DEVELOPING: Here’s What We Actually Know About The Dominion Voting System Right Now
Hursti: “As security researcher, we are always suspicious about any unexpected variable delays, as those are common telltale signs of many issues, including a possibility of unauthorized code being executed. So, in my opinion changes of behaviors between supposedly identical machines performing identical tasks should always be investigated.”Harri Hursti, World-renowned Data Security Expert
As we continue to watch the highly contested election 2020 play out before us, there are rising concerns over a voting system adopted by 28 states in this election cycle. This particular system is called the “Dominion Voting System”. These concerns appear to be more and more elevated as the investigation progresses. This particular system was used in the state of Michigan which sparked original investigations when a county’s vote tally was swapped, but have since been dismissed as “human error”.
The state of Texas rejected this voting system 2 times in 2019 citing security concerns. In August 24th, 2020 a gentleman by the name of Harri Hursti, an expert on electronic voting security, expressed deep concerns in a declaration over the voting system, take a look at the summary:
- the scanner and tabulation software settings being employed to determine which votes to count on hand marked paper ballots are likely causing clearly intentioned votes not to be counted;
- the voting system is being operated in Fulton County in a manner that escalates the security risk to an extreme level; and
- voters are not reviewing their BMD printed ballots, which causes BMD generated results to be un-auditable due to the untrustworthy audit trail.
Here are some of the very concerning observations Hursti laid out in his declaration as well
- Over period of about 45 minutes, I only observed one voter who appeared to be studying the ballot after picking it up from the printer before casting it in the scanner. When voters do not fully verify their ballot prior to casting, the ballots cannot be considered a reliable auditable record.
- The scanner would reject some ballots and then accept them after they were rotated to a different orientation. I noted that the scanner would vary in the amount of time that it took to accept or reject a ballot. The delay varied between 3 and 5 seconds from the moment the scanner takes the ballot until the scanner either accepts the ballot or rejects it. This kind of behavior is normal on general purpose operating systems multitasking between multiple applications, but a voting system component should be running only a single application without outside dependencies causing variable execution times.
- Further research is necessary to determine the cause of the unexpected scanning delays. A system that is dedicated to performing one task repeatedly should not have unexplained variation in processing time. As security researcher, we are always suspicious about any unexpected variable delays, as those are common telltale signs of many issues, including a possibility of unauthorized code being executed. So, in my opinion changes of behaviors between supposedly identical machines performing identical tasks should always be investigated.
- Many other observations can be read in the Exhibit 2 – Hursti Declaration — Document #809, Attachment #3.
It is unknown how many ballots might have been affected at this time. This doesn’t stop stories from circulating, however, such as the firestorm caused by this Trump tweet:
This is the story Donald Trump appears to be alluding too. Unfortunately, the story itself states the study is unaudited.
There was more coverage on this issue on Fox News with Sean Hannity, take a look:
As a result to this skepticism and close election, it appears Georgia will be manually recounting all of its ballots by hand. This should offer a good check against how the Dominion Voting System compares to the physical count of ballots. At the end of the day, the skepticism surrounding this election is likely to be good for America as she learns more about voting procedures and hopefully tightens them up in coming elections.