Jennifer Cohn @jennycohn1 Election security advocate & writer; attorney; Contributor @WhoWhatWhy, @NYRDaily #HandMarkedPaperBallots #ProtectOurVotes May. 09, 2019 2 min read

Mitch McConnell's and Rand Paul's home state of Kentucky is one of eight states that still uses paperless (unauditable) voting machines as the primary polling equipment in at least some of their counties.  https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/letters-urging-states-secure-replace-paperless-dre-voting-machines  1/

2/ All of Kentucky's voting machines are supplied either by ES&S or by Hart.  https://www.verifiedvoting.org/verifier/ 

3/ “22 Counties in KY Use Voting Machines from Company [ES&S] That Donated $30K to GOP”  https://gritpost.com/22-kentucky-counties-voting-machines/ 

4/ According to Forbes, HART reportedly has ties to Mitt Romney's family.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2012/11/06/the-technological-foundations-of-todays-election-are-shaky-especially-in-ohio/#439bf7b0f2d5 

5/ In 2014, pre-election polls showed Democrat Allison Grimes and Mitch McConnell in a dead heat, but the official results said that McConnell had defeated Grimes by 15 points,

6/ Here are the final polling and results from the Grimes v. McConnell race in 2014.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_United_States_Senate_election_in_Kentucky#Polling_3 

7/ When Grimes challenged McConnell for his senate seat, she was already @KYSecofState. She still holds that position, but Republicans have recently stripped her of her power based on reporting by @JessicaHuseman and @ProPublica, who didn't mention the conflicts of interest...

8/ ... involving the voting machine vendors themselves (ES&S and Hart), but rather focused exclusively on a donation to Grimes's campaign made by a security firm Grimes hired to audit those systems.

9/ Nor did @JessicaHuseman or @ProPublica mention the major security gaffes committed by ES&S, including its installation of remote access software in 300 jurisdictions it refuses to identify.

 https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/mb4ezy/top-voting-machine-vendor-admits-it-installed-remote-access-software-on-systems-sold-to-states 

 https://www.npr.org/2018/09/21/649535367/hacks-security-gaps-and-oligarchs-the-business-of-voting-comes-under-scrutiny 

10/ I'm not saying that @JessicaHuseman and @ProPublica shouldn't have reported the donation that the security firm made to @KYSecofState, but FFS, their reporting missed some massive context here, and the omission has emboldened the GOP in Kentucky.

11/ When Allison Grimes ran against Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, the counties shown in brown exclusively used paperless (unauditable) voting machines supplied by ES&S and/or Hart. As noted above, ES&S and HART both have Republican ties.  https://www.verifiedvoting.org/verifier/#year/2014/state/21 

12/ A few of those counties have since replaced those paperless machines with ES&S's ExpressVote, a barcode ballot marking device system. These BMDs generate machine-marked paper ballots that put your vote into a barcode, which voters can't read.

13/ Here's a recent expert report titled "Ballot Marking Devices cannot assure the will of the voters."  https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3375755 

14/ These experts instead recommend hand marked paper ballots as a primary voting system (exception for voters who are unable to hand mark their ballots).

15/ By the way, election websites in some Kentucky counties (and across the nation) crashed in the 2018 midterms. (This article happens to have been co-written by Jessica Huseman. The headline describes these problems as "mundane.")  https://www.propublica.org/article/aging-machines-crowds-humidity-problems-at-the-polls-were-mundane-but-widespread 

16/ In April 2019, the DHS reported that "new information... 'indicates that Russian government cyber actors engaged in research on—as well as direct visits to—ELECTION WEBSITES and NETWORKS in the majority of US states.'"  https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/04/dhs-fbi-say-election-systems-in-50-states-were-targeted-in-2016/ 

17/ Thread.


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