Feds, Private Security Experts Agree: Election Can’t be “Rigged”

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Anderson Graphics

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Jeff Vaughan, Staff Reporter

During this campaign season, there has been a lot of fear that the election could be “hacked” by some organization or foreign government.  But both the Federal Elections Commission and many cybersecurity experts do not believe it would be possible to actually “rig” the presidential election.

The concerns stem from attacks within a few states, where voter information databases were being hacked, stealing people’s personal information and exposing it among the tens of thousands of people.  Some of these databases belong to state-level Democrat and Republican party organizations.

The government says that there are no signs of there being any hackers but that there doesn’t have to be any sign of tampering for a hacker to have taken such information.

The Obama Administration is pointing fingers at Russia believing that they were the ones behind such attacks. As the investigation continued more and more evidence of the election being hacked government officials strengthened their belief that it was Russia that was behind it all.

Russia has claimed numerous times that they have had no influence in the elections and were not the ones that were hacking the voter databases to begin with.

According to Federal election officials it is “virtually impossible” for outside groups to interfere with the election and it’s outcome.

This would be because the hundreds of thousands of voting machines across the country are not able to be hacked, since they are not connected to the internet and aren’t connected to each other.  Even if individual machines were tampered with, that would have to be done one at a time, and in a country the size of America, the manpower required would be far beyond any terrorist attack ever recorded.

“Nobody is going to be able to change the outcome of the presidential vote by hacking voting machines,” says Nicholas Weaver.  

Weaver is an expert at the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, and was quoted by CNN. “The system is too distributed, too decentralized, too many implementations for any individual actor or group to make substantial change.”

The ballots are also being monitored constantly on a daily basis by election officials and government officials. The voting machines themselves undergo a daily test before they put them into use.  Most of the machines in use also have paper ballots as a back-up that can be re-counted.

Elections Assistance Commission Chairman Thomas Hicks said,”I think that elections are as secure as they’ve ever been, and I think that with the added thought of incidents occurring, election officials are paying extra attention to this.”

“Voters should have the confidence that if they go to the polls, their votes will be counted accurately.”