Headline of the Day

In October, someone got away with a laptop and USB drives full of encrypted data at the warehouse where Philadelphia’s voting machines are stored.

Philadelphia city officials swiftly assured voters that there was nothing to worry about because all the data was encrypted. Meanwhile a local reporter was able to enter the warehouse and stroll around the voting machines without anyone in the warehouse stopping him. Others had noted that accessing the USB slot for the voting machines was surprisingly easy.

But there were bigger problems at the warehouse than that. The serial numbers on the voting machines didn’t match election records. In a familiar story, officials blamed clerical errors.

And there were a whole lot of errors.

The new voting machines had been incorrectly recording votes. In a previous election, Northampton County voters who voted Republican suffered a “weird technical glitch” in which votes cast for Republicans instead went to the “instructional text box”. The manufacturer blamed the problem on “human error” and claimed that it only affected some 30% of machines.

Northampton County, one of the bellwether counties, was said to have flipped for Biden. The margins in some key precincts were between “a handful to hundreds of votes.”

There were problems with 366 of the same model of voting machines in Philly.

According to the manufacturer, voting machines only accept “certified and approved USB flash drives containing encrypted data”, which had apparently been stolen before Election Day.

The same month that the laptop and USB drives were stolen, elsewhere in the state, an elections judge in Allentown was charged with, “insertion and alteration of entries in documents, and prying into ballots”.

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