As President Trump continues to make unfounded claims of widespread election fraud, 59 of the world’s foremost experts on electronic voting are hitting back, saying that recent allegations of actual voting machine hacking “have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.”
Monday’s letter came after almost two weeks of baseless and unfounded claims from Trump and some of his supporters that this month’s presidential election had been “rigged” in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. On Thursday, Trump started a new round of disinformation when he took to Twitter to say that polling machines made by Dominion Voting deleted 2.7 million Trump votes around the country.
Vulnerabilities aren’t exploits
Over the weekend, Trump tweeted a video from last year’s Defcon hacker convention. It showed attendees participating in an event called the voting machine hacking village. Organizers of the event held it to raise awareness about the importance of security in electronic voting. Some of the event organizers were beside themselves that Trump was using the video as innuendo that voting machine hacking played a role in the results of this month’s election, or in any election ever, for that matter.
“Anyone asserting that a US election was ‘rigged’ is making an extraordinary claim, one that must be supported by persuasive and verifiable evidence,” the computer scientists wrote. “Merely citing the existence of technical flaws does not establish that an attack occurred, much less that it altered an election outcome. It is simply speculation.”
The letter continued:
The presence of security weaknesses in election infrastructure does not by itself tell us that any election has actually been compromised. Technical, physical, and procedural safeguards complicate the task of maliciously exploiting election systems, as does monitoring of likely adversaries by law enforcement and the intelligence community. Altering an election outcome involves more than simply the existence of a technical vulnerability.
We are aware of alarming assertions being made that the 2020 election was “rigged” by exploiting…