Dominion Voting Systems and other companies who make automated voting systems have been under suspicion for systemic fraud after this presidential election.  And recently a Georgia election office supervisor produced a video showing how fraud can be done in the Dominion Voting System.

But … is it really enabling the systemic, and mass fraud that Trump and the Republicans claim it isThe video can be watched here.

There have been several areas of concern for fraud in the election, namely…

  • Ballot harvesting (which can easily circumvent a chain of custody for tracking and accountability).
  • Lack of transparency in electronic tabulation.
  • Lack of a clear unalterable audit trail in some voting systems.
  • Lack of verification of voters and residences, determining whether they even have the right to vote.

Automation systems have the potential for widespread fraud, but is this really the case in the video?  What the video shows is a standard method for an election worker to retrieve a single questionable ballot, to review it and make a clarification or adjustment–if needed.  It’s simply a standard managerial or administrative function, but in automated form. This same process exists in primary schools for correcting or rectifying problems with mark-sense tests after they have been scanned. To claim that this capability enables fraud would be to claim that the paper system it replaces is also fraudulent.  The ability to make this change is not new, nor is it a serious threat.

And while it is a door for fraud when abused, it isn’t a door for mass fraud as shown.  Imagine someone sat at the terminal and wanted to change lots of votes. Each vote has to be loaded individually, and go through more than one screen prompt to confirm the change.  A good operator might be able to change a vote every 10-15 seconds, or 240 to 300 per hour.  That’s really not the efficient level of fraud that needs to take place to steal most elections–especially those large scale federal elections.

In fact, the electronic voting systems have logging built-in.  So every action an operator takes on a ballot scanned in to the system has an audit trail.  That’s more likely to detect fraud via a managerial function than a manual review process, and there is a case in Pennsylvania where it happened.  But that case also showed how a simple audit trail detects it.

If you’re looking for bulk fraud, the clearest case which has any merit is the Atlanta, Georgia, where the person in charge of the ballot counting told the observers to leave, then the workers pulled boxes from under tables and counted them while the observers were out.

Still waiting for any action on any law enforcement on that one.  But that’s the only case I have seen (outside of ballot harvesting) that has any real merit as far as a widespread conspiracy to commit voter fraud.