Remember Trump Republicans–and most Republicans in practice are Trump Republicans–are always engaged in self-projection. Which brings us to two stories about Republicans illegally accessing voting machines. From the Gret Stet of Michigan (boldface mine):
The election had gone smoothly, she said, just as others had that she had overseen for 17 years as the Rutland Charter Township clerk in rural western Michigan. But now a sheriff’s deputy and investigator were in her office, asking her about her township’s three vote tabulators, suggesting that they somehow had been programmed with a microchip to shift votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden and asking her to hand one over for inspection….
In states across the country, including Colorado, Pennsylvania and Georgia, attempts to inappropriately access voting machines have spurred investigations. They have also sparked concern among election authorities that, while voting systems are broadly secure, breaches by those looking for evidence of fraud could themselves compromise the integrity of the process and undermine confidence in the vote…
Although Hawthorne rebuffed the request by investigators to examine one of her machines, a clerk in nearby Irving Township handed one over to the pair despite state and federal laws that limit who can access them. About 150 miles north of Hawthorne’s township, three clerks in two other Michigan counties turned over voting machines and other equipment to third parties, public records show.
The petition says tabulators were taken to hotel rooms and Airbnb rentals in Oakland County, where a group of four men “broke into” the tabulators and performed “tests” on them. The petition says that DePerno was present in a hotel room during some of the testing.
Officials got the tabulators back weeks or months later, in one instance at a meeting in a carpool parking lot…
Once election officials lose control of voting machines, the machines can no longer be used because of the risk of hacking. Moreover, voters can lose faith in the country’s electoral infrastructure when they hear about machines that have not been adequately protected, election experts warn.
But let’s go national (boldface mine):
A team of computer experts directed by lawyers allied with President Donald Trump copied sensitive data from election systems in Georgia as part of a secretive, multistate effort to access voting equipment that was broader, more organized and more successful than previously reported, according to emails and other records obtained by The Washington Post.
As they worked to overturn Trump’s 2020 election defeat, the lawyers asked a forensic data firm to access county election systems in at least three battleground states, according to the documents and interviews. The firm charged an upfront retainer fee for each job, which in one case was $26,000.
Attorney Sidney Powell sent the team to Michigan to copy a rural county’s election data and later helped arrange for it to do the same in the Detroit area, according to the records. A Trump campaign attorney engaged the team to travel to Nevada. And the day after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol the team was in southern Georgia, copying data from a Dominion voting system in rural Coffee County.
It’s not that there haven’t been issues with elections in the past*. But what Republicans are doing just crazy: there are paper ballots and they’re not any different (or enough so as to matter) from the electronically counted vote. So far, the only break-ins, hacking, and election skullduggery has been committed by Republican operatives.
Like I said, self-projection, all the way down.
* I truly think something weird happened in Republican primaries in 2008 and 2012, but all I–and two different statisticians, including one who originally set out to debunk this idea–wanted was a comparison of the paper ballots and the electronically transmitted vote totals. And I’m more than willing to admit there could have been a mystery factor X in those elections (since then, that statistical pattern hasn’t been observed*). Importantly, all that was needed was a recount.
There were some who misapplied the method in 2016, attempting to prove Clinton was robbed, but I haven’t seen or read of evidence that supports that notion using the appropriate method. And as long as it’s not turned into a circus, which Republican operatives did in 2020, I’m fine with recounts. In fact, I think random audits should be implemented as a matter of course. And it goes without saying, there should be a paper ballot (which can be electronic scanned or manually counted).