American democracy is in limbo after the long-anticipated, contested election has finally come to pass. More than a week removed from November 3, Democrats and Republicans peddle their own version of events as a corporate media blitzkrieg tries to manufacture consent for Joe Biden as president-elect in true Guaidó style. Trump plays the villain, ensconced in the Oval Office while his cabinet officials pitch weak legal challenges that fail to address substantive issues of electoral fraud and serve to simply prolong the stalemate and build up the tension for the grand finale.
Despite evidence of fatal vulnerabilities underlying the electronic voting infrastructure of the United States that leave the systems at the very heart of the democratic process open to election rigging on a massive scale, much of the American public is unaware of the extent of the problem and how easily election results can be manipulated without leaving a trace.
The bumbling incompetence of the Trump administration provides cover for the machinations of the U.S. establishment, which more nuanced independent coverage has revealed in great detail. Taking the deliberate preparations made for this particular eventuality into consideration, complete with table-top exercises and the creation of new federal agencies and programs since the start of the 2016 presidential race, it is clear that the 2020 Election was targeted as an opportunity to fundamentally transform the American political juggernaut, in tandem with the ongoing worldwide economic reset.
A statement released last Thursday by the director of one of the newest agencies, in charge of overseeing cybersecurity infrastructure in the United States, claimed that there was “no evidence […] any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” Chris Krebs, the head of the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), directly contradicted the Trump-appointed chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), who last week told the conservative outlet Newsmax that voter fraud was definitely taking place.
Part of the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency’s mission centers on assuring compliance with DHS dictates surrounding election security protocols. The standalone federal agency with oversight from the Department of Homeland Security was formed two years after an embarrassing incident involving DHS occurred during the 2016 general election, when Georgia’s then secretary of state, – now governor – Brian Kemp, announced that cyberattacks on its voting systems had been traced to the federal law enforcement agency.
In 2020 with CISA firmly in place, DHS’ cybersecurity division implemented a “24/7 war room” to ostensibly guard against election hacking. CISA’s Krebs, a former cybersecurity policy director at Microsoft, led the effort to “monitor a network of every state’s election system simultaneously until every vote is counted,” according to News Nation, which was allowed to bring a camera crew into the operation in Fort Meade, Maryland.
In the lead up to the 2020 election, warnings about Russian and Iranian cyberwarriors running roughshod over the electoral contest were everywhere in U.S. media. Dire warnings of an existential threat to democracy by foreign actors that never materialized were leveraged to implement new security measures in partnership with the private sector. Krebs floated the excuse for a conspicuously absent horde of Eurasian hackers, that America’s enemies chose to “sit out this election” in a recent New York Times article.
The fact is that neither Russia nor Iran have anywhere near the level of access to America’s election system as the handful of private companies who are part of an electronic voting machine cartel, which currently controls over 92% of the elections market in the United States.
You Don’t Really HAVA Choice
In a prolific time for draconian government overreach, one of the lesser-known pieces of legislation proposed by the Bush administration was the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), passed by a Republican-controlled House and a unanimous vote by a Democrat-led Senate in December 2001. The bill was signed into law 11 months later and “greatly accelerated the full computerization of U.S. elections,” according to Jonathan Simon, an election integrity advocate and author of “Code Red, Computerized Election Theft and The New American Century,” in an interview with MintPress.
Simon describes the legislation’s carrot-and-stick approach to goad states into adopting technologies like touchscreen voting systems known as DREs, which were later replaced with barcode systems or BMDs, which were “entirely lacking in cyber-security provisions to protect the increasingly concealed process it promoted.” Among the bill’s authors is none other than the current Senate leader and Republican kingmaker, Mitch McConnell, who has defended Trump’s right to challenge the election results without committing to a particular outcome.
“If, as was claimed,” Simon continues, “HAVA would make voting easier and thus increase turnout, as we can see clearly today, that was decidedly not a GOP goal, certainly not of a tactician like McConnell.” The partisan motivations Simon ascribes to HAVA are clear enough, and, as he points out, should have been clear to Democrats as well. But, the argument that the American liberal establishment had no inkling of the ramifications fails to account for the Democrats’ own forays into the closely held universe of electronic voting systems.
A week ago, FOX Anchor Maria Bartiromo casually let slip on air that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s chief of staff, Sidney Powell, had become a lobbyist for Dominion Voting Systems – one of a handful of companies that maintain a close-knit cartel of electronic voting systems, which together control 92% of the election marketplace. Nevertheless, Dominion’s market share is dwarfed by ES&S; the largest election voting machine company in the United States and whose “subcontractors that [do] the actual programming, maintenance, and distribution” are controlled by GOP political allies, according to Simon.
The wrangling these firms engage in to steal electoral markets from each other, and the inseparable political problems such dynamics can cause, was on full display in Louisiana just before the 2018 midterm elections when its Democrat governor, John Bel Edwards, canceled a $95 million dollar contract that had been awarded to Dominion after competitor ES&S filed a complaint about the contracting process. Edwards was accused by his Republican secretary of state of siding “with his political buddies over election security,” which contradicts the prevailing notions of a pure partisan split along this issue.
Experts on both sides of the political divide concede that both voter fraud and election fraud occur with considerable frequency since the advent of electronic voting machines. In addition to Dominion and ES&S, only five other companies dominate this space: Tenex, SGO/Smartmatic, Hart InterCivic, Demtech, and Premier (formerly Diebold).
Virtually all have been accused of vote count manipulation or other irregularities associated with their systems. Hart, for instance, was accused of vote flipping (the practice of switching the votes from one candidate to their opponent) in Texas. Dominion also ran into issues in the Lone Star state when its systems failed certification over accessibility problems.
“Much of the equipment being used to record and count votes,” explains Jonathan Simon, “is either modem-equipped, which leaves it highly vulnerable to remote interference, or programmed with the use of other computers than are internet-connected, allowing the alteration of memory cards and code running in either precinct-level machines (like BMDs, DREs, or Optical Scanners) or central tabulators.”
Examples of these dangerous weaknesses were explored in a recent video published by a self-styled national security professional, L. Todd Wood, where conservative elections security expert, Russ Ramsland, breaks down his findings from a forensic analysis of a 1000+ page voter log taken out of Dallas County’s central tabulation center in the aftermath of the 2018 midterm elections.
Ramsland identified instances of votes being replaced in 96 precincts, an inordinate number of database “updates” and other serious irregularities that point to vote-count manipulation and amount to election fraud. His most explosive allegation centered around claims of real-time vote-swapping in the 2019 gubernatorial election in Kentucky, where Ramsland asserts that thousands of votes originally given for the Republican candidate were swapped live on a CNN broadcast and added to the tally of the Democratic candidate, Andy Beshear, who would end up winning the election.
Ramsland also alleged that the election data of that race was being stored in a server in Frankfurt, Germany before being cycled through the central tabulation database, which syncs automatically with the numbers shown to television viewers. This server has been pounced on by Trump supporters in recent days and repeated by Rudy Giuliani in his podcast on Friday when he also purported to have direct evidence of election fraud.
While it is practically impossible for the layman to unravel the complexities underlying the encryption and cloud technologies underlying the present-day election system in the United States, few can doubt that moving towards a digital voting system removes whatever last vestiges of control the regular American citizen had in a once participatory exercise of democracy.
Asked if democracy can even exist under such conditions, Simon refers to a prediction he made in “CODE RED,” in which he augurs “an inexorable progression to where we are now: public trust eroded, the losers making wild allegations, no one able to prove anything, [and] everyone kind of waking up to the realization that our concealed computerized vote-counting process does not yield evidence-based results.”
Giuliani’s promises of whistleblowers coming forward to save the day for the MAGA crowd and call the election off aren’t likely to produce anything of consequence as this charade only serves to further pave the way for the ruling classes, who are consolidating their grip on power and wealth at mind-boggling speeds thanks to the peculiar advantages bestowed upon them by the pandemic protocols. Real evidence of election fakery is too widespread to confront as part of a national discussion, as that would threaten the position of the politicians who depend on a rigged system and the powerful interests that control them.
With the extremes of the American political spectrum lighting up in deep reds and blues, whatever emerges out of the ashes won’t resemble much that came before it, and regardless of the election results, America’s inexorable march towards techno-fascism is moving right along.
Watch | America’s Election Debacle Highlights Anti-Democratic Hijinks of Both Parties
Actual voter and election fraud takes place in every national American election and is just as prevalent in state and municipal elections, as well. From vote splitting to voter suppression tactics to direct manipulation of election results, both political parties have usurped the electoral processes to lie and cheat their way into power more than once.
But with the advent of digital voting systems, even the scandals we always seem to hear about far too late will vanish from sight, as well. The most straightforward aspect of democracy – voting – is disappearing behind a curtain of ones and zeros that only technocratic lackeys will be able to pull back. Trump, who was plucked from the reality TV screen like Jeff Daniels in “The Purple Rose of Cairo” and inserted into the national contest for the highest office in the land, will do nothing to change that.
Publically available FBI documents show the sitting president has been an FBI informant since the early eighties and his rise to the highest office in the land was not the case of a brash, independent billionaire who decided to run for president to “Make America Great Again.” After all, Donald Trump’s long-standing ties with the very “deep state” many of his staunchest supporters are convinced he is dismantling, actually reveals a factional war among the ruling class behind the scenes.
With a president who is as deep state as it gets, if there’s something we can take away from the last four years and these last few days since the election, it’s that the American establishment’s over-the-top partisanship has been a ruse undertaken to hide the fact that they are united in waging a class war like never before.
Feature photo | Graphic by Antonio Cabrera for MintPress News
Raul Diego is a MintPress News Staff Writer, independent photojournalist, researcher, writer and documentary filmmaker.