Could Lack of Security Cause WA, OR Votes to Be Tampered With?
WA and OR have used ballot by mail for many years, ballots are sent out by county auditors, filled out, then either mailed back or dropped off at official drop boxes (at least in Benton and Franklin County).
However, especially this year, the issue of voter ballot security has become a hot button topic. With numerous stories of allegedly lost, thrown away or otherwise mistreated ballots, people are concerned; and with online registration as well.
And now, perhaps online tampering? The Epoch Times ran an article over the weekend indicating that in Washington and Oregon, it appears that what they call "lax" security or safety requirements could allow persons to "cancel" other people's votes.
It's not cancelling as in wiping away completely, rather, has to do with requesting a new ballot online. The system is designed especially for first time voters, but others who may not have received an official ballot. If you have created a profile at vote.wa.gov, you can request a ballot, but if one has already been sent, that one will be cancelled--replaced by the new one requested.
The Times says people's birthdays are readily available online, especially via social media profiles. We looked at voter.votewa.gov, and your name and birthday are all that's required to register to vote, and view your vote/ballot status.
The Times raises the question that it would be easy for someone to obtain a person's birthday to go with their name, log into their voter profile and request a new ballot, thereby cancelling one they may have or have already filled out and sent in. This would greatly increase the chances of issues arising and their vote potentially not being counted. It would also cause greater backlog and confusion and delays in results.
The Times says it contacted a WA voter, who walked through the process with them, and confirmed this is possible. Here is what the screen looks like at vote.wa.gov, the page in question. It just requires name, and yes, birthday:
What led to this investigation is a report The Epoch Times saw on a website 4chan.org and a discussion panel called "Politically Incorrect."
The panel showed screenshot examples of how some Oregonians were able to log in as Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Oregon Secretary of State Bev. Clarno, and some other officials. The Times says it's not clear if they were able to print overseas, disabled or military ballots under the names of these officials. But it underscores how the lack of security requirements leaves these system ripe for potential misuse.
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