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Letter to the editor: The first line of defense against fraud


I was alarmed by the letter from Prof. M Thomas Seaman re . vulnerabilities in the Dominion Voting Systems now in use for Georgia’s elections since 2020. I went looking for the context of the creation of the report by J. Alex Halderman that Prof. Seaman sites in his discussion. That report was commissioned by the plaintiffs in the Curling v. Raffensberger case. The plaintiffs were arguing that the state should move to a paper only ballot system.

It turns out there was a second report produced by the national security nonprofit MITRE. That report was also released by the judge in the Curling case. That report argues that the hacks identified in the Halderman report are “operationally infeasible” given reasonable security practices followed by the Georgia election officials. Secretary of State Raffensberger stated in a letter to state lawmakers, “the Halderman report was the result of a computer scientist having complete access to the Dominion equipment and software for three months in a laboratory environment. It identifies risks that are theoretical and imaginary. Our security measures are real and mitigate all of them.”

The technical cybersecurity issues are beyond my pay grade to sort out. I will say that there were three separate audits of the 2020 results, one was a hand count of the paper ballots that each voter got to review before they were scanned. No evidence of fraud was discovered. There is an implicit assumption that paper ballots are inherently more secure than any system that involves computers. The reality is that paper ballots come with a host of logistical and security issues. Stuffing the ballot box was an issue long before computers were invented. Technology makes the threat of counterfeiting paper ballots a bigger threat than ever.

In any event, we should be aware of the potential for fraud. I have been a poll watcher and was impressed with the seriousness of purpose of all the poll workers and county election officials. That is our first line of defense. 

James DeFelice,Richmond Hill

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