The report below was originally posted on the Texas Nationalist Movement’s website in October 2019, but the concerns it raises are much older. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see exactly why Texas voters are right to be concerned.
Over 100 different voting machines were recently assembled to test them for security vulnerabilities. Hackers were able to take control of all of them.
In a 47-page report released last week, a group of election security experts alerted the world to their findings from the annual evaluation of voting machine security at the annual DefCon conference. DefCon is billed as one of the world’s largest information security conferences. It is a gathering of hardcore hackers, technology-focused government officials, and members of the tech industry.
For the 2019 “Voting Machine Hacking Village,” researchers assembled over 100 electronic voting machines currently in use in at least one jurisdiction in the United States and turned hackers loose on them to find and exploit their vulnerabilities. The hackers were able to, with minimal effort, hack into and take control of every single machine.
According to the report, the hackers were able to “alter stored vote tallies, change ballots displayed to voters, or alter the internal software that controls the machines.”
The Texas Nationalist Movement has called for a return to paper ballots or paper ballot audit trails as a precursor to a TEXIT referendum. This has even been one of our legislative priorities for multiple sessions of the Texas Legislature. It also happens to be the chief recommendation made by the security experts who conducted the exercise.
“Systems that use paper ballots, such as optical scan voting devices, are physically designed to preserve a voter-marked record of each voter’s intended choices (the original paper ballots themselves) which cannot be altered by even the most maliciously compromised software. These paper ballots are a prerequisite for the use of routine post-election Risk Limiting Audits (RLAs), which are a state-of-the-art, statistically rigorous technique for comparing (by human eye) a sample of ballots with how they were recorded by machine. This allows us to reliably determine the correct outcome of even an election conducted with compromised machines.”
There is an overwhelming amount of public support for ballot integrity in Texas. However, the Texas Legislature has squandered every opportunity to address the issue in significant and meaningful ways. Texas Democrats actively work to erode ballot integrity while Texas Republicans have offered little more than hollow promises.
Until legislators address the concerns raised by both the TNM and this report, no Texan can, nor should they, trust the results of an election that are statistically aberrant. It is up to us to demand accountability and be vigilant in every race up and down the ballot.
You can download a PDF copy of the full report by clicking here.