Was the Presidential Election Hacked?

Eden Geisser, Staff Writer

Every four years, the United States of America picks a new leader: the President of the United States. However, this year has been a bit different regarding the proper election rituals compared to past years due to the pandemic currently raging across the globe. This election not only was one of the most debated in history, but arguably, also one of the most important. While campaigning, debating, and closing in on Election Day, many voters were heavily influenced by certain parties to vote for a certain candidate. However, one particular issue pertaining to citizens voting for a specific candidate made many news headlines over the course of many months. As the media portrayed it, they determined this issue was hacking the presidential election. There was much speculation over whether this issue was real or not until photo evidence finally surfaced. Many democratic voters received threats and emails saying they should vote for Trump if they wanted to live, as published in an article by VOA News.

Months before the election campaigns even began, people had already been speculating about the presidential election potentially being hacked. Months went by and the closer the election got, the more speculation arose due to the tense relations with other countries around the globe that might want to destabilize the U.S. As many Americans suspected, more stories popped up regarding hackers trying to spread misinformation about the election and obtain classified voter information. Soon enough, more and more proof began to come to light and showed that this truly was happening to many Americans in at least four states, maybe more, according to the article published by Voa News. Although this was no surprise to many, some were more surprised that other countries would try to interfere with something so important to this country. As junior Hawani Hayes simply stated, “It’s absurd that other countries would dare interfere in our country’s elections.”

As some of you may now be wondering, why bring this up now? Would this have changed anything if we knew this before? As sophomore Issac Ringo stated, “People need to know that their voice is being heard and that their vote matters.” Even though this might not change people’s vote in this election, it could change their vote in future elections and their opinions regarding politics, not to mention that everyone deserves a voice in our political system. Is that not why we have a democracy? People deserve to know that when they cast their vote in any election that it will be counted fairly and not misplaced or tampered with.

On the other hand, we cannot assume that only one side or political party had extremely biased methods in this election such as threats, bribing higher political officials or public riots targeting citizens who did not vote for a certain party. As senior Devon Lull said, “Each side is going to get some sort of bias. Each side wants to hear something that supports their claim.” Both the Democratic and Republican parties have used many biased sources when campaigning and proving their points to make the other party look wrong or unsure of something. Regardless, when it comes to threats and making people feel their lives are in danger, people have to acknowledge that this bias is not going to prove to be effective. However, to not recognize how the past influences our current decisions in politics would also be a big mistake. 

As freshman Trevor Feinman put bluntly, “There were presidents who didn’t win the popular vote but won the election, and there’s something off with that.” When the IHS students were asked if presidential elections could have ever been hacked in the past, they all answered yes. Over the past decade, political parties have become more divided and violent towards each other, causing people to use more aggressive methods of propaganda and persuasion to get their point across. The effect of this is people retaliating with the same types of methods and creating a bigger divide line between the political parties. This then creates more overarching problems, not only for politicians and government officials, but for the American people, who are being affected by all of these decisions. People have become more prone to creating their own rules when it comes to politics, which means hacking or bribing certain individuals to increase the odds of a certain outcome. In this instance, hackers from Russia, Iran and China were all suspected and some were proven to have crossed these lines in order to create more panic and persuade individuals to vote for a certain candidate. Altogether, the presidential election being hacked makes complete sense by the evidence presented by logical thinking, the effects of violence and division that is being created from this issue.

The impact the hacking of the election had was not only quite unknown, unfortunately, but had an overall minimal effect due to the final election results. Now that more people have become aware of this issue, I can only hope that they take precautions and inform the right people when something like this happens because not only does the public deserve to know, but the people will be influenced by this information and it could prevent many Americans from making a big political mistake.