Concerns Rise Over Voting Machine Discrepancies in Key US States

Concerns have emerged that three key states in the US presidential election may have fallen victim to tampered voting systems.

A group of voting-rights attorneys said that evidence shows there are irregularities in the voting results from certain areas of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where direct-recording electronic voting machines were used. They said that they will release an 18-page report on Monday, after the long Thanksgiving weekend in the United States. They said that they believe their evidence is enough to warrant an independent review of the election results.

Trump leads Clinton in all three states by slim margins (9,528 in Michigan; 68,965 in Pennsylvania; and 27,190 in Wisconsin). Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have both been called for Trump, while Michigan remains too close to call. According to the Daily Dot, the group reportedly told the Clinton team that the discrepancy between electronic and paper tallies in Wisconsin was 7% and accounted for approximately 30,000 votes—enough to give Clinton the win.

Clinton trails Trump in the electoral vote 232 to 290. If she gained a victory in all three of these states, she would earn 278 electoral votes, pushing her just over the 270 threshold needed to win the presidency.

Cris Thomas, a strategist at Tenable Network Security, cautioned that irregularities like these may be completely normal—and cautioned against expecting a recount in the fractious election.

“The recent allegations of voting impropriety by high-profile voting right attorneys and computer scientists is alarming,” he said, via email. “However, so far, no actual evidence of voting computer hacking has been presented…Regardless of what the report shows, we need to have a serious conversation about how the United States will conduct future elections. Having doubt cast on the results even if unfounded can be detrimental to the future of our democracy.”

For the short term, he noted that Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPAT) should always be used, and for the longer term, “we need to design procedures and protocols for voting computer security that can be trusted enough that no doubt can be cast on the results.”

Photo © Bill Dowling/Shutterstock.com

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