I made the mistake of going on Facebook again (I never learn, do I?), and sure enough, the outrage du jour was over the Russian “hack” that got into a purported half-a-million Illinois State Board of Elections voter records.
So, my suddenly surly liberal brethren, who insist upon taking keening to heretofore unseen heights, tore Trump another new one for buddying up to a country that could possibly be this magnificently malicious. “Those scoundrels stole our data!,” they self-righteously shrieked.
Sigh! So much for the truth, right?
First, it wasn’t nearly the 500,000 records the federal indictment and talking heads trumpeted – the actual number was closer to 76,000. My sources at the ISBE told me the Mueller indictment tabulated the number of times those records were viewed, not the number of records viewed.
In the words of that great philosopher Emily Litella, “Oh! That’s very different, never mind!”
And second – and this is the crucial concept my liberal compatriots – VOTER DATA IS ALREADY FLIPPIN’ PUBLIC INFORMATION. Sorry for shouting, but sometimes it’s difficult to get through to progressives who seem to be suffering from a malaise that slowly saps your IQ.
For a mere 500 bucks, anyone who’s created any kind of political committee can get the complete history of every single Illinois voter. And forming a political committee requires just two pages of paperwork. When I say complete history, I mean:
- Your birthdate
- Your mailing and voting address
- Whether you voted in an election or not
- How you voted (early, absentee, etc…)
- What primary ballot you pulled (Republican or Democrat)
- And much more
That information goes all the way back to the 90s, too. I currently have the voter data for virtually all of northern Illinois. Meanwhile, the Democrat’s Votebuilder database, based on that ISBE data, is so comprehensive, it stops just short of predicting the number of times voters have sex every week.
Does the ISBE need to be a little more careful? Yes! The Russians also accessed driver’s license and those final four social security numbers, but that’s not what they were after. They were trying to hack the software that tallies election night vote totals, but they completely failed in that regard.
Could those DL numbers have made it onto the Dark Web? Sure! But, as I can personally attest, after the Equifax breach, they’re already on the Dark Web anyway. Had the guy who sought credit in my name that fun Bronx spring weekend politely asked, I would’ve gladly handed him my identity.
That would’ve been a far greater consequence than any jail term.
When was the last time anybody did anything with your driver’s license number? Big freaking deal! “But Jeff! Once they got in the system, the Russians could’ve erased all Illinois voter information!
In the words of that great philosopher Dick Cheney, “So what?”
The Illinois State Board of Elections database is an aggregation of the data from all 108 Illinois election authorities, so in essence, that database is rebuilt every week.
Can you imagine the nightmare if those fine ISBE folks had to make every change, deletion and edit by hand? Put more simply, had the Russians wiped it clean, it would have been resurrected the very next day.
But none of this reality stopped the eminently arrogant Illinois Senator Dick During from issuing a stilted statement that included this paragraph:
“Today’s indictment stated that the individuals ‘hacked the website of a state board of elections… and stole information related to approximately 500,000 voters, including names, addresses, partial social security numbers, dates of birth, and driver’s license numbers.’ If this is in reference to the Illinois State Board of Elections, we must get to the bottom of it immediately.”
Trust me, like any other elected official, he knows that, for a few bucks, anyone can get the name, address, and date of birth of any Illinois voter.
So, my liberal friends! You can stand down from Defcon 4 and wait for the next shiny outrage object that comes into your field of vision because this ain’t a story. The Russians want to manipulate elections, not steal voter data, and those safeguards worked!