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Elections News Stories
Excerpts of Key Elections News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important elections news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These elections news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of elections news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Top intelligence office informs congressional committees it'll no longer brief in-person on election security
2020-08-30, CNN News
Posted: 2020-10-12 00:26:10
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/29/politics/office-of-director-of-national-in...

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has informed the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence that it'll no longer be briefing in-person on election security issues, according to letters obtained by CNN. Instead, ODNI will primarily provide written updates to the congressional panels, a senior administration official said. The abrupt announcement is a change that runs counter to the pledge of transparency and regular briefings on election threats by the intelligence community. It also comes after the top intelligence official on election security issued a statement earlier this month saying China, Russia and Iran are seeking to interfere in the 2020 US election. US officials charged with protecting the 2020 election also said last week that they have "no information or intelligence" foreign countries, including Russia, are attempting to undermine any part of the mail-in voting process, contradicting President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly pushed false claims that foreign adversaries are targeting mail ballots as part of a "rigged" presidential race. Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner called the decision to stop in-person briefings an "unprecedented attempt to politicize an issue - protecting our democracy from foreign intervention - that should be non-partisan. Congress and the American public need to know more information about the election interference threat — not less," the Virginia Democrat said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


Texas Gov. Abbott restricts absentee ballot drop-off locations
2020-10-01, NBC News
Posted: 2020-10-12 00:24:26
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/texas-gov-abbott-restricts-abs...

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, ordered counties to stop accepting hand-delivered absentee ballots at more than one location, issuing a proclamation that could make it harder for residents to vote early. The proclamation, which goes into effect Friday, modifies part of Abbott's July 27 order that added six days of early absentee voting in the state in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Fellow Republicans in Texas are challenging the additional early voting days in court. Abbott said he issued the new order to ensure the security of the ballots, which President Donald Trump has questioned as Americans have embraced early and absentee voting in response to the pandemic. Texas has 254 counties, the largest of which is rural Brewster, which covers 6,193 square miles. Harris County, which includes much of the sprawling city of Houston, has a population of more than 4.7 million people. The county is home to 25 percent of the state's Black residents and 18 percent of its Hispanic population. Before Abbott's proclamation, the county had created 11 ballot drop-off locations. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner ... criticized the decision. "Growing up, I was bused over 20 miles as a student in the first integrated class at Klein High School," he said. "Because of the Governor's decision today, I would now have to go even farther to drop off an absentee ballot and make sure my vote is counted."

Note: A federal judge has blocked Abbot's order. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


Hackers Are Coming for the 2020 Election — And We’re Not Ready
2020-01-17, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2020-09-14 16:16:53
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/trump-election-hackin...

Four years ago, for an embarrassingly modest price, Russia pulled off one of the more audacious acts of election interference in modern history. The Internet Research Agency, the team of Kremlin-backed online propagandists, spent $15 million to $20 million and wreaked havoc on the psyche of the American voter. Russian intelligence agents carried out the digital version of Watergate, infiltrating the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign, stealing tens of thousands of emails, and weaponizing them in the days and weeks before the election. Russian-based hackers tested election websites in all 50 states for weak spots. “The Russians were testing whether our windows were open, rattling our doors to see whether they were locked, and found the windows and doors wide open,” says Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. The Russians ... recently hacked the Ukrainian natural-gas company at the center of the Trump impeachment scandal to potentially find damaging material about the Biden family. Other foreign nations, including Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and China, are getting in on the act. They’ll be joined, analysts say, by domestic actors — American consultants and candidates and click merchants borrowing and adapting Russia’s tactics to influence an election or make a quick buck. “We’re still in a situation going into 2020 where there are significant gaps left in the security of election infrastructure,” says J. Alex Halderman ... who studies voting equipment.

Note: The private companies that supply elections software are very vulnerable to hacking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


Kentucky cuts number of polling stations by 95 percent ahead of primary voting
2020-06-02, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-06-29 19:07:56
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/kentucky-cuts-p...

Kentucky lawmakers have warned the state was heading towards a disastrous primary election this week, as ballot problems, voter confusion and a severe shortage of polling places threatened to suppress turnout amid the coronavirus pandemic. State officials ... released a joint statement condemning US District Court Judge Charles Simpson’s ruling against a case that argued having just one polling site in most of the state’s 120 counties would result in voter suppression. “We believe the judge disregarded evidence from our expert witness that one location will suppress the vote, particularly among African Americans,” read the statement, co-authored by Jason Nemes, a Republican state representative, and Keisha Dorsey, a Democratic councilwoman. The lawmakers were both behind the lawsuit, which demanded an increase in statewide polling locations. Voters throughout Kentucky received inaccurate absentee ballots ... that do not match their party affiliations. In Kentucky, voters must be members of a party to participate in its primary elections. In a typical election year, Kentucky has about 3,700 polling sites. When Election Day arrives ... there will be just 200 polling sites across the state. Ben Jealous, president of People For The American Way, described the situation as “Our Next Electoral Nightmare.” “Half Kentucky’s Black voters live in one county,” he wrote. “It will have one polling place ... for 616,000 registered voters.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


How a Chase Bank Chairman Helped the Deposed Shah of Iran Enter the U.S.
2019-12-29, New York Times
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:16:40
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/29/world/middleeast/shah-iran-chase-papers.html

40 years ago, a worn-out white Gulfstream II jet descended over Fort Lauderdale, Fla., carrying a regal but sickly passenger almost no one was expecting. Aboard were a Republican political operative, a retinue of Iranian military officers ... and Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the newly deposed shah of Iran. The only one waiting to receive the deposed monarch was a senior executive of Chase Manhattan Bank, which had not only lobbied the White House to admit the former shah but had arranged visas for his entourage. Less than two weeks later, on Nov. 4, 1979, vowing revenge for the admission of the shah to the United States, revolutionary Iranian students seized the American Embassy in Tehran and then held more than 50 Americans — and Washington — hostage for 444 days. The shah, Washington’s closest ally in the Persian Gulf, had fled Tehran in January 1979. The shah sought refuge in America. But President Jimmy Carter ... refused him entry for the first 10 months of his exile. Chase Manhattan Bank and its well-connected chairman worked behind the scenes to persuade the Carter administration to admit the shah, one of the bank’s most profitable clients. For Mr. Carter, for the United States and for the Middle East it was an incendiary decision. The ensuing hostage crisis enabled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to consolidate his theocratic rule, started a four-decade conflict between Washington and Tehran ... and helped Ronald Reagan take the White House.

Note: More information is available in this 1991 New York Times article and this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


New Reports Say 1980 Reagan Campaign Tried to Delay Hostage Release
1991-04-15, New York Times
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:14:40
https://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/15/world/new-reports-say-1980-reagan-campaign...

Persistent but unproven accusations that Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign negotiated a secret deal with Iran to prevent the release of American hostages until after the election are being revived this week with fresh accounts of meetings between campaign officials and an Iranian cleric. One of the accounts is provided by Gary Sick, a Middle East specialist who helped handle the Iranian hostage crisis as a member of the White House staff in the Carter Administration. Mr. Sick ... has heard what he considers to be reliable reports that a secret deal involving the hostages was begun during two meetings between William J. Casey and the Iranian cleric in a Madrid hotel in July 1980. The allegation that there were meetings between Mr. Casey, Mr. Reagan's campaign chairman, who went on be the Director of Central Intelligence, and Hojatolislam Mehdi Karrubi, a representative of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, has been reported for the first time by Mr. Sick. The fate of the hostages was a pivotal issue in the 1980 election. They were taken prisoner when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ... seized the United States Embassy in Teheran in November 1979. A military operation to rescue them failed in the Iranian desert in April 1980. The Carter Administration hoped that it might obtain their release either through negotiations or a second rescue mission before Election Day, and Reagan campaign officials were concerned that the return of the hostages could swing the election to Mr. Carter.

Note: Much more information is available in this New York Times article and this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Fresh Cambridge Analytica leak ‘shows global manipulation is out of control’
2020-01-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-01-20 21:32:46
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/04/cambridge-analytica-data-leak...

An explosive leak of tens of thousands of documents from the defunct data firm Cambridge Analytica is set to expose the inner workings of the company that collapsed after the Observer revealed it had misappropriated 87 million Facebook profiles. More than 100,000 documents relating to work in 68 countries that will lay bare the global infrastructure of an operation used to manipulate voters on “an industrial scale” are set to be released over the next months. The documents were revealed to have come from Brittany Kaiser, an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower, and to be the same ones subpoenaed by Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Kaiser ... decided to go public after last month’s election in Britain. “It’s so abundantly clear our electoral systems are wide open to abuse,” she said. “I’m very fearful about what is going to happen in the US election later this year.” Kaiser said the Facebook data scandal was part of a much bigger global operation that worked with governments, intelligence agencies, commercial companies and political campaigns to manipulate and influence people. The unpublished documents contain material that suggests the firm was working for a political party in Ukraine in 2017 even while under investigation as part of Mueller’s inquiry and emails that Kaiser says describe how the firm helped develop a “sophisticated infrastructure of shell companies that were designed to funnel dark money into politics”.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


Cyber attacks and electronic voting errors threaten 2020 outcome, experts warn
2020-01-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-01-13 16:48:39
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/02/elections-2020-cyber-attacks-...

Seven top agency officials, including the heads of the FBI and CIA, issued a joint statement predicting Russia, and other countries intend to meddle in the 2020 elections via cyber attacks or social media. “Russia, China, Iran, and other foreign malicious actors all will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions,” the joint statement said. The threat of more cyber attacks, plus disinformation and social media operations to sway public opinion, has prompted the federal government to work closely with officials in all 50 states, the statement said. A Senate intelligence committee report in mid-2019 concluded that Kremlin hackers manipulated election systems in all 50 states, and succeeded in breaching systems in two Florida counties and another state. New questions are being raised about the safety of some electronic voting equipment given problems in 2019 and 2018, respectively, in Pennsylvania and Georgia. A lawsuit was filed last month to block Pennsylvania from certifying electronic voting equipment that Philadelphia has purchased, after the same machines encountered significant problems in November in undercounting votes. The equipment was made by ... ES&S, which boasts about 50% of the national voting machine market and has been cited before for malfunctions. In Georgia in the 2018 elections, for instance, old voting machines made by ES&S were involved in counting votes in a race where reportedly about 80,000 votes were strangely not cast.

Note: There have been serious problems with electronic voting in the US for decades. There is little doubt powerful factions within the US have taken advantage of this. Only now that the Russians are being accused is anyone talking about this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


Trump top adviser: 'Traditionally, it's always been Republicans suppressing votes'
2019-12-20, NBC/Associated Press
Posted: 2020-01-06 18:01:35
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/trump-top-adviser-traditionall...

One of President Donald Trump’s top re-election advisers told influential Republicans in swing state Wisconsin that the party has “traditionally” relied on voter suppression to compete in battleground states but will be able to “start playing offense” in 2020 due to relaxed Election Day rules, according to an audio recording of a private event obtained by The Associated Press. “Traditionally it’s always been Republicans suppressing votes in places,” Justin Clark, a senior political adviser and senior counsel to Trump’s re-election campaign, said at the event. Republican officials publicly signaled plans to step up their Election Day monitoring after a judge in 2018 lifted a consent degree in place since 1982 that barred the Republican National Committee from voter verification and other “ballot security” efforts. Critics have argued the tactics amount to voter intimidation. The consent decree was put in place after the Democratic National Committee sued its Republican counterpart, alleging the RNC helped intimidate black voters in New Jersey's election for governor. The federal lawsuit claimed the RNC and the state GOP had off-duty police stand at polling places in urban areas wearing armbands that read "National Ballot Security Task Force," with guns visible on some. Mike Browne, deputy director of One Wisconsin Now, said Clark's comments suggest the Trump campaign plans to engage in “underhanded tactics” to win the election.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


Report: Election Vendors Are 'Prime Targets,' Need Oversight
2019-11-12, New York Times/Associated Press
Posted: 2019-11-19 01:16:20
https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/11/12/business/bc-us-election-security-...

The private companies that make voting equipment and build and maintain voter registration databases lack any meaningful federal oversight despite the crucial role they play in U.S. elections, leaving the nation's electoral process vulnerable to attack, according to a new report. The Brennan Center for Justice on Tuesday issued the report, which calls on Congress to establish a framework for federal certification of election vendors. The authors say this could be established as a voluntary program similar to how voting machines are certified, with incentives for state and local election officials to use vendors that have completed the process. It would include the establishment of federal standards and the ability for federal officials to monitor compliance and address any violations. The report's co-author Lawrence Norden acknowledged it was too late for any of this to happen in time for the 2020 presidential election. Although Congress sent $380 million to states last year for election security, Norden said it was a "drop in the bucket" of what is needed as state and local election officials look to fund the replacement of outdated and insecure voting systems, increase cybersecurity personnel and add security upgrades. Just three companies provide more than 80% of voting systems in the U.S.. Other systems like voter registration databases and electronic pollbooks are also supplied and, in some case, maintained by vendors.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


Hackers find voting machines used throughout the US are vulnerable to attack
2019-09-26, CNN News
Posted: 2019-10-14 23:48:04
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/26/politics/hackers-voting-machines/index.html

For the third straight year, elite hackers from around the world who spent a long weekend hacking into voting equipment have released a report detailing vulnerabilities in machines still in use across the country. Each of the more than 100 machines the researchers looked at were vulnerable to at least some kind of attack, said Georgetown professor Matt Blaze, one of the Def Con Voting Village's organizers. As in previous years, the Voting Village collected versions of voting equipment used around the country, much of it ordered from eBay, and invited all of the more than 35,000 attendees of the Def Con hacker conference, which took place in Las Vegas in August, to see what kind of holes they could find. Some of machines were found to be vulnerable to remote attack and one electronic pollbook had a hidden ethernet cable to connect it to the internet. The issue is less that skilled hackers can break into election equipment, Blaze told CNN, and more that elections systems as a whole need to both minimize risk and double-check election results with paper ballots ... and risk-limiting audits. Following accusations that he'd been blocking election security legislation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week backed an amendment to give states an additional $250 million to distribute for election security. But experts have questioned whether that's enough money to get the US to an acceptable level of election security.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


Hackers were told to break into U.S. voting machines. They didn’t have much trouble.
2019-08-12, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-10-14 23:46:29
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/08/12/def-con-hackers-lawmakers-...

As Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) toured the Voting Village on Friday at Def Con, the world’s hacker conference extraordinaire, a roomful of hackers applied their skills to voting equipment. By laying siege to electronic poll books and ballot printers, the friendly hackers aimed to expose weaknesses that could be exploited by less friendly hands looking to interfere in elections. Almost all of the machines in the room were still used in elections across the United States, despite having well-known vulnerabilities that have been more or less ignored by the companies that sell them. In the three years since its inception, Def Con’s Voting Village ... has become a destination not only for hackers but also for lawmakers and members of the intelligence community trying to understand the flaws in the election system that allowed Russian hackers to intervene in the 2016 election and that could be exploited again in 2020. Congregants spoke often of the need for thorough auditing of election results, increased funding and improved transparency from vendors. The call for paper ballots was a common refrain. At the time of the 2018 midterm elections, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina had no auditable paper trails. “Election officials across the country as we speak are buying election systems that will be out of date the moment they open the box,” Wyden said. “It’s the election security equivalent of putting our military out there to go up against superpowers with a peashooter.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


More than 1,000 US polling sites closed since supreme court ruling
2019-09-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-09-23 15:51:10
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/11/us-polling-sites-closed-repor...

Jurisdictions once monitored by the justice department for racially discriminatory voting practices have collectively closed more than 1,000 polling places since a watershed 2013 US supreme court ruling released the jurisdictions from oversight, according to a new watchdog report. In 757 counties and county equivalents that formerly had to pre-clear voting practice changes with Washington, 1,173 polling places disappeared between 2014 and 2018, a study by the Leadership Conference Education Fund, part of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights coalition, found. The closures could disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color, especially when combined with restrictive voter ID laws, gerrymandering and aggressive voter roll purges, the report warned. Last month, a separate study found that US election jurisdictions with histories of egregious voter discrimination have been purging voter rolls at a rate 40% beyond the national average. “Closing polling places has a cascading effect, leading to long lines at other polling places, transportation hurdles, denial of language assistance and other forms of in-person help, and mass confusion about where eligible voters may cast their ballot,” the report said. “For many people, and particularly for voters of color, older voters, rural voters and voters with disabilities, these burdens make it harder – and sometimes impossible – to vote.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


Just how big a problem is voter suppression?
2019-08-01, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-08-26 16:04:00
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/08/01/just-how-big-problem-is-vo...

The progressive Brennan Center for Justice is out with an alarming new report documenting the widespread use of voting roll purges. The center found: “Using data released by the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) in June, a new Brennan Center analysis has found that between 2016 and 2018, counties with a history of voter discrimination have continued purging people from the rolls at much higher rates than other counties.” The numbers are startling. “At least 17 million voters were purged nationwide between 2016 and 2018, similar to the number we saw between 2014 and 2016, but considerably higher than we saw between 2006 and 2008.” Moreover, the purged voters come disproportionately from jurisdictions that, because of their history of voter discrimination, were previously required to preclear electoral law changes with the Justice Department. That requirement has been on hold since the Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. This isn’t merely about partisan advantage. The artificial reduction in the electorate with an eye toward boosting the percentage of white, Republican voters strikes at the heart of our democracy. The Voting Rights Act, before it was hobbled by the court, allowed millions of African Americans to vote for the first time, changing the composition of federal and state offices and changing legislative outcomes. Unless and until we expand the electorate (e.g., with voting by mail, automatic or same-day registration), we are undercutting our democracy.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


Ohio Republicans Balked at a Nuclear Bailout, so the Industry Elected New Republicans — and Walked Away With $1.1 Billion
2019-07-26, The Intercept
Posted: 2019-08-12 22:17:18
https://theintercept.com/2019/07/26/ohio-billion-dollar-nuclear-bailout-first...

On Tuesday, a dark-money effort linked primarily to the Ohio nuclear industry delivered an audacious payoff, as a newly elected state legislature overcame years of opposition to shower a $1.1 billion bailout on two state nuclear plants. Several dark-money groups spent millions to replace key Republican state legislators in the spring of 2018, followed by a furious lobbying campaign to make sure those new lawmakers elected a new House speaker. In April 2018, two nuclear plants, both owned by the electric utility FirstEnergy, filed for bankruptcy and have been threatening to cease operations if not bailed out. The bankruptcy filings give a glimpse into the company’s political spending: more than $30 million from 2018-2019 on lobbying and campaigns in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The payoff is extraordinary in degree — something like $30 million for campaigns in Ohio and Pennsylvania to win $1.1 billion in government subsidy. But it is similar in kind to other nuclear projects across the country. On July 23 ... the bailout [was] signed by the state’s new governor, Republican Mike DeWine. (FirstEnergy also contributed to the campaign of DeWine, who then tapped a FirstEnergy lobbyist to be his liaison to the legislature.) The Ohio legislation reads as if it was designed specifically to undermine the planet’s continued capacity to support a steady human population. Along with propping up the state’s two nuclear plants, it also provides subsidies for failing coal plants.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption and nuclear power from reliable major media sources.


Senate report: all 50 states were targeted by Russian interference ahead of 2016 elections
2019-07-25, PBS/Associated Press
Posted: 2019-08-04 18:28:55
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/senate-report-all-50-states-were-target...

Robert Mueller warned that Russian interference is still happening “as we sit here.” A report from the Senate Intelligence committee concluded all 50 states were targeted in 2016 and ahead of the 2018 election “top election vulnerabilities remained.” But there’s no help coming from Congress. It’s a risky calculation heading into 2020. Primary voting is six months away. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday blocked a House-passed bill that would authorize $775 million to beef up state election systems. The challenge was underscored Thursday as the Senate Intelligence Committee released the full results of an investigation that found the Russian government directed “extensive activity” against U.S. election systems ahead of the 2016 election. Two years later ... little had changed, as an intelligence assessment reported, “We are aware of a growing volume of malicious activity targeting election infrastructure in 2018.” The report encourages states to “take urgent steps to replace outdated and vulnerable voting systems.” The most pressing issue is replacing electronic voting machines that do not produce a paper record of each ballot cast that is verified by the voter and can later be audited. In 2018, 10 states had more than half of their jurisdictions using machines without a paper trail. An AP analysis in July found that many of the 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide use old and soon-to-be outdated operating systems to create their ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts.

Note: US elections have been vulnerable to hacking for a long time, and not just by the Russians. See concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid
2019-06-15, New York Times
Posted: 2019-06-23 00:18:44
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/15/us/politics/trump-cyber-russia-grid.html

The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said. In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia’s grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow’s disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections. In August of 2018, President Trump signed [an] executive order ... called National Security Presidential Memorandum 13. Its contents are still classified, but essentially it allows the Cyber Command to go ahead and conduct all kinds of operations inside foreign networks without going back to the president for prior approval. The first thing it did was go after those units in Russia that were responsible for a lot of the election-hacking. They went after the G.R.U., the Russian military intelligence unit that had been responsible for breaking into the D.N.C.. A lot of that ... was made public. What wasn’t made public was a parallel effort to go inside the Russian power grid, to put some code in places where the Russians ... wouldn’t see it, in case the U.S. ever needed to act against Russia’s utilities as the Russians were putting malware in our systems.

Note: A 2007 New York Times article describes the formation of the Air Force Cyberspace Command to arm the US military in anticipation of widespread computer-based warfare. A more recent Guardian article says, "we might already be living through the first world cyberwar." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


America's new voting machines bring new fears of election tampering
2019-04-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-04-29 16:25:41
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/22/us-voting-machines-paper-ball...

For almost 17 years, states and counties around the country have conducted elections on machines that have been repeatedly shown to be vulnerable to hacking, errors and breakdowns, and that leave behind no proof that the votes counted actually match the votes that were cast. Now ... states and counties across the country are working to replace these outdated machines with new ones. The purchases replace machines from the turn of the century that raise serious security concerns. But the same companies that made and sold those machines are behind the new generation of technology, and a history of distrust between election security advocates and voting machine vendors has led to a bitter debate over the viability of the new voting equipment. The draw of the new machines, called ballot-marking devices (BMD), is the promise of a paper ballot. But there are concerns with the integrity of the paper trail a BMD would create at every stage. Many BMD models on the market print a sort of two-in-one ballot with one section to be read by machines and another to be read by humans. Barcodes – or QR codes – that represent a voter’s choices are printed on the ballot along with plain text showing, presumably, the same information in a way people can understand. When the ballot is scanned, it is the barcode that is scanned and counted, not the text that voters can read. If a barcode is printed that represents a different choice, or the scanners were hacked, voters would not know the difference.

Note: Computer scientists have shown nearly every make and model of electronic voting machine to be vulnerable to hacking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


'They think they are above the law': the firms that own America's voting system
2019-04-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-04-29 16:23:20
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/22/us-voting-machine-private-com...

In 2015, Maryland’s main election system vendor was bought by a parent company with ties to a Russian oligarch. The state’s election officials did not know about the purchase until July 2018, when the FBI notified them of the potential conflict. The FBI investigated and did not find any evidence of tampering or sharing of voter data. But the incident was a giant red flag ... especially as many states have outsourced vote-counting to the private sector. Democracy in the United States is now largely a secretive and privately-run affair conducted out of the public eye with little oversight. The corporations that run every aspect of American elections, from voter registration to casting and counting votes by machine, are subject to limited state and federal regulation. The companies are privately-owned and closely held, making information about ownership and financial stability difficult to obtain. The software source code and hardware design of their systems are kept as trade secrets. A small network of companies ... have near-monopolies on election services, such as building voting machines. Across the spectrum, private vendors have long histories of errors that affected elections, of obstructing politicians and the public from seeking information, of corruption, suspect foreign influence, false statements of security and business dishonesty. The computer security world has been sounding the alarm since voting machines were adopted. Now lawmakers, election officials and national security experts are joining in.

Note: Computer scientists have shown nearly every make and model of electronic voting machine to be vulnerable to hacking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Corruption Game’ Speech is Now the Most Viewed Twitter Video of Any Politician
2019-02-12, Newsweek
Posted: 2019-02-17 17:43:33
https://www.newsweek.com/alexandria-ocasio-cortezs-corruption-game-speech-now...

A viral video of New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez using a "Corruption Game" to highlight the need for campaign finance reform during a House Oversight Committee hearing last Wednesday has become the most viewed video of any politician in Twitter history. In her "corruption game," Ocasio-Cortez launched into a "lightning round" of questions for a panel of ethics experts in a bid to demonstrate just how easy it is for corrupt lawmakers - and even, hypothetically, the president of the U.S. - to avoid accountability under current government ethics laws. The 29-year-old lawmaker was able to highlight how a political "bad guy" would be able to enrich themselves and advance their interests "even if that means putting [their] interests ahead of the American people." Her examples ranged from taking "special interest dark money" from corporate PACs to fund a campaign to using hush money payments to make potential scandals disappear and writing laws that benefit donors and then buying stocks in their companies for personal financial gain. "So," Ocasio-Cortez said, in summary: "We have a system that is fundamentally broken. We have these influences existing in this body, which means that these influences are here, in this committee, shaping the questions that are being asked of you all right now. Would you say that that's correct?" "Yes," one expert, Walter Michael Shaub Jr. ... who previously served as the director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, responded.

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