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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > March 2017 > Letters & opinions

Letters & opinions

Hacking the election

Luke Harding (“Click for regime change,” February) expressed relief that US agencies judged “the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.” Unfortunately, we don’t know if those systems were hacked.

About a quarter of the US population votes on unverifiable paperless voting machines. If someone hacks the software of those machines, no one will know, because there are no paper ballots to crosscheck and hardly anyone conducts post-election checks for malware. Given that, and the many laws that are designed to prevent recounts, the US is proclaiming: HACK US!

I don’t know if voting machines were hacked in 2016, but it’s likely that they will be in 2020 unless all paperless voting systems are replaced by voter-verified paper ballot systems and mandated manual post-election ballot auditsare mandated.

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In Prospect’s March issue: Sam Tanenhaus, George Magnus and Dahlia Lithwick examine the state of America after Donald Trump’s first couple of weeks. Tanenhaus looks at the situation faced by the American press, Magnus looks at the state of global trade and Lithwick inspects the diminishing right to choice women face over abortion. Anne Perkins explores the rise of Theresa May through the political ranks and David Edmonds looks at how empathy affects our decision making. Also in this issue: Jay Elwes on Trump’s relationship with America’s intelligence agencies, Anita Charlesworth on the state of the NHS and Nick Cohen on what is done in the name of “the people” by politicians
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