Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Making Voter Suppression (And Russia's Job) Easier

By now, most are aware of the voter suppression commission that was launched after sociopathic liar Donald "Rump" Trump claimed falsely that some 3 million people voted illegally in the 2016  Presidential elections. To head the commission Rump chose none other than Kris "KKK" Kobach, the right-wing Secretary of State of Kansas who is the nation's leading proponent of election rigging through voter suppression. Kobach met with resistance across party lines when he attempted to gather voting data from secretaries of state, who initially declined to provide the information (the Rethuglican secretary for Mississippi famously told Kobach's commission that it could "go jump in the Gulf of Mexico" before he'd provide voter data).

The Kobach commission's computerized tool for managing his voter suppression initiative is something called the "Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program", and ProPublica is reporting that the system is so badly flawed that it cannot protect the sensitive voter data that it's collecting from hacking and manipulation:
"The voter-fraud-checking program championed by the head of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity suffers from data security flaws that could imperil the safety of millions of peoples’ records, according to experts. (snip) 'It blows my mind — this is complete operational security incompetence,' said Joe Hall, the chief technologist for the Center for Democracy & Technology, an organization that promotes internet freedom. 'You should consider all of that stuff in the hands of people who are clever enough to intercept someone’s email.'"
ProPublica's report is detailed, technical and compelling, and points to the casual sloppiness of Kobach's data security. Putting voting data in one flawed system highly vulnerable to intrusion is dangerous to our democracy, not to mention the commission's glaring attempts at voter suppression. Then again, given Russia's interest in our voter rolls and elections to help Rethuglicans, making it easy for them to hack that data may be Kobach's plan after all.

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