How To Hack An Election

What could be more crucial to a democracy than a voting system we can trust? Today I speak with Barbara Simons, President of, on why so many of our US election systems are vulnerable to hacking without leaving a trace. The solutions to these issues are well known and straightforward, and yet we can’t seem to come together in a unified way to implement them. We’ll discuss why the current systems are so bad, what needs to be done, and tell you what you can do to help.

I will also tell you about a new file backup tool from Google, 14M Verizon customer records found online with no protection, why you might be wary about leaving your keys lying around in plain sight, and how to improve your privacy with Post-It Notes!

Barbara Simons has been on the Board of Advisors of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission since 2008. She published Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?, a book on voting machines co-authored with Douglas Jones. She also co-authored the report that led to the cancellation of Department of Defense’s Internet voting project (SERVE) in 2004 because of security concerns. In 2015 she co-authored the report of the U.S. Vote Foundation entitled The Future of Voting: End-to-End Verifiable Internet Voting, which included in its conclusions that “every publicly audited, commercial Internet voting system to date is fundamentally insecure.” Simons is a former President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the oldest and largest international educational and scientific society for computing professionals. She is President of Verified Voting and is retired from IBM Research.

For Further Insight:
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Further Reading:
Does your state have proper voting machines? Do they have procedures for audits?
Google’s backup service:
Change your Verizon PIN:
Copy a key with a photo:

Lose all your photos when your hard drive crashed? Did a cloud backup save your bacon when you had your phone stolen? Tell me your best backup stories for a chance to win a free copy of my book! Send them to!

Carey Parker began programming computers in middle school when personal computers were just starting to become popular. For years, these twin interests percolated until he attended Purdue University and he learned you could get paid to do this stuff – it was called Electrical Engineering! After obtaining a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in EE, Carey wrote software for multiple companies, large and small. In recent years, particularly after the Edward Snowden revelations in 2013, he became deeply concerned about computer security and privacy. In 2014, he combined his passion for computers, cybersecurity and fantasy novels with the long-time desire to write the book: Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons.