According to hackers at a recently held hacking conference in Las Vegas Nevada, election machine keys are currently available for purchase on websites like Amazon, eBay and other sites. The conference, which took place recently from August 8 to the 10, showcased how vulnerable election machines inside the United States are.
If purchased, the keys give people access to voting machines in 35 different states. “These are the keys to the Kingdom,” said Harri Hursti, a hacker who spoke with a reporter at the conference. According to Hursti, the keys that can be purchased online are similar in shape to the locks on the machines which enable people to easily open the machines.
“This machine is used in 18 different states, many different swing-states. You can disrupt the ballot; you can make it say something that it’s not supposed to say. And that’s undermining our democracy,” CEO of Social-proof Security Rachel Tobac recently said.
The swing-states that Ms. Tobac is referring to include, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania along with Wisconsin. Swing-state voters in these four states are crucial for the President to winning election as they go back and forth between election cycles and aren’t loyal to one party or the other.
Several politicians attended the conference in Las Vegas as the issue of election and voting security have been a key issue in Washington following the 2016 election. Three of these states, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania helped decide the 2016 election as what is known as the “Blue Wall,” a term used by politicians to describe the traditional Democratic stronghold states for those states just listed, shifted to President Trump and helped him get to 270 electoral college votes the number needed to win the Presidency.
“A hidden feature that enables you to reopen the polls silently, and insert more ballots and print the new evidence of the election,” Hursti continued explaining the vulnerabilities of the machines.
According to a study done by the Washington Post, right after the 2016 Presidential election, 107,000 votes of the 120 million votes castes, decided the election. The states, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, have a combined total of 46 electoral college votes, which helped President Trump cross the 270 electoral votes needed to win the Presidency. President Trump got a total of 306 electoral votes while challenger and loser Hillary Clinton got 232. If the three states flipped, the Presidency would have gone to Hillary Clinton, and according to the Washington Post, even if Pennsylvania went to Hillary Clinton President Trump would have still gone past the necessary 270 vote margin needed to win.
Clinton would have won 274 if those three states flipped. It is important to note, because there are several election voting machines in these three key states that are considered vulnerable for next year’s 2020 Presidential election.
Concluding, companies like Amazon and eBay should make the socially responsible move and take off the keys from their websites for purchase as it’s not in the public good for them to be available for online for purchase. Common sense must prevail.