Contributed by Lawrence Lease
Americans have grown concerned over the idea that Russians could be hacking and changing the outcome of our democratic elections. For years, the American voter has routinely entered their voting booth and cast their vote for a variety of candidates and issues, without even thinking of some nefarious hidden figure manipulating voting machines. However, that all changed with the news media’s obsession with Russian meddling.
Now, states are being peppered with questions about election security from reporters on tight deadlines. Their questions often reflect a complete misunderstanding of voting systems and what safeguards are in place to keep them secure. News reporters fight to feed the never-ending news cycle, distorting facts and creating false narratives about Putin, Russian hacking and security flaws in the system. The overall plot line appears that states can’t provide proper security for elections. Many mainstream media outlets are pushing the idea of federal oversight as the answer. An oversight committee is just a political power grab.
Experts have agreed that manipulating a presidential election is a good TV plot line, but does not have any real-world leg to stand on. State voting systems are diverse, highly scrutinized and not connected to the internet. Cyber-based attacks on voter registration do not alter the vote count. The key thing to remember is, your vote is positively secure. False narratives from the media or partisan just adds fuels to the fire of conspiracy theories, but also erodes the safeguard we have in our democratic elections, which is the public’s trust. Failing to respect this process with accurate reporting is a disservice to the American people.
The only effect and plausible attack on our elections is not the hacking of votes, but is caused by the manipulation of the American media elite. With a constant stream of breaking news stories that stirs up voter confusion, these attacks and false stories erodes America’s confidence in the cornerstone of our democracy - that is the real crime.