Musk Says "Eliminate Electronic Voting Machines" After Dominion's Puerto Rican Imbroglio

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Jun 16, 2024 - 06:35 PM

Elon Musk on Saturday suggested that electronic voting machines should not be used in elections, as "The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high."

Musk was responding to the recent news that Puerto Rico is 'reviewing' their contract with Dominion Voting Systems after a 'software issue' caused machines supplied by the company to miscalculate vote totals, according to the country's elections commission.

According to AP, vote counts reported by Dominion machines were lower than paper counts in some cases, and some machines reversed totals or reported zero votes for some candidates.

"The concern is that we obviously have elections in November, and we must provide the (island) not only with the assurance that the machine produces a correct result, but also that the result it produces is the same one that is reported," said Padilla.

The island nation used more than 6,000 Dominion voting machines in their June 2 primary.

The company claims that the software issues stemmed from the digital files used to export the results from the primaries.

The President of Puerto Rico's House of Representatives, José Varela, has Dominion's back - calling for Padilla to appear at a public hearing on Thursday to address the issues.

"We cannot allow the public’s confidence in the voting process to continue to be undermined as we approach the general elections," he said.

The problems called to mind the island’s botched 2020 primaries, when a lack of ballots at some centers forced the government to reschedule voting in a first for the U.S. territory.

On June 2, Puerto Rico held primary elections to select gubernatorial candidates for the pro-statehood New Progressive Party and the Popular Democratic Party, which supports the island’s territorial status.

In a surprise upset, Jenniffer González, Puerto Rico’s congressional representative, beat Gov. Pedro Pierluisi in the primary held by the New Progressive Party. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Rep. Jesús Manuel Ortiz defeated Sen. Juan Zaragoza in the primary held by their Popular Democratic Party.

Both parties reported hundreds of ballots showing inaccurate results, with the PNP reporting over 700 errors and the PPD pointing to some 350 discrepancies. These inaccuracies affected ballots for positions including governor, mayor and resident commissioner. -AP

Following the discrepancies, the elections commission conducted a full vote tally and audited paper receipts from hundreds of ballot-counting machines - after which Ombudsman Edwin García Feliciano called the incident a "threat" to the island's electoral system, and called on the governor and the island's federal control board that oversees the island's finances to establish a plan to improve election security.

"All planning is based on resolving emergencies, including unlikely ones," said García Feliciano, adding "But predictable circumstances, which are well known to the public, cannot be addressed by improvisation and in a rush."

The island's general election will be held in November, where citizens will choose a new governor and local representatives.

Meanwhile in Georgia, a federal judge ruled in February that Georgia’s electronic voting machines had issues related to security and transparency - yet she declined to immediately halt the use of said machines.

Despite identifying several problems with the state's election system, US District Judge Amy Totenberg allowed Georgia to continue using the current electronic voting system while acknowledging the plaintiffs' concerns about the risks to the integrity of the voting process.

Also meanwhile;

In March, Headline USA reported that during defamation lawsuit between Dominion Voting Systems and former CEO and Donald Trump supporter Patrick Byrne, one of Byrne’s attorneys, Stephanie Lambert, who was later arrested, leaked evidence that foreign nationals remotely accessed voting machines used in Michigan in the 2020 elections.

In February of 2022, top officials at a U.S. federal cybersecurity agency are urging a judge not to authorize at this time the release of a report that analyzes Dominion Voting Systems equipment in Georgia, arguing doing so could assist hackers trying to “undermine election security.”

Meanwhile, officials in Fulton County, Pennsylvania sued Dominion in September of 2022, claiming that the county had  allegedly discovered that a "python script" had been installed on one device, which was "connected to an external device on an external network" reportedly located in Canada.

The script "can exploit and create any number of vulnerabilities including, external access to the system, data export of the tabulations, or introduction of other metrics not part of or allowed by the certification process," according to the filing.

Officials also claimed that the machines were running a July, 2016 version of Windows Defender, which would have left the machine vulnerable to "viruses or malicious software" created after that date.

That civil breach of contract case was tossed by 88-year-old federal Judge Sylvia Rambo (Carter appointee), who wrote that the "voting system functioned substantially as intended, and by all appearances, those actual errors which did occur were minuscule and had no material impact on the functioning of the devices." Meanwhile, the State Supreme Court found Fulton in contempt for allowing multiple third-party inspections of Dominion machines used in the 2020 election, and a contractor, Yaacov Apelbaum, has accused county attorney Stefanie Lambert (also of the Byrne case), of asking him to falsify a report alleging that Dominion machines had been hacked.

Last April, Dominion walked away with a $787M settlement from Fox News over reports that its equipment switched votes in the 2020 US election. Days later, host Tucker Carlson was out (which Carlson says a board member told him was part of the settlement).