In the 2018 elections there were voter registration anomalies and irregularities in GA, PA, FL, OH and IN. In GA @BrennanCenter sued with @CommonCauseGA to investigate because the irregularities were so egregious and because the voter reg system was profoundly insecure.
But there was no investigation from the state and the DHS and FBI can't investigate unless the state identifies a possible crime. We need to change the culture so that irregularities will be considered promptly in the lens of the possibility of interference and investigated.
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