We are now just over one month away from the 2020 election, and the anxiety that this is causing our country cannot be understated.
Yes, it is true that every election is the “most important election of our lifetime”, simply because the next election is the only election in which any change can be effected. But, even so, this is a different contest altogether.
First, we have a pandemic that continues to spiral out of control here in the United States. This has made the concept of gathering at polling places to cast ballots a bit of a precarious predicament for “at risk” demographics like the elderly, who often lean Republican in the polls. The easy answer would be to allow them to mail their votes in, as the military and other “absentee” voters do every election. President Trump has expressed concern that these ballots cannot be trusted, however, creating a quagmire of sorts.
Now, to make matters somehow worse, officials in Philadelphia are sounding the alarm on another potential threat to the sanctity of the election.
Philadelphia authorities are investigating and reexamining their voting machines after USB drives used to program them were stolen from a city warehouse, according to local reports.
The thumb drives and a laptop went missing some time this week, but exactly when remains unclear, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday.
“We are confident that this incident will not in any way compromise the integrity of the election,” a spokesman for City Commissioner Lisa Deeley told the paper.
Deeley’s office also said once set up, voting machines are sealed – so authorities were reexamining them to see if they had been tampered with.
But the paper also reported that city commissioners had been reluctant to confirm the thefts and privately worried that the thefts could lend credence to claims of threats to election integrity.
Officials would go on to proclaim that the software in question is well-encrypted, making it extremely difficult for ne’er-do-wells to access any pertinent data.
Furthermore, each flash drive is paired to a specific, single voting machine, and an error would occur should one of these devices find itself tethered to the incorrect flash drive.
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