Hacking ballot papers even before they're counted
The Gateway Pundit claims to have identified a technical "hack" that may allow voting machines and computer systems to alter the vote on a ballot paper even before it's counted - and in a way that's untraceable.
There’s an election hack built before the 2020 election that can instantaneously swap the bubbles on your ballot. The “filled in” bubble of your candidate is moved to the hackers’ preferred candidate and swapped out with that empty bubble. The change is made before the “ballot Image” is stored on the election server and before it’s tabulated. By using the voter’s own marking style & penmanship, these changes are undetectable to the human eye.
. . .
Prior to the election, the attacker specifies the template, which races they want to affect (Pres, Senate, etc), and by how much. While ballots are being scanned, this malicious software keeps a running tally of the “real” ballot results. Ballot images are changed on the fly to achieve the desired election outcome. To avoid detection, attackers can specify just enough manipulated images to win the race, but not by alarming amounts. The only way to catch this hack is to compare the original paper ballot to the ballot image.
There's more at the link, including an animated simulation of how the attack works and a description of a test run by university students that demonstrated just how easy this is. Highly recommended reading.
I have no idea whether or not this "hack" can be applied so widely as to imperil the results of an election; but it looks feasible to this outsider. I suppose the only way to prevent it would be to retain a copy of the original paper ballot, to which a given sample of the machine-counted ballot images could be compared; but that would mean having a serial number or some other identifiable feature on every ballot, which in turn might impair the "secret ballot" pledge of confidentiality. Nevertheless, given the widespread electoral shenanigans we saw in 2020 and have already seen this year, this may be just another weapon in the electoral fraud arsenal - a particularly effective one, since it's all but untraceable.
Can any readers comment?