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Corruption is Legal in America

But the interference and aspersions do merit a fresh look at the woeful state of our outdated, insecure electronic voting machines. Besides, by now states have had plenty of warning since a damning report by the Brennan Center for Justice about our voting machine vulnerabilities came out last September.

How Different Polling Locations Subconsciously Influence Voters

Surely matters must have improved since then. Most people remember the vote-counting debacle of the election, the dangling chads that resulted in the Supreme Court breaking a Bush-Gore deadlock. What people may not remember is the resulting Help America Vote Act HAVA , passed in , which among other objectives worked to phase out the use of the punchcard voting systems that had caused millions of ballots to be tossed.

In many cases, those dated machines were replaced with electronic voting systems. The intentions were pure.


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The consequences were a technological train wreck. The WinVote systems are an extreme case, but not an isolated one. That's true, but in fairness, most computers aren't quite this imperfect, either. Three-quarters of the country will vote on a paper ballot this fall, says Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting, a group that promotes best practices at the polls.

Frequently Asked Questions | California Secretary of State

But lots of other states use electronic machines in some capacity. Verified Voting also has a handy map of who votes using what equipment, which lets you drill down both to specific counties and machine brands, so you can see what's in use at your polling station. More than half of the states conduct post-election auditing, by checking vote totals against paper records, to ensure that the votes are accurate. Both Smith and Norden agree that this sort of auditing is the single best way to guarantee confidence in election results, as does MIT computer scientist Ronald Rivest, who has written extensively [PDF] on voting machine issues.

The problem is that not every state does post-election audits.

FIRST PAST THE POST (FPTP)

And progress toward more and better auditing is slow; Maryland just put an auditable system in place this year, Smith says, and will pilot it during the fall election. Over a dozen states still have no audit procedure at all. The problem with putting these auditing systems in place is the same one keeping more reliable voting machines from the booths in the first place: a lack of money and political will. If Putin would go so far as release those emails, would he pursue a direct assault on our vulnerable voting machines as well?

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Maness argues that the DNC hack and subsequent email release has put a spotlight on Russia. The blowback from such direct interference in a United States election would be too severe. Whatever you do, vote. Then on 9 November, Donald Trump declared victory over Hillary Clinton , and the country was facing mass protests and questions about who turned out to vote. From Utah, year-old rancher Todd Macfarlane, who voted third-party in and for John McCain in , shared some of those libertarian sentiments. He took on a Facebook experiment , trying out the social platform through the lens of a liberal user, and heard his fears echoed there.

Other nonvoters had more mundane reasons. But unlike Oetjen, Stephanie felt no regret, saying she disliked the candidates, wanted to reform the electoral college and opposed the two-party system. She was one of several who said they did not vote in or and would have voted for Bernie Sanders this year. Some simply felt excluded.


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Nonvoters in Washington state and New York, solidly blue states, said they would have voted had they lived in swing states. According to the most recent estimate by the US Elections Project, Turnout still mattered, in a localized way: some areas had higher Republican and lower Democratic turnout than usual, boosting Trump.