US – If there is a silver lining in any of the public speculation about a “rigged” election in this year’s Presidential campaign, it might be that voters will ask exactly how they can be certain that their election choices are protected – says a report on NBC Chicago.
Donald Trump speculates that forces are already aligning against him. But most experts say stealing a Presidential election, especially this one, would be next to impossible, because of the de-centralized way America conducts its voting.
“It’s simply not very plausible,” says Dr. Roger Johnston, the retired chief of Argonne National Laboratory’s Vulnerability Assessment Lab. “Stealing a Presidential election is not about defeating the national voting system, but rather just defeating the local security.”
And for that to happen, he says it would have to be so close, the malevolent forces would only have to target a few key precincts in a few key states. Like Florida in 2000, where the Bush-Gore margin was razor thin.
“Maybe a dozen voting machines in the State of Florida, and that would have turned the whole thing,” he notes.
Those perfect conditions, one or two close states which could be tipped either way, don’t appear to exist in 2016.
Local election system
In truth, the United States does not really conduct a national vote per se. Rather, a President is elected through a series of thousands of local elections, administered through a total of 8200 election entities nationwide. Each uses a variety of voting systems, ranging from paper ballots, to electronic touchscreens, even the U.S. Mail.
It would be impossible to hack them all.
The 2016 US election takes place on Tuesday 8 Nov 2016, after which the world’s most powerful nation will have a new leader. Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States.