Another Look at Election Security

Laura Ingraham asks, “Buchanan and Gingrich: How can we ensure the integrity of future elections?”

Securing the vote first requires the unlearning of a great many falsehoods:
1. While it’s possible to secure it manually, with a paper-only approach, that would require 3 to 7 times more than what states are currently spending. For a state like Colorado, that currently spends somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 million on a national election, you’re looking at $300 million. Obviously, this is an untenable answer!
2. Hybrid systems using both paper ballots and machine counting CAN be secured, but Colorado is NOT there, and it would $300 million simply because you have people in the mix and people can be corrupted. They think they are, but after a thorough audit of the entirety of their election procedures, it’s literally chock full of holes and opportunities for voter fraud. The way they conduct their RLAs (risk-limiting audits), for example, highlights their ignorance. For example, on November 16, 2020, the Secretary of State put out a memorandum about establishing the RLA random seed using a “ten-sided die.” For starters, ten-sided die can NOT generate numbers with equal ambiguity as a ten-sided die is NOT a platonic solid “A Platonic solid is a regular, convex polyhedron. It is constructed by congruent (identical in shape and size), regular (all angles equal and all sides equal), polygonal faces with the same number of faces meeting at each vertex. Five solids meet these criteria: tetrahedron (4), cube (6), octahedron (8), dodecahedron (12) and icosahedron (20).” If they’re generating 20 numbers, why not just use a 20-sided die (icosahedron)? For another, they’re going to use their faulty 10-sided die as a seed for a “pseudo-random number generator???” Why not just use Excel, whose random number generator, RAND(), passes all standard tests of randomness? Even then, there are simple techniques to generate vastly more random numbers using Excel than Excel’s RAND() function alone can provide. Why not use those?
This is but one of dozens of faults I found inherent within Colorado’s election system. I get the distinct impression it was designed not to prevent fraud but to allow it while creating the impression they’re doing everything they can to prevent it.
Another quick example: You must track each voter and each ballot. This is the only way to ensure ballots were cast by legitimate voters, that duplicate ballots weren’t forged, that unauthorized ballots were not used, that no one ran through stacks of ballots multiple times, and that voters who chose not to vote did not wind up having someone else vote for them. Does Colorado do this? No, they don’t. In fact, their RLA process contains two glaring security holes. Sorry, Colorado, but your elections are NOT secure, regardless of what or how often you claim.
3. A properly-designed, fully-electronic system with printed paper audit trails would only cost Colorado roughly $5 million. That’s 16 times cheaper than the way they do it now. It would also provide for comprehensive transactional logging and all node to all node comprehensive auditing. In fact, it’s auditing process doesn’t stop at a 4% risk limit (surety). Try 0.01%. In this system, the individual voter gets a short strip of paper printed with how they voted; something like, “EH4HHD85KS/Trump/Gardner/Lamborn/0/1/1/0/1/0/0/0/1/1/1, with the latter being Yes (1) or No (0) votes for the ballot initiatives. The precinct has three continuous strips, all started on full, two-thirds, and one-third of a roll so it always makes at least two copies, even when a roll is being changed. The state has the same. Login requirements would be easy for the user but secure for the system, including options for username/password, PIN, 2FA, and means of people verifying their identity with their REAL ID card, a short video of their own face, and answering some questions only the actual person would know. Anyone who lacked a smart phone or a computer with camera would go vote in person like we always have. Audits would include interviewing a random sample of voters to either scan their paper strips or ask them if they voted for and who, non-retribution so they can always decline.
“Any system can be hacked!” Possibly, but with the right amount and types of cross-checks, any hacks can be detected.
$5 million per state for an exhaustively comprehensive election security or $300 million to do it the hard way while still being open to fraud.
Take your pick, America. Choose wisely. If all you do is rant, “Voter ID! Voter ID! Voter ID!” you’re not being wise. That’s merely the FIRST of about 30+ steps required to secure an election.

If you’re one of those blocking Voter ID, then I submit it is you who are the criminal!

Updated: February 6, 2021 — 4:44 pm