Donald Trump really did win the presidential election and voting machines aren't to blame. After recount efforts in Michigan and Pennsylvania were dropped absent evidence of fraud, an independent review of final voting results across the country concluded that Hillary Clinton was not, in fact, the true winner of the 2016 campaign, even if liberal voters were still having a hard time accepting the outcome.
The recount conducted by two computer scientists from the University of Michigan did find, however, that the U.S. political system is vulnerable to a cyberattack, though the academics concluded there was no funny business this time around. The recount paid for by crowdfunding looked at results in counties and precincts challenged after the election. The professors, J Alex Halderman and Matt Bernhard, said they were certain Trump really did win enough votes to solidify his Electoral College victory.
“The recounts support that the election outcome was correct,” Bernhard told the Chaos Communications Congress cybersecurity convention in Hamburg, where he and Halderman discussed their findings, the Guardian reported Wednesday.
In Wisconsin, Trump’s victory increased by 131 votes, while in Michigan, incomplete data found a possible difference of 1,651 votes, “but no evidence of an attack”, Bernhard said. “I can sleep at night knowing that Trump won the election.”
But Halderman warned that companies that load election machines could be susceptible to a hack. “What we need in the U.S., quite badly, is some specific reform to the election process,” Halderman said. “Even if the 2016 election wasn’t hacked, the 2020 election might well be; we’re facing increasingly powerful and successful state attackers. We need some defense.”
Halderman suggested states strengthen their voting technology and require paper records of each vote.
“I’m pretty sure my undergraduate security class could have changed the outcome of the presidential election,” Halderman said. “It really is that bad.”
It isn't all bad news for Clinton. She did win the popular vote, with 65,844,610 votes. Trump, who will be sworn in on Jan. 20, only received 62,979,636 votes.