Baseless fraud claims are hurting election security in this Michigan town

Welcome to The Cybersecurity 202! Cybersecurity Awareness Month is officially over. Thanks for sticking with this newsletter as we enter National Fun with Fondue Month

Below: An Iran-linked hacking group is threatening to out those using an Israeli LGBT dating app, and Microsoft won a big NSA cloud-computing contract. 

Trump-backed conspiracy theories are endangering election security in another small town

(Amanda Voisard/for The Washington Post)

© Amanda Voisard/for The Washington Post
(Amanda Voisard/for The Washington Post)

A second local election official who parroted former president Donald Trump’s baseless election fraud claims is now under police investigation for how she handled voting equipment.


Load Error

Stephanie Scott (R), clerk of tiny Adams Township in Michigan, potentially made her township’s election equipment more vulnerable to hacking when she allegedly removed a tablet from an election machine that counts votes from paper ballots and may have tampered with it before police recovered it, the Associated Press reported.


A few days earlier, state officials barred Scott from running her township’s elections after she resisted signing off on state-required logic and accuracy testing for election equipment. Scott has echoed conspiracy theories from Trump, saying she doesn’t trust the election equipment and suggested the testing may have been cover for state officials to rig vote tabulators. 

“The county clerk’s office and now Secretary of State are demanding I drop off my machine for unfettered access, and God only knows doing what to it,” she told the nonprofit news organization Michigan Bridge. “When you have the fox guarding the hen house, somebody’s got to stand up and guard those hens.”

Scott also blocked a contractor from performing preventive maintenance on voting equipment. 

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) ordered the clerk in neighboring Hillsdale County to supervise Adams Township elections after Scott was stripped of the responsibility. 

“The secretary will continue fighting to hold accountable anyone who threatens the integrity or security of Michigan elections,” a Benson spokeswoman said.