I'm not saying that the Russians or whoever influenced the election necessarily knew what they were doing from the outset but I think that they have stumbled on a combination that works or at least worked at that time.
Which leads me to another interesting point: Will these techniques work again in the future? Will the application of them need to be tweaked for differences in our culture or in different localities? How so?
It's all very interesting stuff. I wish there was more data.
In this regard I’d say the collusion conspiracy kicked off by Steele has been significantly more efffective than any Russian effort leading up to the election.
Mostly that’s because the Russians had some fake Facebook groups while Steele had the FBI and a large part of the American mass media all shilling for him.
Anomalies were detected in the data as early as 2016. The Mueller report brings even more evidence to the table. At this point it’s likely that voting infrastructure was compromised in some way in all 50 states, with detectable anomalies in all swing states, and in all states where Trump blindsided pollsters. It turns out that actual fraud might be the reason for the blindsiding.
Present the evidence then. I keep hearing about this mythical "evidence" of vote tampering in particular, and yet when I press for the actual evidence to be presented it turns out to be entirely "faith based" in the end every time. The very article you linked to, in fact, says: "There's still no evidence of vote hacking, of course".
Disclosure: I'm a naturalized Russian American who has spent most of his life in the US. Love this country, warts and all.
Yes, there's no direct proof that they hacked our voting ballots. I think there is some evidence, but that agencies assumed they just weren't effective AND witheld the information in an effort to prevent Russia's ultimate motive of undermining democracy entirely. This is why nobody is showing evidence and choosing to rely on "faith".
 https://www.cnn.com/2016/12/26/us/2016-presidential-campaign... and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uUfYtHfw3A
In some cases there was attempts to do SQL injection on these sites.
In a couple instances there is evidence that voter rolls were accessed.
There is no evidence of any vote tampering, and any suggestion that there was is just a conspiracy theory.
>> to prevent Russia's ultimate motive of
>> undermining democracy entirely
For the past 2 years or so, the entirety of the democratic party and mainstream press have been helping them to undermine and divide the US, so I figure it's working according to their plan. The US is exactly where Putin wants it to be: unproductive squabbling in the Congress and Senate, executive branch is partially paralyzed, half the US hates the other half due to basically lies fed to them by the mainstream press.
The rest of your post underscores my point perfectly: it's a faith-based argument.