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Dem AG candidate claims “all voting machines have been penetrated by the Russians in Illinois”

Friday, Oct 27, 2017

* Let’s start with the usual from RAGA…

Another week, and another Democrat lines up to run for Illinois Attorney General. The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) Executive Director Scott Will released the following statement on Renato Mariotti’s announcement to seek the Democratic nomination.

“Renato says he wants to rail against the special interests. Noble, but his words ring hollow when he fails to even mention Mike Madigan, who has run Springfield with a relentless focus on his constituents: the connected and the corrupt. You cannot change the Office of the Attorney General without acknowledging the root cause of the problem. In reality, Renato just enjoys the spotlight. The Prairie State does not need another attorney general who would rather protect his well-connected friends over hardworking Illinoisans.”

* OK, on to Politico

(L)ast night Mariotti locked in an MSNBC appearance where he made his announcement on national TV. He then took to Twitter to lay out his reasons for running. Those tweets drew more than 20,000 “likes”.

People started visiting his campaign website and it crashed. Twice. (He reports 20,000 visited the first time and 40,000 the second crash).

What gives? Since President Donald Trump’s election, Mariotti has cultivated himself as a legal commentator, a frequent TV presence explaining various legal events related to the president, from travel bans to the Russia probe to transgender in the military. […]

“The argument that I’m making is the best way to check Donald Trump is using state attorneys general,” Mariotti told POLITICO. “I’ve been talking about issues — all voting machines have been penetrated by the Russians in Illinois and no one really seems to be talking about it.”

All Illinois voting machines have been penetrated by the Russians? Um, no

And in Illinois, Russian hackers inserted a malicious program into the Illinois State Board of Elections’ database. According to Ken Menzel, the board’s general counsel, the program tried unsuccessfully “to alter things other than voter data” — he declined to be more specific — and managed to illegally download registration files for 90,000 voters before being detected.

Maybe he’s talking about this

A new published report suggests a vendor for the Illinois elections board might have been compromised by Russian hackers seeking to attack voting systems here and in other states.

Russian hackers attacked the voting-software supplier days before last year’s presidential election, according to the classified National Security Agency report.

The report, published online by The Intercept, does not say whether the hacking had any effect on election results. But it says Russian military intelligence attacked a U.S. voting software company and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials at the end of October or beginning of November.

The company involved has contracts in eight states: Illinois, California, Florida, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, according to The Intercept. It was unclear whether any officials in Illinois might have received spear-phishing emails.

Either way, I kinda doubt the Russians are much interested in Putnam County’s machines.

…Adding… From John Bambenek…

As someone who has spent much of the last year and a half investigating election interference, I can say with confidence that these senseless and factless sensational claims are giving Russia exactly what they want. That is, an American public which does not have faith in our democratic institutions.”

* Related…

* Former federal prosecutor, MSNBC regular joins race to succeed Lisa Madigan

* In Dem Primary For A.G., Mariotti Makes Seven

* Rotering joins Dems vying to be next attorney general

- Posted by Rich Miller        

11 Comments
  1. - Excessively Rabid - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 3:52 pm:

    Is it too late to beg Lisa to reconsider? Jeez what a cluster.


  2. - Puddintaine - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 3:54 pm:

    Ghost of Xmas past was always my favorite, too


  3. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 4:04 pm:

    Cable TV yakkers are like Kardashians; why are you supposed to pay attention?


  4. - G'Kar - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 4:05 pm:

    ==Either way, I kinda doubt the Russians are much interested in Putnam County’s machines.==

    Ahh, as someone who lives in Putnam County, I’m hurt by this remark. /s


  5. - G'Kar - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 4:06 pm:

    “Because the Russians” will be the Dems version of “Because Madigan.”


  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 4:11 pm:

    ===I’m hurt by this remark. /s ===

    lol. Sorry. I picked it because it’s the state’s smallest county.


  7. - Bebeembop - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 4:23 pm:

    Mr. Miller, regarding the vendor that you stated was hacked- is this related to the exposure of Chicago’s voter roll? Was the vendor Election Systems & Software?


  8. - Anon E. Moose - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 4:25 pm:

    Both sides on this issue are wrong. First, you don’t know that all voting machines are compromised. Second, you don’t know that they aren’t compromised. How can anyone speak with certainty on this issue? There has been (to my knowledge) no comprehensive audit of our voting systems to know either way. Why aren’t we interested in protecting our democracy or proving that our voting systems are secure? Shouldn’t this be a priority?


  9. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 4:35 pm:

    –I kinda doubt the Russians are much interrsted in Putnam County’s machines–

    When we see half a million identical ballots out of Putnam County, then we’ll know.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 4:39 pm:

    ===Either way, I kinda doubt the Russians are much interested in Putnam County’s machines.===

    Voting machines? Nope.

    Their Spelling Bee… Probably.


  11. - Swift - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 4:42 pm:

    Wait, is this about voting machine security or the need to wash our hands after voting? I’m not sure the use of the term “penetrated by Russians” was the best choice of words.


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