The Missouri voter registration site, a tool used by election workers and prospective voters to verify voter registration, has been down since 7:15 AM this morning.
Election workers are required to lookup voters on the website when their name fails to appear on the voter lists available at each precinct. Without the ability to verify registrations, anyone can go to a polling place in Missouri, give any name, and then cast a ballot.
Robin Carnahan, Missouri Secretary of State and person in charge of elections, just happens to be on the ballot for US Senate. After revelations that Carnahan refused to comply with federal mandates to purge deceased voters from rolls, people are questioning whether she or someone from her office may have purposely caused the outage.
Laura Egerdal, spokeswoman for Missouri's Secretary of State told Fox News that the issue is with an internet connection to the website and directed concerned voters to call 1-800-VOTE-NOW. However, attempts by the Kansas Citian to contact the MO election office via this number have been unsuccessful as calls go unanswered and the voicemail system is full.
Upon further investigation, the Kansas Citian’s technology experts discovered the issue is not with the website’s Internet connection, but with their Domain Name Service or DNS, a system that acts as a phone book of website addresses and translates them into IP or Internet Addresses.
The DNS servers responsible for this lookup just happen to be located in none other than the Missouri Secretary of State’s office. This means all Robin Carnahan or one of her cohorts has to do to take down the system is unplug a network cable and BOOM, no more website.
We contacted MISnet, the Internet Service Provider that serves the Missouri SOS office and they informed us their network is up and functioning normally.
UPDATE: After word of our investigation leaked, the MO SOS office moved the voter registration site from their own in house network (https:mcvr.mo.gov/elections/pollingplacelookup) to the official servers operated by the MO administrations office (http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/pollingplacelookup). However, they have not yet fully covered their tracks and the original link can still be viewed here, just look for "Find a Polling Place" in the left hand column.