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From right to left: Chinese national emblem, Huawei logo, Made In Canada seal with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in blackface, Democratic Party logo, State of New Hampshire seal, U.S. Presidential seal, IT.

Foreign Hacking of New Hampshire Voting Machines

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          February 12, 2020

The New Hampshire Primary was held yesterday. It's important because it's considered the first real election of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Elections and the winner of the Democratic primary (Trump is a shoo-in for the Republican primary) gets a much-needed boost. "Real election" means one where voting is done the same way as it will be in the final presidential election in November — voters go to an official polling place and use state-certified voting technology (IT). This is in contrast to the earlier Iowa Caucus, which was run by party officials and used, disastrously, their own voting IT, a smartphone app designed by IT incompetents; see IT Incompetence Caused the Iowa Democratic Caucus Catastrophe. After Iowa there was worry about the voting IT in all states. IT incompetence causes hacking and there is great fear of foreign hacking of this year's elections.

New Hampshire officials, particularly Deputy Secretary David Scanlan from the (Democratic) Secretary of State's office, who are responsible for the voting IT, have made it sound like the actual vote counting IT is very secure. One IT incompetent but self-proclaimed cybersecurity expert in the New Hampshire Senate, Democrat (and Californian) Jon Morgan, went so far as to say that the greatest threat to the elections was not from hacking of the voting IT but from fake news (which is probably any news he doesn't like). As I, a real IT expert, will show, they are dangerously wrong. Foreign hacking of New Hampshire vote counting IT, and thus that of many states, is very possible.

New Hampshire mostly uses paper ballots. This is indeed the most secure voting IT, but only if these paper ballots are counted by humans, not machines. With humans from both parties counting the same paper ballots, security couldn't be any better. I know this from when I helped with such elections years ago in Vermont, where I am from and where millionaire socialist Democrat Bernie Sanders is a U.S. Senator, albeit a carpetbagger (he's not from Vermont, he only moved there to increase his chances of being elected due to the state's low population).

New Hampshire officials brag about using paper ballots ("you can't hack a pencil"), but then at the end admit that these paper ballots are mostly counted by machines, voting machines, which almost completely throws away the advantages of paper ballots. The one advantage that remains is the continued existence of the paper ballots, in case a recount is necessary. Humans can then do the recount, but why not have them do the count in the first place? Many — mostly the rush-to-publish media — will say that machine counting is necessary because it is faster, but if the count is disputed, because of the machine counting for example, the recount will actually make it slower, much slower. The Iowa Democratic Caucus Catastrophe is a good example. And remember the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election between George W. Bush and Al Gore that came down to a many-days-long human recount in Florida of paper ballots originally counted (badly) by machine?

New Hampshire officials then claim that these voting machines, while old, are very secure. They are AccuVote-OS machines made by Dominion Voting and programmed for each election by LHS Associates. Although they have probably never checked, New Hampshire officials claim that LHS Associates disables the communications (Wi-Fi, etc.) on these machines and only programs them using computers not connected to the Internet. Even if that's true, it does not make the voting machines secure, as I'll show.

The "programming" by LHS Associates is probably just inputting a list of the candidates for that election. The actual program is probably provided by Dominion Voting in the machine's firmware, which too is probably updated before every election. This firmware update doesn't have to be done over the Internet — it could be put on a disc and mailed, as it was for many years. The firmware could be easily hacked to make the device output any vote count desired; the list of candidates would be known even before the LHS Associates programming. If done subtly in a close election, as all recent U.S. presidential elections have been, no one would call for a human recount of the paper ballots and discover the hacking.

LHS Associates is based, including ownership, in Salem, New Hampshire and serves New England. While it is thus not foreign it does appear to be IT incompetent. No one with a degree in electrical engineering and/or computer science from a good university, as required for IT competence, could be found at the company. It seems mostly to have "field technicians" and the one of them whose education could be found (if it's not readily available, it's because it's not impressive), Steven Strumskas, has only a few months (at best) training as an emergency medical technician.

LHS Associates appears to be leaving the real voting IT to Dominion Voting. So who is Dominion Voting?

Dominion Voting is a Canadian company, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. It provides voting machines not just for New Hampshire but for many U.S. states. So a foreign company makes the hardware and software of voting machines for U.S. elections. Utter national security stupidity.

Because of the mere possibility of just this sort of foreign hacking of U.S. IT, the U.S. Government, specifically the Department of Commerce, restricts U.S. companies from doing business with the huge Chinese IT company Huawei, believed to be state-sponsored. It's even possible that Huawei makes Dominion Voting's machines, or important parts of them, like the firmware. This would be one way to get around the U.S. Government restrictions. Further, over the last few years Canada has had a huge influx of foreigners, particularly the Chinese, who have markedly changed the political landscape in Canada.

Canadians hate the U.S., particularly President Trump, who they hate almost as much as the Democrats do. Canadian meddling in U.S. elections is already on a scale the Russians can only dream of. Hacking of U.S. voting IT would be a logical next step for the Canadians.

(What do I know about Canada? For years I lived in Plattsburgh, New York, near the Canadian border, and have traveled all around the eastern Canadian provinces. Further, I have driven down the entire Alaska-Canada (ALCAN) Highway, from Alaska to Montana. I've been to more of Canada than most Canadians.)

Although Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, thinks racist blackface is funny, judging from his numerous appearances wearing it, he is the leader of the Liberal Party and reflects Canada's leftist swing towards socialism/communism (socialism is just communism with good PR), the same swing the U.S. is making via the Democrats. Canada then, of course favors socialist Bernie Sanders, as many foreigners who think they have a right to a say in U.S. elections do. Hmm. Bernie Sanders just won the New Hampshire Democratic Primary. And the same voting machines will be used in November, in many U.S. states.