Russian hackers have hacked state and local voting systems, and officials say their goal might be to help Trump discredit the election.
The New York Times reported:
Officials did not make clear what Russia planned to do, but they said its operations would be intended to help President Trump, potentially by exacerbating disputes around the results, especially if the race is too close to call.
There is no evidence that the Russians have changed any vote tallies or voter registration information, officials said. They added that the Russian-backed hackers had penetrated the computer networks without taking further action, as they did in 2016. But American officials expect that if the presidential race is not called on election night, Russian groups could use their knowledge of local computer systems to deface websites, release nonpublic information or take similar steps that could sow chaos and doubts about the integrity of the results, according to American officials briefed on the intelligence.
The Russians have two related goals. They want to discredit democratic elections in the United States and help Donald Trump.
The methods that Russia used to smear Hillary Clinton don’t appear to be working against Joe Biden, because social media companies and the free press are not spreading the disinformation.
If the presidential election is close, and chaos grips the country, that is when Russia will try to step in to boost Trump’s claims that the election was not legitimate.
The best way for the nation to avoid these scenarios is to elect Joe Biden by an overwhelming margin. If Biden wins Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Iowa, or North Carolina, Trump’s dreams of contesting the election with Russian help are toast.
Trump needs an exact replay of 2016 to put any efforts to delegitimize the election into serious action. If Biden flips a Republican state or two, the whole scheme falls apart.
Threats like the one from Russia are why Democrats can’t take their foot off of the gas. It is not enough to be on track to win an election. Joe Biden must win in such a way that the results are not contestable, which he can do by turning a red state or two blue.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association