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How This Disruptive Technology Could Save U.S. Elections

5 | By Shah Gilani

In a Washington Post interview earlier this month presidential candidate Donald Trump said “If the election is rigged, I would not be surprised, the voter ID situation has turned out to be a very unfair development. We may have people vote 10 times.”

Whether or not you like The Donald, as New Yorkers call him, you can’t fault him for saying the election could be rigged – because he’s right.

In fact, it’s even worse than he thinks.

But there’s a fix on the way – and it’s one of the hugely disruptive technologies we’ve been following over the last few months.

Here’s how easy it is to rig an election, how to fix voting to eliminate fraud, and how you can make money getting in on the fix…

The Real Threat to Elections Isn’t Voter ID

Donald Trump’s contention that the 2016 election could be rigged on account of lax voter identification laws that allow voters into polling places without any identification – which means they theoretically could vote repeatedly in different locations – is actually small potatoes compared to systemic rigging that could happen on an unprecedented scale.

Systemic rigging means voting systems, actual voting machinery, is at risk

While most states replaced ancient punch card and lever machines with electronic touch-screens and fancy optical-scan voting machines by the end of 2006, those newly installed machines weren’t properly vetted and ultimately created new and even more complex problems including insecure software code and design flaws.

It’s now 2016, so those initially problematic electronic touchscreen and optical-scan voting systems are over 10 years old, making them, technologically speaking, antiques.

States using the old machines are reporting increasing problems with degrading touch-screens, worn-out modems for transmitting election results, and failing motherboards and memory cards.

Some states, like Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, and Florida are using machines that are at least 15 years old. There aren’t even parts to fix their voting machines.

Larry Norden and Christopher Famighetti, authors of a Brennan Center for Justice report titled, “America’s Voting Machines at Risk” point out that “the majority of systems in use today are either perilously close to or past their expected lifespans.”

The Brennan Center report puts it simply, saying, “No one expects a laptop to last for 10 years. How can we expect these machines, many of which were designed and engineered in the 1990s, to keep running?”

“In fact, an unknown number of machines are running an embedded version of Windows XP, an operating system Microsoft stopped supporting on April 8, 2014. That means Microsoft won’t produce patches for any new security holes found in the software. Almost all of the machines in California run on XP, and some even run on Windows 2000, according to the Brennan Center.

Not only that, but forty-three states use systems that are no longer manufactured because the vendors went out of business.

Besides aging machines being prone to crashes and screen freezes, unreliable and malfunctioning machines can fail to record votes and record votes improperly.

Voting precincts around the country have reported calibration problems with electronic touchscreen voting machines that actually end up “flipping” votes-meaning, recording a vote for a different candidate than the one the voter selected onscreen.

Of course state auditors were brought in to investigate flipping incidents. Frighteningly, what they found was much worse. According to an investigative piece by NPR, “While using their smartphones, they were able to connect to the voting machines’ wireless network, which is used to tally votes.”

And, “Other state investigators easily guessed the system’s passwords – in one case, it was “abcde” – and were then able to change the vote counts remotely without detection.”

So, it is entirely possible elections could, in fact, easily be rigged.

Thank goodness help is on the way.

Blockchain to the Rescue

Blockchain, the same technology that gave us Bitcoin and decentralized autonomous organizations, could be used to securely and transparently register everyone’s vote.

A blockchain is a “distributed ledger.” It “lives” on an open network that anyone running the software can join. Each and every member of the network is required to have an exact copy of every record on the blockchain, effectively replicating data over tens, hundreds of thousands, or millions of computers, eliminating the possibility of a single point of failure.

Instead of one person, one company, one party, even one government being in charge of a monolithic central database, everyone who sets up a “node” on an open blockchain network has a copy of the ledger being created. That means all voters, anyone looking at the blockchain ledger of votes could verify each other’s records in order to maintain the integrity of the ledger.

That’s exactly how the digital currency Bitcoin works.

All data on the blockchain is by definition public. There are even websites (such as blockchain.info) called “block explorers” that allow you to look up the data on the blockchain without downloading it yourself.

Once data is posted on to the blockchain it is there forever. It can’t be deleted or changed by anyone.

Blockchain records are also timestamped and signed, so it is possible to prove the source of data as well as the date/time when the data was uploaded. Just like the data itself can’t be deleted or changed, the timestamp cannot be spoofed either. And due to the decentralized nature of blockchains, everything is replicated tens of thousands of times over, distributed on computers all over the world, virtually guaranteeing against data loss.

Now that’s how voting should be conducted, and it eventually will be.

Blockchain Technologies and other companies are building blockchain voting machines.

They won’t be in use for this upcoming presidential election, but there’s a good chance blockchain voting will be how we vote in the not-too-distant future.

While there’s no blockchain voting machine frontrunner just yet, rest assured I’ll be keeping a close eye on who’s going to get government contracts when the technology’s been fully vetted.

So stay tuned.

Sincerely,

Shah

5 Responses to How This Disruptive Technology Could Save U.S. Elections

  1. Roger Mall says:

    The security or stability of XP machines not linked by the internet should not be a factor other than from internal tampering. Voting machines do not require sophisticated software, they run a spread sheet. They do not wear out but degradation can occur. On that score on-site observed testing protocols need to be part of the process with old or new machines at each election. Well run jurisdictions do that.

    Pure electronic voting of any sort ought not to be considered and any internet based transmittal should be suspect. Touch screens should be outlawed. Now that mechanical systems are gone the OCR type machines that read the pencil dots made on a paper seem reasonably secure from outside fraud (always narrow the possibilities).

    Minimum standard protocols with them should also involve sheriff deputies or police picking up thumb-drives from the machines and taking them to the county auditor for results tabulation under bipartisan observation on election night after the close of voting. Machines with their internal memory retained and the paper back-up locked in their bin can be picked up later but should remain under observation by bi-partisan election judges until they can be brought to a central location and kept in a sealed room for canvassing.

    A minimum of two different canvases should be automatic, all memory modules (thumb drives) and their “parent” machines’ internal memory should be compared in short order. A random selection of precincts (bi-partisan observed lottery) should have paper ballots physically counted and compared to electronic totals. Close elections will require more extensive canvassing.

    Fraud occurs in both onesy-twosy fashion for lack of photo ID requirements that adds up in individual precincts at the polls and especially with the amount of vote by mail which does no require any ID. Intimidation of sorts occurs during “observation” of vote by mail ballots, encouragement of people to vote who have no capacity for informed decision making or volition, nickle dime bribery is rampant in inner cities. More than a window of a few days for early voting is intrinsically a fraud on good citizenship and allows for much mischief.

  2. Edouard D'Orange says:

    Blockchain can’t come fast enough to end Democrap voting fraud. Philadelphia voting alone was so corrupted. How can you have more than 100% voter turnout as happened in some precincts.

  3. Miguel Esteban says:

    This is totally on point. I appreciate your non-partisan bias. At first, knowing this is not your field of expertise, I figured you were going to blame the ACORN boogie-man like the rest of ’em!

  4. hal richard says:

    IT’S WELL PUBLISHED FACT; GEORGE SOROS IS SPENDING A MEGA-FORTUNE TO OWN & OPERATE THIS ELECTION, THE RESULT OF WHICH SHALL ELIMINATE ANY FURTHER NEED FOR ELECTIONS AGAIN!!!

    WITH THIS “Bitcoin acct.” INNATE USER-ANONYMOUS PROVEN CITIZENSHIP UNIQUENESS & infallible ACCOUNTING FUNCTION, THIS IS IMPERATIVE:

    With THESE WIDELY-KNOWN FACTS EXTANT, THERE IS SOUND CAUSE FOR ANY CANDIDATE expecting ANY FORM OF POLLING IRREGULARITY TO DEMAND OF ALL 50-State, Secretary’s of State, this potential IRONCLAD VERIFICATION FOR THAT STATE’S VOTER ID & FINAL TALLY!!! …

    WHY CAN’T THE CURRENT, ALREADY DEVELOPED, Bitcoin, etc.Apps. BE MANDATED TO BE USED TO INCONTROVERTIBLY ANONYMOUS “AMERICAN NATIONALITY-VERIFY” VOTERS, AS WELL AS INSTALLED ON EACH & EVERY COMPUTER VOTING STATION, FOR IT TO BE CERTIFIED FOR ULTIMATE VOTE TALLY?

    TODAY, 00:29 160825, WE HAVE 68-DAYS UNTIL 01 NOV. 2016; Holy God ONLY KNOWS HOW MANY COMPUTER SAVVY TALENTS ARE AVAILABLE TO DO THE WORK IN AN EMERGENCY PRESS!!! … God ALSO KNOWS:

    THERE HAS NEVER BEFORE, NOR SHALL THERE EVER BE GREATER NEED FOR THIS, THAN THIS VERY PLANNED “PSEUDO-ELECTION”!!!!!.

    THIS “ELECTION” IS OF VASTLY GREATER IMPORT THAN “The Presidency”!!!!!
    Via this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUlsTem7w0g DIABOLICAL NEXUS … We are literally JUST 76 DAYS FROM the POTENTIAL OVERTHROW of these Natural (Common) law, duly Declared & Constituted united States of America, into the World’s largest Islamic SHARIA LAW IMPOSED Caliphate!!!!

    KNOW YOUR ENEMY!!!! … Goto: https://www.politicalislam.com/ AND STUDY!!!! … Abeit:

    … WHATEVER YOU THINK ABOUT merits OR demerits OF Donald J. Trump: …
    HE IS THE SOLE SUBSTANTIVE COMMITMENT AGAINST THIS TREASON, AND THUS,

    OUR SOLE HOPE THESE united States of America SHALL EXIST BEYOND 11/9/2016!!!! …

    HATE HIM, IF YOU WILL; BUT AGAINST THIS DIABOLICALLY EMINENT CALIPHATE:

    ELECT HIM, WE MUST!!! … THEN, AFTER 20 January, 2017; IMPEACH HIM, if you like — BUT THE MAGNIFICENT DIFFERENCE IN SUCH AN CRUCIAL 11/8 VOTER-OUTCOME IS EPIC:

    With a 20 January, 2017 12:01 EST Trump White House, THERE SHALL STILL BE an united States of America, WITHIN WHICH “Impeachment” PROCEEDINGS’ SHALL BE POSSIBLE!!!!

    … FAILING such Wisdom;

    THERE SHALL BE THAT ALREADY INSTITUTED OBAMA~CLINTON SHARIA LAW CALIPHATE, WITHIN WHICH YOUR PERSONAL NON-MUSLIM STATUS – REGARDLESS OF PARTISAN AFFILIATION – SHALL BE AN UNMITIGATED BEHEADING, and “The united States of America” = HATE SPEECH, by SHARIA LAW!!! .
    ..
    GIVEN, by 11/8 NEXT; we become intellectually recovered enough to LANDSLIDE A TRUMP Administration, CONSTITUTIONAL 2nd AMENDMENT American governance INTO EXISTENCE:

    a. The Comey investigative works shall FIND A PROSECUTOR, AND SERVE to diligently prosecute the Pseudo-Caliph & its “Princess” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUlsTem7w0g for their attempted TREASONOUS COUP AGAINST the 1776 Duly Declared, now 50 united States of America, Our Republic & its 1791 Duly constituted Federal governance interface of those politically Sovereign state republics, within that internationally honored Law of Nations, so Declared supreme within that 1776 Declaration Preamble, as well as;

    b. Using the signatory list on this SELF-INDICTING LETTER to WEED-OUT THE REST of this ubiquitous cesspool of “color of law” subversives to our supreme de jury Natural (Common) Law Declaration and Constitution ESTABLISHED venue & jurisdiction governance regime!!!!

    May our Triune God grant His Holy Hedge, Wisdom & Discernment to President Donald J. Trump & correct this abject ignorance before it sends us SO DIRECTLY INTO THESE JAWS OF HELL!!!
    .

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