We’re hearing lots of talk lately about how “hacking” threatens our elections or that results are “rigged” and how, consequently, Americans can’t trust the outcome of votes held under the current system. There are lots of reasons why this is an irresponsible and dangerous claim, but the worst might be the cruel slander it perpetrates on our election system’s greatest resource: its people. More specifically, allegations of “hacking” and “rigging” fly in the face of the heroic efforts by our nation’s election administrators to prepare the system for voters on Election Day. In communities across America, election officials work countless hours to build and maintain voter rolls, test voting machines and staff polling locations in advance of the big day. Attacks on the election system disrespect the thousands of election officials across the country and devalues their diligent — and yes, patriotic — work to ensure that American voters everywhere can cast a ballot. Yes, sometimes things go wrong. In this election cycle alone, we have seen criticism about long lines at the polls or concerns about the security of voting technology. There is also growing nervousness about persistent online efforts to attack and steal voter information from state websites. But every time problems arise, the election community responds.
They share ideas about how to forecast turnout and set up polling places to match demand. They remind voters of the many opportunities to observe pre-election testing of voting machines or post-election audits of the outcomes. They work with their colleagues and experts at every level of government to harden their systems against attack. And they are always on the lookout for ways, big or small, to improve the experience of American voters.
In short, even a cursory look at the state of election administration nationwide offers a basis for deep and abiding faith in America’s election system and the people who run it.
And yet, thanks to allegations of “rigging,” some voters are losing that faith. While the idea that the election is rigged could be dismissed as sour grapes — after all, candidates leading the polls rarely make such claims — it’s gaining traction. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that only 28 percent of voters surveyed were “very confident” that votes would be counted accurately nationwide — and just under half saying they were very confident about their own votes.
Full Article: Enough already: US elections are fair | TheHill.