Senator Nelson and Russiagate Conspiracy Theories

The Russians control a swing state's election systems!

Except that they don't.

S​outh Florida election chiefs said Thursday they have no reason to believe their voter registration rolls have been compromised by hackers, despite comments from Sen. Bill Nelson that Russians have gained access to some Florida counties’ systems.

Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes said she has not received any special alerts from Nelson or the federal government.

State officials also say they have no information to support Nelson’s claim.

They have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about," Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times.

Nelson, who is running for re-election, declined to identify which counties have been penetrated, saying it was classified. "The threat is real and elections officials — at all levels — need to address the vulnerabilities."

Election officials in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties also said they are not aware of their systems being compromised.

If the information is classified, then why mention it all? And whom is it classified from?

If the Russians penetrated our election systems, surely they know which ones they penetrated. There's no reason to keep it secret from them. Let alone from election officials on the ground.

But the proliferation of Russiagate conspiracy theories has mainstreamed fact-free claims, backed by other claims that classified information is being peddled to gullible lefty audiences. And the media, which is quick to accuse President Trump of having lied 12,000 times in the past second, gives these conspiracy theories a pass when it isn't actually reinforcing them.