Vot­ing, tal­ly­ing sep­a­rate sys­tems

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL -

An­drew Napoli­tano’s “Once in a while, a good leak” (Web, June 7) reads, in part: “…the NSA dis­cov­ered that Rus­sian hack­ers in late Oc­to­ber and early Novem­ber 2016 planted cook­ies (at­trac­tive, uniquely tai­lored links) into the web­sites of 122 Amer­i­can city and county clerks re­spon­si­ble for count­ing bal­lots in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. This means that if any em­ployee of those clerks’ of­fices clicked onto any cookie, the hack­ers had ac­cess to — and thus the abil­ity to in­ter­fere with — the tab­u­la­tion of votes.” The good judge is wrong.

I be­lieve Mr. Napoli­tano is par­rot­ing a lack of un­der­stand­ing about how votes are ac­tu­ally tab­u­lated and the al­most in­sur­mount­able chal­lenges fac­ing an at­tempt to make un­de­tectable changes to tab­u­lated votes. The sys­tems for the reg­is­tra­tion of vot­ers, used by city and county clerk sys­tems, are not the sys­tems used for vot­ing. Ac­cess to a reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem might re­sult in ne­far­i­ous changes that cause a dis­rup­tion in the abil­ity of of­fi­cers (or judges) of elec­tion to de­ter­mine whether a per­son is a reg­is­tered voter. The pro­ce­dures to han­dle such sit­u­a­tions (pro­vi­sional bal­lots) have been in place for years. The dis­parate vot­ing sys­tems in the United States makes it vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to make un­de­tectable (and suf­fi­cient) changes in tab­u­lated votes to af­fect the re­sults of a na­tional elec­tion.

R.L. HER­RING­TON Fair­fax

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