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  • Writer's pictureMacalister Bali

The Hacked Vote In Short

Updated: Jan 31, 2019

A week ago, a group of 10 electors released an open letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asking for a briefing about Russia's alleged attempts to sway the election and any potential ties with Donald Trump's campaign; dozens of electors have since added their names to the list.

There is evidence that entities connected to the Russian government were bankrolling "troll farms" that spread fake news about Clinton. Investigators also found digital footprints of individuals tied to the Russian government who had been on intelligence agencies radar before, as was acknowledged when the intelligence agency put out a public statement in October.

The US government publicly announced in October that it was "confident" Russia orchestrated the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations of the Democratic Party.

Those hacks resulted in the public release of thousands of stolen emails, many of which included damaging revelations about the Democratic Party and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the party's nominee.

But intelligence agencies didn't go as far as suggesting the efforts were aimed at bolstering Trump's chances and hurting Clinton's. Then, earlier this month, the CIA announced to a group of top US senators its latest finding: that Russia's hacks were aimed at helping Trump.

In a recent survey by YouGov on behalf of the activist group Avaaz, 1,000 registered U.S. voters with varying political views were asked the question, "Given these intelligence reports, to what extent do you agree or disagree that members of the Electoral College should change or withhold their vote on Monday, and instead allow Congress to review the allegations and appoint the next president?” 

While 54 percent disagreed, 46 percent agreed with the idea of not proceeding as planned.

The participants were then asked, "Given these intelligence reports, to what extent do you agree or disagree that the Electoral College vote should be delayed until the Electors can be briefed about the allegations of Russian hacking?” 

More than half 52 percent agreed that the vote should not occur as scheduled on Monday.

What’s Next?

Members of Congress are likely to agree to launch some kind of investigation into the Russian hacking.

But Democrats are also ramping up their calls for a public accounting of the CIA's findings, with congressional Democrats calling for the Obama administration to declassify the CIA's report, at least in part.

 The Clinton campaign on Monday backed an effort by mostly Democratic Electoral College electors demanding a classified briefing on the Russian hacking before they vote next week to officially elect the next president of the United States.

Lastly, Russians "continue to do all kinds of stuff" against American political organizations, think tanks and thought leaders, one official told CNN. "It's not like the one and done deal here. They continue to engage in this operation around the clock."

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