Republican nominee Donald Trump has warned supporters that the 2016 election could be rigged, and there is ample evidence that many electronic voting systems are not secure.
Now a survey by the website Secure Thoughts, which offers cyber security advice, has found that concerns about hackers penetrating polling places and potentially skewing results could keep some young voters from casting a ballot.
In an Aug. 7 poll of 1,000 readers, Secure Thoughts asked: “Does the knowledge that hackers could influence the outcome of the 2016 Presidential elections make you more or less likely to vote?”
Almost 20 percent of respondents age 18 to 25 said the threat of hacking would discourage them from voting, and close to 19 percent of undecided voters in any age group said that a cyberthreat might decrease the chance that they would vote. On the other hand, almost a quarter of Republicans essentially said they would stand up to hackers, with a cyberthreat making them more likely to vote.
Hillary Clinton has struggled to attract the younger voters who jammed rallies for her Democratic primary rival Bernie Sanders, and Trump has never seemed to have all that much traction with Millennials.
In fact, a USA Today/Ipsos poll earlier this month showed startling results: Even though Clinton does not seem to ignite youthful passions as Sanders did, she now has about 72 percent of former Bernie backers behind her. That’s helping Clinton whip Trump badly among Millennials, with a 36-point lead in a head-to-head matchup.
In a four-way race, Clinton gets 50 percent of the Millennial vote, with 18 percent for Trump, 11 percent for Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and 4 percent for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. And in a McClatchy/Marist poll of registered voters, also conducted in early August, Trump came in dead last, with just 9 percent among voters 18 to 29, with Clinton at 41 percent, Johnson at 23 percent and Stein at 16 percent.
Trump probably should keep repeating that rigged election line: It may keep more young people away from polling places on November 8.