Is It Possible The Chinese Really Did Hack Our Elections?
I do a lot of speaking on election integrity. I say frequently –while there are endless problems with the security of our elections – I don’t believe the Chinese “hacked” the 2020 election.
Maybe I was wrong.
A number of weeks ago True the Vote broke the story that a company called Konnech in Michigan was storing data on American election workers on servers in China. True the Vote leaders Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips were, of course, ridiculed by the so-called mainstream press. Then, Los Angeles arrested the head of Konnech and charged him with violations of U.S. laws on the handling of personally identifiable information – by storing it on servers in China.
The ridicule stopped. Even the New York Times had to issue a retraction.
It has gotten much worse since then.
Konnech wasn’t just storing data in China. Konnech was using contractors inside China to do work in the United States on American election systems. This is the exact language in the criminal complaint filed by Los Angeles.
“On or about October 10, 2019, through October 4, 2022, Eugene Yu and other employees at Konnech, Inc. were providing these services to Los Angeles County using third-party contractors based in China.
“…Konnech employees known and unknown sent personal identifying information of Los Angeles County election workers to third-party software developers who assisted with creating and fixing Konnech’s internal ‘PollChief’ software.”
Konnech gave Chinese contractors in mainland China “super-administration access” to the electoral systems on which Konnech worked. It is incredible enough that Konnech itself ever had such access. It is literally almost beyond belief that Konnech would have been in a position to grant such access to other entities. Yet, again, it is confirmed by the criminal complaint filed against the company.
“On or about August 18, 2022, Luis Nabergoi, project manager for Konnech’s contract with the County of Los Angeles, confirmed via the messaging app DingTalk that any employee for Chinese contractors working on PollChief software had ‘superadministration’ privileges for all PollChief clients. Mr. Nabergoi described the situation as a ‘huge security issue.'”
An individual with super administration access to a system can do effectively anything inside that system. He or she can delete data, steal data, alter data, change programming, etc. Perhaps most importantly, that individual can cover his or her tracks, because they can potentially also access and alter all security protocols and programs.
So, Konnech, which has numerous questionable ties to Chinese entities was allowed to punch a hole into our election systems, and then Konnech was allowed to grant that same level of access to unknown “contractors” in China.
And, yet, it gets even worse.
Konnech doesn’t only work for state and state electoral systems. Konnech also appears to have access to something called the Uniformed And Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, (UOCAVA) program. The full extent of that access is as yet unclear, but press reporting suggests that Konnech was hired on at least one occasion to do work for the Department of Defense pursuant to the UOCAVA.
In 1986, the federal government enacted the UOCAVA to provide special registration and absentee voting provisions for military and overseas civilians. The Department of Defense administers the UOCAVA program. Pursuant to the act, any uniformed and overseas citizen can register to vote and request an absentee ballot via the UOCAVA system. The individual simply submits what is known as a Federal Post Card Application. They are then sent an absentee ballot.
A person requesting a ballot under UOCAVA can, for some inexplicable reason, select any address they want when registering and requesting a ballot. Per the Federal Voting Assistance Program, FVAP, an overseas non-military voter may claim an address of domicile “even if you have not physically been present at that address.” There appears to be no requirement that the individual requesting a ballot even prove they are a U.S. citizen. In 2020 the FBI, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Election Assistance Commission, and National Institute of Standards and Technology described the UOCAVA process as “high risk” and “susceptible to fraud.”
Interestingly, the number of non-military UOCAVA voters skyrocketed to 573,000 from 228,000 between 2016 and the 2020 election.
If Konnech and contractors in China had super administrator access to the UOCAVA system (as they did and in some cases still do have to state electoral systems), they could have done literally anything inside the UOCAVA system. The idea that we have a back door into our voting system with few or any safeguards to control who registers to vote is troubling enough. The thought that this back door could literally be under the complete control of entities connected to Communist China is chilling.
In the four years leading up to the 2020 election roughly 350,000 “people” registered to vote using the UOCAVA system. That system may well have been compromised. All indicators point to mainland China.
Does that tell us right now that the Communist Chinese were behind all this? It does not. It does tell us that somebody in federal law enforcement ought to be burning the midnight oil to find out. Maybe the Federal Bureau of Investigation, when it is done pointing guns at anti-abortion activists or threatening home-schooling mothers can find some time to look into this.
It may sound incredible, but is time to ask the question.
Is it possible the Chinese really did hack the election?