2017-05-05 23:46:16 UTC
Thursday, 27 April 2017
NASS Report: Russians Did Not Cyberattack 2016 Elections
Written by Kurt Hyde
Hillary Clinton’s allegations that Russian hackers attempted to
help President Trump’s campaign were dealt another in a series of
setbacks based on facts when NASS (National Association of Secretaries of
State) issued a report on the matter last month. The report, entitled
"Briefing: Key Facts and Findings on Cybersecurity and Foreign Targeting
of the 2016 Elections," was based on unclassified documentation and
evidence available to NASS.
The NASS report summarized its findings: “The November 2016
election was NOT HACKED.” (Emphasis in original.) It added:
“No credible evidence of hacking, including attempted hacking of
voting machines or vote counting, was ever presented or discovered in any
state, including during recount efforts that took place after the
election.” The report addressed concerns about hackers who did
manage to access online voter registration databases saying, “No
voter registration data was modified or deleted” and,
“Claims that twenty or more states experienced Russian-led hacks
or intrusions into their election systems are false and
The NASS report cited the states’ “highly-decentralized,
low-connectivity elections process” as a safeguard from
large-scale cyberattacks. Hopefully, this sensible, forthright statement
by this association, most of whose members are state-level chiefs of
elections, will lead to an end of advocacy for Internet voting and other
forms of paperless electronic voting.
Readers of The New American were warned of the dangers of Internet voting
in the October 9, 2000 issue of the print magazine. The article entitled
"Voting on the Web" warned of numerous dangers inherent in the Internet
technology that could become electoral security weaknesses if Internet
technology becomes a vital link in the voting process. That TNA article
also reported on attempted cyberattacks during Internet voting’s
coming-out party in the 2000 Democratic primary in Arizona:
In an interview with The New American, Joseph Mohen, CEO of election.com,
admitted that the Arizona Democratic primary was e-attacked. There were
two kinds of attacks — denial of service and password-guessing
— all of which were successfully thwarted. Nevertheless, the fact
that this first-ever, true Internet election was subject to such sabotage
attempts shows the profound weaknesses of Internet voting. Attacks on
future Internet elections may be prosecuted more successfully.
The NASS report focused only on cyberattacks and did not address other
forms of election fraud, such as illegal voting by non-citizens,
manipulating the programming of electronic voting equipment via tampering,
or centralized election management for setting up of the machines or
manipulating the totals after the election.
How Many Illegal Ballots Were Cast by Non-Citizens?
Regarding illegal voting by non-citizens and other forms of illegal
voting, such as repeater voting in person or absentee ballots, there has
been surprisingly little activity by Republican Party organizations. This
is despite President Trump’s publicly voiced concerns and is in
stark contrast to 1960 when there were credible doubts about the election
of President Kennedy and Vice-President Lyndon Johnson. Then Republican
National Chairman Thruston Morton issued a call to GOP organizations and
concerned citizens to help gather evidence. The Dallas Morning News
reported on November 18, 1960:
Morton sent out a call last Friday to GOP organizations in 11 states to
seek ballot recounts or investigations to determine whether there were
voting frauds or irregularities in their areas.
The New American contacted the Republican National Committee asking if
they intend to do anything similar to what the RNC did in 1960 to help
gather evidence of potential vote fraud. As of press time, the RNC has not
responded to that information request.
With or without help from the RNC and state elections departments,
election integrity groups such as True The Vote and Judicial Watch are
looking into how many non-citizens illegally voted in the 2016 election.
True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht told The New American:
Currently we are aggregating all 2016 state voter registry data and
sending over 3,000 FOIA requests to create a master data set that can be
used to verify identity, residency, and citizenship status of registered
voters. But it is slow-going. Data is still coming in. We are still asking
questions and anticipate many additional rounds of FOIAs will be required.
Indiana just purged nearly 500,000 voter registrations from their rolls.
The story behind the story is that in 2012 True the Vote and Judicial
Watch worked together to sue Indiana and Ohio for not keeping their voter
rolls clean. These were multi-year courtroom battles that we settled in
two historic consent decrees in both states — but it took suing
them to get them to do their jobs. What won those cases was our ability to
use True the Vote's past research to prove that citizens were having to do
the job of government. It caused Indiana to cancel the registrations of a
stunning 10% of its voter rolls. Consider the implications if 10% of our
nation's voter rolls are inaccurate.
Learning how many illegal ballots were cast in November looks like it will
be a long battle and the mainstream media is all but ignoring this aspect
of the 2016 presidential elections.
Was There Tampering With the Electronic Ballots?
Regarding tampering or manipulating of the electronic voting equipment
during set-up, fortunately there are quite a few jurisdictions in this
country where the electronic voting equipment has a paper trail, and some
partial recounts were accomplished in Michigan and Wisconsin with no
significant differences between the electronic totals and the recounts of
the paper ballots.
University of Michigan Professor J. Alex Halderman and graduate student
Matt Bernard were quick to point out in their presentation Recount 2016:
An Uninvited Security Audit of the U.S. Presidential Election that finding
no evidence of hacking is not the same as finding evidence of no hacking.
For example, when attempting recounts on paperless voting systems, there
was no evidence one way or the other. The researchers also mentioned
severe obstacles to obtaining permission for recounts, such as in
Pennsylvania. Professor Halderman also mentioned his concerns because of
the relatively small number of people who accomplish the software set-ups
of the electronic voting equipment for each election. Having such a small
cadre of people accomplishing this key function increases the risk of a
central point of attack for manipulation, especially for equipment that
doesn’t have a paper trail.
Halderman also voiced his dismay with how infrequently the paper trails
are actually used for some form of audits of elections even though the
voter-verified paper trails are available. Not taking advantage of the
paper trail when one is available to verify vote totals increases the risk
of election fraud because it significantly decreases the risk of
Was There Tampering With the Totals?
This past fall, on Alex Jones’ Infowars program, Bev Harris,
founder of Black Box Voting, and computer professional Bennie Smith
publicly unveiled a computer application named Fraction Magic. Fraction
Magic can read actual election results and alter the vote totals and
subtotals all the way down to the precinct level to fit a desired outcome
and do so with believable numbers. Harris reported testing Fraction Magic
on Alaska’s election results from the 2004 general election, and
she was able to produce the altered results in four seconds.
Fraction Magic proves that it is technologically possible for people with
inside access to election results to alter the results quickly and
silently. The safeguard against this form of electoral fraud is public
access during vote counts and immediate public disclosure of precinct
election results. Practices such as this were the rule in traditional
The good news is that many precinct vote totals are still being released
to the public immediately after the results are known. The bad news is
that public access to witness the vote counting has been greatly reduced,
and there appears to be a silent movement to stop the practice of making
precinct results public immediately. As far as the 2016 election results
are concerned, it is highly unlikely that manipulation of election results
made any difference, but if we don’t reverse the current movements
of not allowing public access to vote counts and the stopping of immediate
public disclosure of election results, it will become feasible for a small
group of insiders to quickly and silently alter election results in a
manner similar to those used by Hitler and Stalin in their sham elections.
For learning more about fraudulently manipulating vote totals, see TNA
online article “American Elections Are Vulnerable to Wholesale
While it is highly unlikely that Russian hackers cyberattacked the 2016,
this is no thanks to the liberal elements who have been advocating
Internet voting and other forms of electronic voting sans paper trail. And
it will be a long time before the volunteer groups that are looking into
the possibilities of illegal voting by non-citizens will learn how many of
such ballots were cast in the 2016 general election even though this is a
task that should have already been done by the government agencies that
conduct our elections.