Berkeley High students try rigging their own election, exposes district cyber security flaws

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Two Berkeley High School students are in hot water for trying to rig their very own election, exposing huge gaps in District cyber security.

The movie 'Election' spoofed how fiercely competitive High School elections can be-- but this scenario is real life.

Students at Berkeley High are buzzing about their recent election-- which ended in large scale voter fraud.

"Definitely no Russian meddling here," said Berkeley High Student Activities Director John Villavicencio.

Viillavicecencio noticed something was weird when two candidates for ASB President and Vice President made a huge comeback during voting period last month.

"They had 550 illegal votes in their favor," said Villavicencio.

Ranked Choice ballots were cast electronically, school officials say the two candidates logged themselves into their classmates email accounts to cast votes in their favor, using a default password most every student knows. Officials say the candidates had access to a list of students.

"They were working hard at voter fraud," said Villavicencio.

The candidates were disqualified-- students Malachi Wilk knows one of them.

"It would've been better just to lose the right way, the clean way. Now it reflects bad on your character."

The election rigging exposes a huge cyber security gap within the district.

"I'm glad it was a student election and not something more significant," said student Sam Saxe-Taller.

It's uncler what kind of discipline the students may face. In the meantime, school officials are asking all students to change their school passwords as soon as possible.
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