An election security report authored by House Democrats in 2018 expressed support for post-election audits in response to a plethora of vulnerabilities in U.S. election infrastructure, including machines that could be susceptible to “altered vote totals” and influence efforts carried out by the Chinese Communist Party.
Inaugurated in June 2017, the Congressional Task Force on Election Security counted six exclusively Democratic representatives selected by Nancy Pelosi. Convened to “protect electoral infrastructure” from foreign interference, the group published their findings in a 56-page report in January 2018.
Many of the assertions about the lax security of U.S. election infrastructure and subsequent solutions are at odds with Democratic leaders – including Joe Biden’s own Department of Justice – position on audits and outcome accuracy.
The task force’s primary finding – “OUR ELECTION INFRASTRUCTURE IS VULNERABLE” – appears to lend credence to claims that the results of the 2020 election could have been manipulated by a foreign actor. Upon the report’s release, no mainstream media outlets criticized House Democrats for subverting U.S. democracy with “conspiracy theories,” as they have done with individuals making the same claims in the context of the 2020 election.
The report highlights problems presented with the use of voting machines, “unequivocally” insisting that “many jurisdictions are using voting machines that are highly vulnerable to an outside attack.”
It continues, noting how even voting systems – including those that aren’t connected to the internet – could be susceptible to “alter[ed] vote totals”:
Some will defend the security of election systems by arguing that voting systems are secure because they are not connected to the internet. However, many voting machines contain software or hardware that could be used to connect to the internet. In addition, many machines use removable memory cards or USB sticks to program their machines with ballot data, and it is possible to infect a memory card with malware that could crash a machine or alter vote totals.
The report also presents scenarios whereby hackers could manipulate “unattended” machines in person or their memory cards: