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January 11, 2022 10:57 AM UTC

GOP "Election Integrity" Plan: Tinfoil Hats For Voting Machines!

  • by: Colorado Pols

In a state like Colorado that leads the nation in voter participation as well as robust security to ensure the counting of ballots and verification of eligibility is accurate, Republicans face a huge disconnect between their article-of-faith belief (vigorously enforced by the ex-President) that the 2020 presidential election was stolen versus the uncontroversial reality Colorado voters experience in every election — despite incorporating basically every feature that election fraud conspiracy theorists cite as problematic. It’s become a recurring theme we’ve discussed at length in this space.

As GOP state Rep. Mark Baisley, running for a state Senate seat in arch-conservative Douglas County, showed us in a speech earlier this month before the Jefferson County Republican Men’s Club, this disconnect gets terribly awkward at times–even before the friendliest of audiences. Suggesting that he has “a lot of ideas” to improve voter security, Rep. Baisley struggles painfully to name a single such proposal. And when he finally does?

We couldn’t make this up if we tried:

BAISLEY: Uh well, I can, I have cybersecurity as my, as my background, and I’ve got a lot of ideas and I’d like to propose as, uh requirements for systems. Um…

Let me think of an example, uh… (pause) Well… (pause)

Shielding…of election systems, election machines on vote day. Uh, because the suspicion is that, uh, there is wire, wireless access to vote machines. Are there? I don’t know. I don’t know.

But if we encase them, and that’s easy to do, into foil-shielded boxes, then nothing will be able to talk to them. [Pols emphasis] Any more than your cell phone could talk…

You’re reading this correctly. Rep. Mark Baisley’s big idea for “voting integrity,” which he delivered after several moments of awkward silence to make sure he had it straight, is to…wait for it…

Wrap the machines in tinfoil.

From Clerk Tina Peters committing crimes on a wild goose chase of ignorance to Ron Hanks blowing up voting machines in campaign ads, we keep thinking that the absurdity of the “Big Lie” and its discredited proponents has finally hit a bottom from which everyone with any brains at all left will just walk away.

And then someone like Mark Baisley comes along and proves us wrong! As of today, the streak remains unbroken.


10 thoughts on “GOP “Election Integrity” Plan: Tinfoil Hats For Voting Machines!

  1. Interesting. Can tinfoil also stop unauthorized people from entering county facilities and improperly accessing equipment and data? Asking for a friend.

  2. I dunno … someone claiming "I have cybersecurity as my, as my background," ought to have some clue about needing to consider overall systems. 

    In effect, he's claiming none of the people in the Secretary of States' office and no one involved in elections in every Colorado county thought of defending against bad actors with a wifi or cellular data connection.   That the leading firm for elections – especially voting machine tabulators – has overlooked the issue.  And last, even if there were such security breaches — how would such a program NOT be caught in tests conducted before each election, small test runs while the election is going on, and in a risk-limiting audit conducted before certification of the election?

    If this is the person chosen in the primary process, I volunteer to help do origami and fold some tin foil boxes to stop election machine tampering, handing them out at debates between candidates for the general election.

    1. I don't know what voting equipment is packaged in these days, but a nice metal case is a strong start. But he's suggesting that the machines have a wireless connection that's somehow gone undetected in the certification process and is being actively exploited on a large scale; that's… interesting.

      1. Re: wireless election hacking.

        Possible, but unproven

        The Brad blog, a few years back, showed that it is ( or was)  in fact fairly easy to tamper with Diebold election machines via a thumb drive inserted into a USB hub. In other words, a physical connection.

        A Princeton professor also showed how to swap a memory card and hack into a machine. (physical connection) Call me crazy, but that would seem to be a kind of not-subtle way to hack an election: No, Mr. Election Judge, I'm just sitting here with my screwdriver and needlenose pliers with the back panel off the machine, but there's nothing funny going on here, nope nope nope!"

        So nobody has demonstrated capability of wireless hacking that I know of. There are rumors that hackers battled over the 2012 Ohio election results, leading to Karl Rove's on screen meltdown when Obama won. Anonymous claimed credit. ??

        Marilyn Marks (yes, that Marilyn Marks) – she who forecast doom for Colorado's mail in ballot elections, and she who engineered the OutHouse scandal – is now a frequent guest on the BradBlog, criticizing Dominion voting machines. She seems to have successfully infiltrated what was a fairly reliable source of election information. That's sad to see, but since "Brad" grants her credibility as an election expert, Brad himself has lost credibility in my book.


    2. It is ridiculous because even a cursory investigation shows that the type of attack described would be useless and easily detected. Nevermind it wouldn't alter physical ballots. 

      1. That's why physical mail in ballots that can be hand recounted are the gold standard for fraud-and-tamper-proof elections. Which is why some Republicans hate them so.

  3. He’s an IT guy at a cyber security company. So he should actually be competent to speak to this. And he comes up with this nonsense?

    His manager at work should be evaluating if he’s competent to hold his job.

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