Election Cyberattacks

1) EXCLUSIVE: ‘Operation Blackout’ tests law enforcement response to simulated election cyberattack

Journalists and camera crews from the Hearst Television National Investigative Unit were the only members of the media allowed to watch as the Black Team -- a team of agents and officers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, several state police agencies and local law enforcement -- squared off against the Red Team, comprised of experts from Harvard University, Boston University, Nichols College and the private firm Cybereason, which pretended to be hackers targeting Election Day.

How to Keep Paper Ballots Safe


Paper Ballots Are Safe Only if Marked by Hand, Not by Machine

For years, election security experts have assured us that, if properly implemented, paper ballots and routine manual audits can catch electronic vote tally manipulation.

Unfortunately, there is no universal definition of “paper ballot,” which has enabled vendors and their surrogates to characterize machine-marked paper printouts from hackable ballot marking devices (BMDs) as “paper ballots.” Unlike hand-marked paper ballots, voters must print and inspect these machine-marked “paper ballots” to try to detect any fraudulent or erroneous votes that might have been marked by the BMD. The machine-marked ballot is then counted on a separate scanner.

Most independent cybersecurity election experts caution against putting these insecure BMDs between voters and their ballots and instead recommend hand-marked paper ballots as a primary voting system (reserving BMDs only for those who are unable to hand mark their ballots). But vendors and many election officials haven’t listened and are now pushing even more controversial “hybrid” systems that combine both a BMD and a scanner into a single unit. These too are now sold for use as a primary voting system.


COMBAT RIGHT-WING TALKING POINTS IN US NEWS & WORLD REPORT As Julia Ricketts remarked, this piece is a garbage article. But when a popular national magazine quotes right wing talking points, outdated stats and skewed interpretations, they must be combatted. US News and World Report is a bit more conservative than Time and Newsweek but falls under the rubric of middle America journalism.

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ACTION: Check whether your state purges voters

1) ACTION: Check whether your state purges voters

More on Infrequent Voter Purges (which ought to be called "uncounted voter purges", because we don't know if they wanted to vote and faced obstacles that blocked them, or, that simply made it so hard that they didn't try to vote)—

In this abstract of an article Law Professor Anthony Gaughan is about to publish, he argues that though SCOTUS found IVPs legal, in reality, sending only one postcard to alert voters that they may be struck is bad public policy. Far more needs to be done to alert voters.

*ACTION* : Check whether your state purges voters. Print out and send this article to your state legislature's election committee, highlighting Gaughan's premise.


Here's the abstract, and a link to the article you can print out and send to the members of your state's committee.

"In the 2018 case of Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, a divided United States Supreme Court upheld the procedures that Ohio election authorities used to purge ineligible voters from the state’s registration lists. In a 5-4 ruling, the majority held that the Ohio law complied with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (“NVRA”) as amended by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (“HAVA”).

This Article contends that the controlling federal law — the NVRA and the HAVA — gave the Supreme Court little choice but to decide the case in favor of Ohio’s secretary of state. But this article also argues that the Ohio procedure fails to constitute good public policy even though it complies with federal law. At a time when email and junk mail have marginalized the U.S. Postal Service as a communication platform, Ohio's policy of sending a single postcard mailer to inactive voters provides inadequate notice that they face removal from the state's voter registration lists.

Accordingly, this Article proposes a set of reforms to the notification process used in the states' list maintenance procedures. Federal law should require states to do far more than send a single postcard warning to inactive voters. In addition, in the aftermath of the Husted ruling, plaintiffs challenging voter registration purges should consider bringing constitutional claims under the due process clause."


ACTION: Lobby GOP Sens for election security (pass this on).

1) ACTION: Lobby GOP Sens for election security (pass this on).

I'm distributing pre-written scripts that people can use to lobby Congress. Here's the explainer and link to the script below that. Please use (if appropriate) distribute to your networks. Thank you! (PS If you would like to receive these links in your email box, FB Message me your email address.)


For constituents of GOP Senators, especially residents of AK, FL & OK

In late June, the House passed appropriations bill HR3351, which allocates money for the states to fund secure election infrastructure (among many other budget items).

Next step: Demand Senators pass the bill. Because it is an appropriations (budget) bill, it can be passed despite interference from McConnell as long as at least two Republican senators join the Democrats in supporting it. The Secure Elections Network, a grassroots group of Indivisibles and others, is specifically targeting Senators Murkowski (AK), Rubio (FL), & Lankford (OK) because of their past support for election security.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aCmOPXLzM6HSpvHBEyztxCjrI1bIobX1b7u4uT5A7Rc/edit?usp=sharing

ACTION: Contact Press to Cover Hackability of Electronic Voting Systems

1) ACTION: Contact Press to Cover Hackability of Electronic Voting Systems


Email frontline@pbs.org asking them to cover hackability of electronic voting systems and all the shady dealings around them. Here's a script to use as a template or verbatim:

Subj: Why are electronic voting systems so vulnerable?

Hi Frontline,

The 2020 election may be America's only chance to get rid of a lawless president, his administration, and their enablers in Congress. But should we rely on electronic voting machines to deliver an accurate outcome? Please do a deep dive into the hackability of voting systems in this country. The last time you featured this topic (before the 2018 mid-terms in States Race to Secure Their Voting Systems Before Hackers Strike Again) you focused on foreign interference. There is so much more.

Why are these machines so vulnerable? New "Hybrid" Voting System Can Change Paper Ballot After It's Been Cast https://whowhatwhy.org/2019/03/19/permission-to-cheat-audits-cant-detect-fake-votes-on-new-hybrid-voting-machines/

Why do jurisdictions purchase them despite cybersecurity expert warnings against?

Philly's Voting Machine Fiasco is Even Worse than you Thought https://thephiladelphiacitizen.org/phillys-voting-machine-fiasco/

Ballot-Marking Devices Cannot Assure the Will of the People https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3375755

Why do voting machine vendors get to be so secretive about their systems when they're literally holding our democracy in their hands? Hacks, Security Gaps, and Oligarchs: The business of voting comes under scrutiny https://www.npr.org/2018/09/21/649535367/hacks-security-gaps-and-oligarchs-the-business-of-voting-comes-under-scrutiny

What's with the cozy relationship between buyers and sellers and politicians and lobbyists?

Trips to Vegas & Chocolate Covered Pretzels: Election Vendors Come Under Scrutiny https://www.npr.org/2019/05/02/718270183/trips-to-vegas-and-chocolate-covered-pretzels-election-vendors-come-under-scruti?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social

Who's Behind Voting Machine Makers Across the Nation: Money of Unclear Origins https://apnews.com/cbc30e6a059a41ff8ba4d4da2f120f79

22 Counties in Kentucky Use Voting Machines from Company [ES&S] That Donated $30K to GOP https://gritpost.com/22-kentucky-counties-voting-machines/

How Voting Machine Lobbyists Undermine the Democratic Process https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/how-voting-machine-lobbyists-undermine-the-democratic-process

Why isn't this in the news way more often? (Dan Rather also wants to know, as he states in the I Voted? documentary) http://www.ivotedmovie.com/.

Please can you cover this to help bring this to mainstream media?

Thank you