How to Steal an Election – Part 4 – Prevention and Mitigation
Now that we have told you the ways the voting system can be attacked, we should probably give you our take on what it will take to defend it and make it secure from the De-, er, I mean, evildoers.
Most security professionals will start with the basics of security coverage. They are
Think about it. Without a physical barrier, the technical measures are useless and without the administrative process to determine what is an attack or not, the whole system is useless. Technical measures give greater vision into what you are trying to protect and help the administrative side organize, coordinate information and determine threats and responses. There are a number of different but similar guides to security, but this is the age-old framework from my bad-old days.
The second principle is that security comes in layers. There is no silver bullet that ensures complete security, any single measure can be penetrated by an expert attacker. But if you have three diverse layers of security (perhaps one each of physical, technical and administrative) that each prevent 99% of breaches, then your chances of being breached go to a million to one against.
And for elections, this must be done well. Remember that elections have trillion dollar consequences and countless people have died for American ideals and beliefs, all hinging on the right to vote.
Voter ID – This is the most obvious. Positive identification of voters, that they are who they say they are, that they are in the right place and that they have only voted once. I’m not saying that a lot of people are going from polling place to polling place. The point is that it makes it more difficult to fake the verification for the other methods of cheating. Those most effective techniques cannot work with positive voter ID. And by the way, no reason not to have security cameras around polling places, drop off boxes, etc.
This also means maintaining the voter rolls so that the identities of dead and otherwise departed voters cannot be hijacked en masse. More on this below.
Signature Verification – Signature verification has emerged as one of the giant loopholes in elections that have allowed cheating to occur. In multiple instances, vote counters were NOT ALLOWED to throw out any ballots even when signatures were obviously not the same. At the very least some rudimentary handwriting analysis should be taught to vote counters. Note that this is not a 100% guarantee, it is merely one of those layers that is 99% effective.
Secure the ballots – Did you know that a $20 bill contains four separate, sophisticated security features? A $20 bill is almost impossible to counterfeit without very expensive and complex machinery. Absentee ballots on the other hand are often produced locally, often with standard office equipment. We recommend that they be produced with some of the security features not available to the average cheater. If fraudulent votes are discovered, it makes it much easier to track the fraud back to the sources and the culprit.
If an insider can get more of the exact same ballots from the same source, there is a problem. But duplicate ballots don’t help if Voter ID is used and the voter rolls are kept clean.
Integrated Auditing / Secure the Chain of Custody for Votes – Procedures for packing, logging, transporting and accounting for ballots should be implemented along the lines of law enforcement’s chain of custody process. This must be strictly enforced, all the way from the vendor who prints the ballots to the final storage and/or destruction of completed ballots.
However, like every other process, an insider can corrupt any process. The chain of custody MUST have the participation of both Democrats and Republicans. Either side should be able to observe and verify proper procedures, and object, audit or halt the process (at least long enough to document, perhaps long enough to investigate)when necessary.
And please, make the auditing process simple such that non-technical citizens can understand. Millions in research has gone into user interface design, it is not rocket science to make detecting a problem really obvious.
Statistical analysis for anomalies – Any time a statistically unlikely event occurs, like say, 300,000 votes coming in all at once at 3 am and favoring a particular candidate, it should be logged and should prompt an immediate bipartisan investigation. this is easy enough, there are plenty of polls out there to guide the statistic. We know that polls are never actually right, but they are usually not that wrong either. Perhaps we can get polls from both sides of the political fence.
Auditing Voter Registration Records – As mentioned above, states have not been good at purging dead, nonexistent or geographically departed people from their voter rolls. Any reluctance to do this is really a support of vote fraud, best I can tell. I can’t think of any other reason to not do it. This kind of data reduction has been done with numerous government functions, including drivers licenses, it can be made routine. But it must be secure and accurate.
Throwing fraudsters in jail – This is perhaps the most important measure. It is very difficult in this environment to catch vote fraud. When it is caught, or it is found that someone purposely did not follow the rules, they should go to jail. That is what jail is for, to discourage future lawbreaking.
By the way, the Biden Administration’s “Freedom to Vote Act” (just defeated in Congress, so it won’t become law), almost explicitly encourages measures that facilitate cheating and open opportunities by make the process more difficult to secure.
Take a quick look at some of its major features. See if you can match those features to a particular method of cheating (go ahead, its not hard…) and leave them in the comment section below:
- Expanded access to early voting
- Making it illegal to prevent someone from registering to vote.
- Expansions to same-day voter registration: 56% for, 30% against.
- Expanded access to mail-in voting: 55% for, 35% against.
- Allowing felons to vote: 54% for, 32% against.
- Expansions to automatic voter registration: 51% for, 33% against.
And that completes the four part series. Cheating is easy, securing our voting system is not. We have a lot of work to do.
Some of the references for this article: