Because election 2020 wasn’t already fraught enough, we get to add this story to the mix.
There is a mad scramble to get ahead of the consequences of a key piece of technology going missing in the midst of an election.
The memory sticks used to program the voting machines do count as a ‘key piece of technology’, wouldn’t you say?
A laptop and several memory sticks used to program Philadelphia’s voting machines were stolen from a city warehouse in East Falls, city officials confirmed Wednesday, setting off a scramble among elections officials to investigate the theft and ensure the machines could not be compromised before Election Day.
The equipment appeared to be taken this week, sources said. Officials immediately began checking to make sure none of the voting machines had been compromised while also working to contain the fallout for fear of how President Donald Trump and his allies might use the news to cast doubt on the integrity of the city’s elections. –MSN
Hold on, MSN. A laptop and memory cards used to regulate the voting machines go missing and your first concern is… TRUMP? That’s some real crackerjack reporting you’ve got going there.
What else did they have to say?
They said the theft would not disrupt the election.
“Since being informed of the incident, I have immediately committed to making necessary police resources available to investigate this incident and find the perpetrators. I have also committed to the City Commissioners additional resources to provide enhanced security at the warehouse going forward,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement. “This matter should not deter Philadelphians from voting, nor from having confidence in the security of this election.”
Still, when contacted by The Inquirer, the commissioners and the Mayor’s Office initially refused to confirm the theft or that they had opened an investigation. They only did so after The Inquirer informed them that it would be reporting the theft based on sources who had been briefed on the matter but were not authorized to publicly discuss it. –MSN
Oh. They were going to suppress this news? No, nothing sketchy there.
Was it because they were embarrassed? Or because they were turning a blind eye to whoever took it? In this year’s crazy cycle either answer could be equally plausible.
After all, between ballots turning up in ditches and garbage cans, we do know that at least SOME folks who have been ginned up by the press consider Trump an ‘existential threat’ and are bringing in a ‘by any means necessary’ attitude to this year’s elections.
Many details surrounding the incident remained unclear Wednesday afternoon including exactly how the equipment was taken, whether there are any suspects, and details on how the missing technology might be used. Officials said there are multiple levels of security to prevent the equipment from being used maliciously, and a police investigation is ongoing
The equipment is believed to have been taken some time this week, though the exact date is not clear, according to two sources briefed on the matter who were not authorized to publicly discuss it. No other material appeared to have been taken, the sources said.
…A potentially greater concern are the stolen USB memory sticks that are used to set the machines in advance of an election, including setting the design of the ballots. —MSN
The story goes on to mention some fail-safes to make tampering with voting machines readily apparent — including the use of seals that would be broken in the event of tampering.
That isn’t to say that there is plenty of other mischief that could be accomplished if that information gets into the wrong hands. The ballot design, for instance, points to the theoretical possibility of falsified ballots.
Speaking of scandals involving computers and sensitive information…
BOMBSHELL REPORT: Trump-Russia Collusion Was A STRATEGY By Hillary To Distract From Email Scandal
And whatever became of these guys?