Are mail-in ballots a recipe for fraud? No, says the man who first hacked voting machines

Click to see my interview with Harri

Images of voters crowded together on long lines at ballot places in Wisconsin this week had a lot of Americans wondering about alternative, safe election procedures. Some states, such as Washington State, have embraced mail-in voting during recent elections. Might that be a safer way to exercise our democratic rights during the age of coronavirus?

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump dismissed the idea out of hand, saying it encouraged fraud. So I spoke with Harri Hursti, one of the world’s leading experts on election fraud, about the viability of mail-in voting. Hursti is the star of the new HBO documentary Kill Chain, and was also featured in the HBO film Hacking Democracy more than  a decade ago. He is also creator of the “Hursti Hack,” the first time voting machines had been hacked.

In this video, Hursti says there are many potential issues with mail-in ballots — voter manipulation, vote harvesting, vote buying, and even tricking voters into dropping off their ballots at the wrong place. But, he says, all these issues can be mitigated, and during a time of crisis, mail-in voting is a valid alternative.

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About Bob Sullivan 1600 Articles
BOB SULLIVAN is a veteran journalist and the author of four books, including the 2008 New York Times Best-Seller, Gotcha Capitalism, and the 2010 New York Times Best Seller, Stop Getting Ripped Off! His latest, The Plateau Effect, was published in 2013, and as a paperback, called Getting Unstuck in 2014. He has won the Society of Professional Journalists prestigious Public Service award, a Peabody award, and The Consumer Federation of America Betty Furness award, and been given Consumer Action’s Consumer Excellence Award.


  1. Bob Sullivan is a credit to humanity…every one of his projects is a winner…way back to his reporter days, when we first met!

  2. Hi
    I wonder if you can help me. 999.99 was taken out of my bank account on july 30th. I filed fraud charges with the bank 3 times and they said that they could not help me. The money was taken out by zelle, which i had never heard of. I filed a claim with the ftc. Which also said they could do nothing. I have lost two jobs because of the virus. I am still hoping for unemployment which i filed for in may. This loss is a major set back because i only have the one job. I am 71 years old and bank with pnc. Is any bank safe to put my money it. I am not very good on the computer. Please send me some guidance if there is anything i can do. I live from week to week and have no savings. Thank you in advance.

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