- Clinton said US elections were at too much risk from cyberterrorism.
- The former president Clinton called for a return to “some sort of paper ballot system” until authorities know how to fix the problem.
- It remains unclear how much of the 2016 presidential election was comprised by cyberattacks.
- The US government has accused Russian hackers of targeting voting systems in multiple states in the presidential contest.
- Clinton added that cyberattacks are more of a risk to the US than North Korea.
All US states should return to a paper ballot system because they were at too much risk from cyberterrorism, former President Bill Clinton has said.
While it isn’t yet clear how much of the 2016 presidential election was compromised by cyberattacks, all US citizens should return to pen and paper to vote for now, the 42nd president told the BBC on Monday.
“Until we get this straightened out, every state should go to some sort of paper ballot system,” Clinton said.
The BBC published video of the interview, which you can watch below. His comments on election hacking begin after around 1 minute.
He specifically cited Virginia’s decision last year to return to a paper ballot system, in which manual votes are counted and processed by electronic scanners.
That decision followed security experts showing a conference that a touch-screen voting machine used by the state in 2014 could be hacked in less than two hours.
Thirty states offered direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems in the 2016 election, whereby people used to computers to log their votes, according to the Verified Voting Foundation, a non-governmental organisation that researches voting technology.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, hackers backed by the Russian government targeted election systems in 21 states during the 2016 election and “successfully penetrated” some state elections as a result.
Russian agents also sent emails containing malware to election officials before the election, masquerading as US voting software company VR Systems. The Intercept published those emails last week.
The extent of the hacking remains unclear. Donald Trump has also repeatedly denied collusion in the 2016 election.
Clinton added that cyberattacks should be more of a worry for the US government than North Korea.
He said they “could kill a lot more people in a lot less time” than Kim Jong Un’s arsenal.
“I hope and pray this effort with North Korea succeeds. Not because North Korea is about to drop a nuclear bomb, because it would end that would be the end of their country. They know that.
“The Dictators’ Club just likes to have nuclear weapons because they think nobody will mess with them.
“But it’s an immediate threat. This cyber threat could kill a lot more people in a lot less time just by shutting down things.”
As president, Clinton attempted to curb the North Korean nuclear threat by striking a deal with then-leader Kim Jong Il in 1994 that dismantled the country’s plutonium plants in exchange for fuel aid.
However, the agreement fell apart eight years later after the US discovered that North Korea had been developing nuclear weapons with highly-enriched uranium instead.
Clinton on Monday declined to comment on Trump’s presidency in the interview, insisting that he was only there to discuss his new crime fiction book, “The President is Missing,” which was co-written with thriller novelist James Patterson.
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