Voting, tallying separate systems
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