With American Presidential election season in full swing, the threat of hackers committing data breaches in order to manipulate voting looms as an unpleasant possibility. Many countries such as the Philippines, Turkey and Mexico have reported data leaks that appear to specifically target their citizens’ voting records. With more voters switching over to online registration, Verified Voting President Pamela Smith warns that “If you can’t keep the voter registration records safe, what makes you think you can keep the votes safe?” Joseph Kiniry, CEO of Free & Fair, believes a politically inclined hacker could “very easily” use the information to commit massive voter fraud and that “If you can go in there and delete rows based on someone’s name or political affiliation, we will have a massively screwed up election process on the day.”

Further proof of the voter information theft is that more voter data is for sale now than ever before, with most of that data being as recent as six months. In some cases, such as the Philippines and Mexico, every registered voter’s information has been comprised at some point. The depth of the breach in these countries worries Kiniry, who warns that “In the USA, the concern I hold is if our registration systems are easily manipulated, we’re not going to see breaches, were going to see voter ID manipulation remotely.”

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