Never in my lifetime would I expect to see a story about someone buying an actual voting machine online. But these are surreal times and after a bizarre presidential election, the likes of which America has never seen before, nothing surprises me anymore.
CNN reports that Michigan police are in the process of investigating how a missing state voting machine ended up first at a Goodwill online—listed for just $7.99—then sold on eBay by an Ohio man to an election security specialist living in Connecticut, who bought the machine for $1,200.
According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the security of election equipment “is essential to a trustworthy election.”
“Every state and local jurisdiction utilizes common-sense procedures and tools to safeguard the voting process. Common best practices include using locks, tamper-evident seals, security cameras, system testing before and after elections, audits, and physical and cybersecurity access controls.”
RELATED STORY: Nationwide trend of Trump supporters getting unauthorized access to voting machines
Ean Hutchison, 35, from Miamisburg, Ohio, was the first to see the voting machine on Goodwill’s website, CNN reports.
“AVALUE TECHNOLOGY Touch Panel SID-15V-Z37-B1R,” the ad for the machine read, along with photos of what the uninitiated might think was just a large monitor.
Hutchinson knew better and snapped up the machine in order to turn around and sell it on eBay.
His ad read: “Own a piece of history! [...] This voting machine was one of thousands used in the 2020 United States presidential election and included in one of the many lawsuits against Dominion that were thrown out.”
Hutchinson ended up selling it for $1,200 to Harri Hursti in Connecticut, per CNN.
Hursti is a renowned election security specialist. Once the machine arrived, he emailed the Michigan secretary of state’s office to tell them about it. He was told to keep the box sealed, and someone would pick it up.
According to CNN, a few days later, Hursti received an email from the secretary of state’s office that read, “Thank you again for bringing this to our attention [...] We have determined this device originated in one of our jurisdictions. The jurisdiction has now reported the device to law enforcement as stolen.”
In addition to the numerous false claims and conspiracies by MAGA Republicans of election improprieties, multiple investigations have proved there was no widespread election fraud. (Occasional voter fraud is another story.) But, as Daily Kos has reported, that hasn’t stopped former President Donald Trump and his sycophants from continuing to probe, even secretly taking voting machines to unauthorized locations for unauthorized inspections.
According to reporting from The Washington Post, a voting clerk in Michigan was all but interrogated by a sheriff’s deputy and investigator in her township about three vote tabulating machines. She says they suggested the machines had been covertly implanted with microchips to change votes from Trump to Joe Biden.
As Daily Kos’ Mark Sumner wrote Tuesday, “Video from surveillance cameras in Coffee County, Georgia, shows two members of a firm hired by Donald Trump’s attorneys, along with the head of the county Republican Party, entering an election office where voting machines were breached. At least two of those involved are also being investigated for reportedly breaching multiple voting machines in Michigan.”
The issue of voting machine breaches has become so widespread that last Friday, the Brennan Center released a statement advising election officials on how to handle election deniers they may encounter. The statement outlines the steps local election officials can take to prevent unauthorized access to machines.
Lawrence Norden, director of elections and government for the Brennan Center, told The Washington Post, “It is super important for election officials to know these breaches of election security are occurring and that there have been swift and strong reactions to it. […] We want to be sure local election officials know they have an obligation to detect and quickly take remedial action if a breach occurs.”
Dominion Voting Systems launched a billion-dollar lawsuit against some of the right-wing outlets attacking the integrity of its voting equipment.
Daily Kos’ Walter Einenkel writes thatThe New York Times reported recently that the “Dominion Voting case is not going away for Fox News as the voting machine company has been deposing on-air personalities while actively pursuing the discovery phase of their case. One of those personalities is [Jeannine] Pirro. NPR got their hands on an email from a Fox News producer, and according to the report it shows the people behind the scenes knew exactly how toxic the on-air “talent” was regarding our democracy.”
Donald Trump and his MAGA allies came close to overthrowing our democracy on January 6, and they will try again if they win in 2022. The best thing you can do is to help get out the Democratic vote for the midterms, and we need everyone to do what they can. Click here to find all the volunteer opportunities available.