A laptop and several memory sticks used to program voting machines in the critical swing state of Pennsylvania were stolen.
The news, confirmed Wednesday by Philadelphia officials, is the latest testament to the questionable integrity of the upcoming presidential election.
“Many details surrounding the incident remained unclear Wednesday afternoon including exactly how the equipment was taken, whether there are any suspects, and details on how the missing technology might be used. Officials said there are multiple levels of security to prevent the equipment from being used maliciously, and a police investigation is ongoing
The equipment is believed to have been taken some time this week, though the exact date is not clear, according to two sources briefed on the matter who were not authorized to publicly discuss it. No other material appeared to have been taken, the sources said.
The laptop belonged to an on-site employee for Election Systems & Software, the Omaha, Neb.-based company that supplies the machines. An ES&S spokesperson said the laptop is not used to set up the machines. The account on the laptop has been disabled to prevent it from being used, said Nick Custodio, deputy commissioner under Lisa Deeley, chair of the commissioners. He said the computer “did not have any of our election material on it.”
A potentially greater concern are the stolen USB memory sticks that are used to set the machines in advance of an election, including setting the design of the ballots.“