Winning The Lottery Without Buying A Ticket
Guest article by Kate Scarmalis
Ever been given the bum’s rush?
On no uncertain terms, that is how Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger chose to treat a small assemblage of concerned citizens who were patiently waiting to see him.
Raffensperger arrived at the Board of Elections Office in Lee County on September 14th to administer health checks on the Dominion voting machines housed inside its locked warehouse.
In his letter to members of Georgia’s General Assembly, “Setting the Election Security Record Straight”, Brad Raffensperger assured the public at large that:
“Every single piece of voting equipment across Georgia will undergo security health checks ahead of the 2024 presidential elections, including verification that no software has been tampered with.”
Interested parties who showed up at the scene expected a short statement or two from him, de minimis. Concerned citizens, decked out in their “Paper Please” tee shirts, were determined to make the case that trust in the results from Dominion voting machines has been vastly misplaced.
People expected to be heard.
Raffensperger – he came; he did his little thing with the voting machines in the backroom; then he left interested citizens eating his dust as he scampered back to his van.
Hat tip goes out to Field Searcy (in defense of liberty.tv), who recorded Raffensperger’s ignominious retreat. From the Georgians For Truth website, (printed here with permission), watch the man as he scurries away from Field’s well placed questions. (https://georgiansfortruth.org/blog/).
Seeing is believing.
Is this man not an elected official? Are government officials not beholden to “We the People” for their policies?
Georgians need reassurance to feel that the votes they cast, now and in the future, are safe and valid.
And there they stand, waiting, those handy, dandy voting machines – so much glitzier than marking a paper ballot. Glitzier and decidedly less work-intensive, but are these machine-tallied results valid and reliable?
Specifically, do the Dominion voting machines record and tally our votes accurately?
The case has been made that the Dominion voting machines have security issues that have yet to be fully addressed.
J. Alex Halderman is a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan, where he is also director of the Center for Computer Security & Society. Halderman made heads turn as early as 2017 when he released his findings that the voting machines then in use had distinct cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
Dr. Halderman was asked to give testimony before the June 2017 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The evidence he provided raised some heads; until that point the idea of a hacked election seemed a faraway fanciful notion.
Other technologists and elections integrity experts have warned members of Congress about hidden vulnerabilities of voting machines. State officials and the doggedly-loyal election machine vendors have repeatedly insisted that they have it all under control.
Halderman delivered a wake up call to the Senate, to our country’s most powerful people. He doesn’t believe in sugar-coating his message or pussy-footing around.
Working within his own laboratory set-up, Halderman gave testimony addressing the issue in terms that any layman might understand.
“We’ve created attacks that can spread from machine to machine like a computer virus and silently change election outcomes. We studied touch screens and optical scan systems. And in every single case, we found ways for attackers to sabotage machines and to steal votes. These capabilities are certainly within reach for America’s enemies.”
According to Ron Watkins, a technical analyst and a colleague of Dr. Halderman, the Dominion user’s manual glaringly exposes the vulnerabilities of the software system. Watkins thoroughly examined the manual with the mindset of a penetration tester. He learned from the outset that administrative access to the software leads to direct access to how the ballots are counted.
Evidence from such diverse sources should have been sufficient to stir up the loins of the executives at Dominion, as well as our state leaders.
So far, we have heard nothing more than unsupported allegations from Brad Raffensperger that Georgia’s voters’ use of Dominion voting machines is safe and accurate, accompanied by mumbled excuses and exculpatory remarks.
The question still stands and rages in our minds. If a hacker is able to infect the Dominion machine through brief contact by a single malefactor, how can we trust the results?
If vote-switching is within the realm of reality, should more concern be given to the possibility that the QR code at the top of our printed ballot does not reflect our true selections that were made on a Ballot Marking Device (BMD)?
In 2020, U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Totenberg ruled, in Curling v. Raffensperger, that Georgia’s voting system violates Georgia Law O.C.G.A. 21-2-300(a)(2) because the elector’s voting choice uses a QR code to identify vote selections. Georgia law requires our votes be produced in a “format readable by the elector. . . The QR code Georgia’s voting system produces is a computer code humans cannot read.”
In 2022, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an advisory based on Halderman’s report urging election officials to take steps to mitigate the risks “as soon as possible”.
A Dominion software security patch is available to update and address the voting machine’s vulnerabilities. Raffensperger told a Federal Court that he has no plans to apply the security update until after 2025, conveniently following the 2024 election.
Dr. Halderman responded that delaying the security patch update is “worse than doing nothing.”
Doing nothing? No problem. Raffensperger has that down pat.
Kate Scarmalis, retired and loving life, is currently working on her novel, “Tell No Tales”.