Advocate Says Hacking, Social Media the New Forms of Voter Suppressionby Phil Kabler Staff writer Charleston Gazette-Mail October 30, 2017
During her 15 years as executive director of the League of Women Voters from 2000 to 2015, Nancy Tate focused on fighting voter suppression through gerrymandering or overly restrictive voter ID laws — only to see entirely new ways to manipulate elections emerge in 2016.
“Clearly, these kinds of things, like hacking inside information and the use of social media is new, and hit this election like nothing we’ve ever seen,” Tate said last week after a week teaching and lecturing at the University of Charleston as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow.
The hacking and release of internal Democratic Party emails, along with what Tate called, “the targeted marketing of social media to certain persons with what I’ll call erroneous information,” moved elections into uncharted territories.
“Whether that influenced the outcome of the election is open to debate,” Tate said of the 2016 presidential race, adding that it certainly will influence election procedures going forward.
“It’s a different dynamic, and it’s something all election officials are going to worry about going forward,” she said.
In her home state of Virginia, Tate said, lawmakers responded with legislation outlawing electronic voting machines to eliminate any possibility that the election returns could be hacked.