A handful of public officials have been trying to sound the alarm, such as Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who has made an issue of election security and recently warned that the country could be headed toward “an electoral Chernobyl.”
Many of the election experts interviewed for this story asked to speak anonymously to voice candid fears they didn’t want to be associated with their employers. Some have been more forthcoming about how hard it will be for the nation to agree on what happens next.
“My biggest concern for the fall election is an election administrator’s job is to convince the losers that they lost,” Washington’s Republican secretary of state, Kim Wyman, told me this spring during an event at the Aspen Institute, where I head its cybersecurity initiatives. “I guarantee you that half of the country cannot conceive that Republicans can win in November. The other half of the country cannot conceive that Democrats can win.”
All of the following are utterly foreseeable. And keep in mind, none of these weigh the X factor of a truly unexpected event—who, after all, had the 2016 election hinging on Anthony Weiner’s laptop?