Despite record turnout, novel voting practices, and lots of irregularities, the 2020 presidential election was supposed to be the most secure of all time. Now that narrative is dangerously close to being blown out of the water.
On Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department unsealed a federal indictment of two Iranian hackers accused of stealing voter data, doctoring videos, and launching an “online voter intimidation campaign,” JustTheNews reported. This gives lie to assurances about the security of the election.
The indictment that outlined the voter intimidation effort was handed down a year ago but recently unsealed. This is just another in a long line of irregularities that have come to light well after the election was declared the “most secure in history” shortly after Election Day.
In states that were decided by relatively few votes, these problems become especially glaring despite protestations at the time. Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona have all turned up problems with their elections.
It’s particularly upsetting in Arizona where 50,000 ballots were found to be problematic in a postmortem audit. President Joe Biden won the state by fewer than 12,000 votes meaning any irregularities could have swayed the election for former President Donald Trump.
“I think one of the biggest takeaways, the bottom line is, is that if you don’t watch over your own elections, people start breaking the rules, they start breaking the laws, they start getting sloppy,” Arizona Senate President Karen Fann told the news outlet. “And when that happens, it’s really hard to determine really what the election results are, if we don’t follow our rules.”
Wisconsin went for Biden by only about 20,000 votes, but the state had illegally dispensed with ID requirements as COVID-19 accommodation among other changes. While there was no conspiracy per se, these kinds of incidents can have an impact when the tallies are so close in certain states.
Still, anyone who disputed the election results in 2020 because of the possibility of these hacks or frauds was dismissed. “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” a joint statement from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency declared shortly after the election.
The election is over and done with, but the lessons learned from it can be applied the next time around. Republicans are pushing for stronger elections security, but Democrats seem to like things just the way they are — and that tells us everything we need to know.