Amid election security concerns, states should look to blockchain

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The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.

On the radio program Friday, Glenn Beck discussed the recent news that a primary source for the Steele Dossier — the document on which much of the Trump-Russia collusion investigation was based — had been investigated by the FBI for contacts with suspected Russian spies. Glenn also shared several previously unpublished texts and emails from FBI agents have recently been released.

According to a letter sent by Attorney General William Barr to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday, the FBI knew early on that the research compiled by ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele relied on a "Primary Sub-source" that had been "the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011 that assessed his or her contacts with suspected Russian intelligence officers" — but still used it to obtain warrants to spy on former Trump campaign-aide Carter Page.

But, it gets even worse. Now, new leaked texts and communications from FBI agents within the department at the time of the entire Russian collusion effort were disclosed in federal court filings on Thursday. According to the court documents, FBI agents purchased "professional liability insurance" to protect themselves in January 2017, just weeks before Donald Trump was inaugurated president, because they were concerned about the agency's potentially illegal activity during the Russia collusion investigation.

"Trump was right," one FBI employee wrote in response to then-President-elect Trump's Jan 3, 2017 tweet which read: "The 'Intelligence' briefing on so-called 'Russian hacking' was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!"

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Chief researcher Jason Buttrill joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to discuss an "explosive" new report released Wednesday by Senate Republicans on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Among other serious allegations, the 87-page report claims that "Hunter Biden received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow," and the richest woman in Russia.

"The transactions discussed [in the report] are designed to illustrate the depth and extent of some questionable financial transactions. Moreover, the financial transactions illustrate serious counterintelligence and extortion concerns relating to Hunter Biden and his family," the report stated.

Jason suggested the Senate's findings provide additional evidence to back allegations of a money-laundering scheme, which Glenn detailed in a four-part series about Biden's shady connections to Ukraine. Learn more on this here.

"Laundered money is very hard to track to its finality," Jason explained. "I'm sure the Biden camp is really hoping that it just looks suspicious, but [investigators] don't ever find the eventual end point. But, if they do – and it's possible they already have – this is going to be explosive, very explosive."

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Revolutions rarely happen overnight. The Left started laying the groundwork for November 3, 2020, the moment Hillary Clinton had to concede the 2016 election to Donald Trump. It was always solely about getting rid of President Trump — and there's a playbook for that.

Last week, Glenn Beck showed you the "Seven Pillars of Color Revolution" written by a former U.S. diplomat, which are the conditions that must be in place for a successful Eastern European-style "Color Revolution." The left seems to be pushing for a Color Revolution this election because they are using the exact same playbook.

In part two of this series, Glenn peels back the layers on the first four of these Color Revolution pillars to show you how they work and what the end goal is. And he reveals one of the architects of the playbook – a Color Revolution specialist, former ambassador, and former Obama administration official who is one of the key masterminds of this revolution.

Joining Glenn is political campaign veteran and BlazeTV host Steve Deace who says the polls that claim Biden is leading the race "are trash." We're being set up to believe that if Trump wins in spite of the polls, it must be an invalid election.

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Sen. Ted Cruz: NOBODY should be afraid of Trump's Supreme Court justice pick

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to weigh in on President Donald Trump's potential Supreme Court nominees and talk about his timely new book, "One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History."

Sen. Cruz argued that, while Congressional Democrats are outraged over President Trump's chance at a third court appointment, no one on either side should be afraid of a Supreme Court justice being appointed if it's done according to the founding documents. That's why it's crucial that the GOP fills the vacant seat with a true constitutionalist.

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