In the months since November’s presidential race, Democrats have been generally united in opposition to GOP-backed audits of the election results.
Ahead of a recall election that could oust Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom from office, however, some in the party might be changing their tune.
“Unknown affiliations, motives, and physical access”
According to the Associated Press, a group of election experts sent a letter to California Secretary of State Shirley Weber explaining why they believe such an audit is necessary.
They argued that there is an elevated risk of election interference given the fact that Mike Lindell recently released copies of election management data from Dominion Voting Systems, which provides machines at polling sites across the state.
“As you know, about three weeks ago, binary images of the Dominion election management system (EMS) were made public,” the experts write. “While the software versions are not identical to those used in California, differences are relatively minor: the release materially elevates threats to the trustworthiness of the ongoing California recall election and to public trust in the election.”
The letter went on to expound on the position by asserting that “thousands of other people with unknown affiliations, motives, and physical access” now have access to the Dominion data.
“That increases the risk of undetected outcome-changing cyber-attacks on California counties that use Dominion equipment and the risk of accusations of fraud and election manipulation which, without rigorous post-election auditing, would be impossible to disprove,” the letter’s signers concluded.
“Designed to withstand potential threats”
As for the type of audit being requested, reports indicate it would be designed to analyze statistics to ensure parity between the reported results and the actual results of the election.
It is unclear whether any sustained Democratic call for an audit will result from this advisory letter. Weber, a Democrat, is apparently not keen on the idea.
A spokesperson for her office assured the Associated Press that there are adequate security measures already in place to prevent the sort of threat outlined in the letter.
“California has the strictest and most comprehensive voting system testing, use, and requirements in the country, and it was designed to withstand potential threats,” the source explained.
As it stands, most polls and pundits seem to predict that Newsom will retain his seat after the recall election. Such forecasts have been wrong in the past, however, so it is up to California voters to determine how this effort ends.