Commissioner of the US Election Assistance Commission, Thomas Hicks rejected the allegations made by US Presidential candidate Donald Trump that the elections will have a rigged result as because of voter fraud. Hicks told IE that the electoral processes in the US are robust, and if any candidate has any concern it should be raised with poll officers instead of direct accusations. Election Commission of India had organised an international conference on voter education where Hicks was invited. Speaking on the recent issues regarding the weakness of US cyber security, Hicks said that since the voting machines are not connected to the internet there is no was that they could be hacked. He told IE, “A lot of folks have said that, well, they (have Internet features, which) can be hooked onto the Internet. A lot of cars have a lot of features that I don’t use. These voting machines might have those features as well, but we say turn them off,” he said. On the possibility of physical tampering of voting machines, Hicks said that it would take too many people to even open the machine and change votes without anyone witnessing it, as the system is too decentralised. He added that there are different varieties of machines in different polling areas.
Trump had earlier suggested that a fair result is almost impossible and he has reiterated it many times, making the issue a central theme of this year’s presidential elections. In the last presidential debate, Trump had indirectly suggested to the audience that he may or may not accept the result of the elections if his opponent Hillary Clinton becomes the President of the US. On Tuesday, in a rally in Colorado, Trump had said, “Voter fraud is all too common, and then they criticise us for saying that. But take a look at Philadelphia, what’s been going on, take a look at Chicago, take a look at St Louis. Take a look at some of these cities, where you see things happening that are horrendous.”
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Hicks, however, said that such allegations are highlighted in during every election which is eventually disproven because of lack of substance. Hicks told IE, “I have confidence in them [election officials] and that the vote ballots will be counted accurately and securely. There’s never been a more secure election than we have right now. There’s never been a more open election than we have right now. If people have questions about the process, they should go directly to their election officials because they allow for open and accurate displays of the way the process runs.”