When Does A “Glitch” Become A Coup? It’s Time to Regulate America’s Fly-by-Night Voting Machine Monopoly
Sun, 11/15/2020 – 23:50
Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
It’s a frightening thing to consider, but the ultimate success of democracy in the United States largely hinges on the integrity of just three voting machine companies, which conduct their affairs with almost no government oversight and regulation. Unless that changes, the greatest democracy will start looking like a banana republic in the eyes of the world.
In January 2020, the CEOs of the three companies that produce over 80 percent of voting machines in the U.S. – Election Systems & Software (ES&S), Dominion Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic – were grilled by members of Congress over the question of security at the ballot box. Perhaps it would surprise exactly nobody that the 90-minute discussion focused almost entirely on the possibility of foreign actors, specifically China and Russia, interfering in the U.S. election system. Within such a predictably narrow frame of reference – Russia! Russia! Russia! – it becomes much easier to eliminate the possibility that domestic actors may also be tempted to tamper with the vote. At the same time, Russia provides the perfect smokescreen in the event someone gets caught with their hand in the election cookie jar. But already I digress.
Currently, Dominion Voting Systems, the supplier of voting machines in 28 states, is coming under fierce scrutiny after it was reported that thousands of votes in one Michigan country intended for Donald Trump went to his challenger, Joe Biden. Officials were quick to point out that the ‘glitch’ was due to silly “human error,” as opposed to any mechanical flaws with the voting machines.
According to Michigan state government website, “[T]he erroneous reporting of unofficial results … was a result of accidental error on the part of the Antrim County Clerk (who) accidentally did not update the software used to collect voting machine data and report unofficial results.”
While I am no computer specialist, it is hard to imagine how a software update would have done anything to prevent one candidate from receiving the votes intended for another unless it was originally programmed to behave that way. But again, I am no expert.
Another state that relies heavily on Dominion Voting Systems is Georgia, …read more