Free Speech For People President John Bonifaz and Senior Advisor on Election Security Susan Greenhalgh appeared on Sorry Not Sorry, a podcast hosted by actress and activist Alyssa Milano.
“This may be our most important episode of the podcast yet.” Milano says, “Please listen wherever you get your podcasts. You will be shocked. You will be pissed.”
During the episode, entitled “Hacking the Vote – Election Security in 2020,” Bonifaz and Greenhalgh focused on the vulnerabilities inherent in the widespread use of electronic voting machines, which have proven to be unreliable and insecure for the counting of our votes. Unlike hand-marked paper ballot systems, they also do not allow for any meaningful audits or recounts of elections where such electronic voting machines are used.
“When we go to vote, we must have verifiable voting processes, and our votes must be able to be audited or recounted. If we can’t verify the process, then there’s no way of knowing whether the tallies reported by the machines are correct,” stated Bonifaz. “We need to have evidence-based elections, not faith-based elections.”
“The bottom line with [voting machine vendors] is that there is zero oversight and regulation in the voting machine industry,” said Greenhalgh. “There’s a federal agency which has voluntary voting system guidelines – note the title is voluntary, so the vendors are not required to adhere to them…There’s no enforcement to force them to certify their systems to more recent standards that are more applicable to today’s security threats, [and] there’s no transparency into their ownership.”
Milano and Bonifaz also discussed the new challenges to voting presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think there are obvious concerns in the midst of this coronavirus crisis of asking people to show up at the polls when everything else is closed and we’re told we need to engage in social distancing,” said Bonifaz. “I don’t think it’s out of the question that in an emergency like this, voters should be provided with no-excuse absentee voting and mailed a ballot to participate that way.” Concerns that failure to provide additional voting options will cause lines are playing out in real time in today’s Wisconsin primary as voters struggle to maintain social distancing while waiting in line to vote.
Bonifaz also noted that the use of touchscreen voting machines used in many precincts across the country may exacerbate the spread of the virus.
Sorry Not Sorry covers social, political and cultural issues from the perspective of unapologetic guests while highlighting activists and grassroots efforts throughout the country. You can listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.