Election Day in the US is going to be ugly on the internet. Presuming, of course, the internet will be running. Even if large sections of it aren't blown away by massive Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, it's going to be a wreck in other ways. Here's what to expect.
0. Vote hacking
This is the one thing you don't need to worry that much about. True, voting machines are horrifyingly easy to hack, but there are a wide variety of systems. In short, it's possible to crack some machines, but a significant number of them? That's not very likely.
Those attacks, which kept users from millions of sites, were just the warm ups. I am certain we'll see similar attacks on DNS providers, ISPs, and major websites.
After all, thanks to such programs as the Internet of Things (IoT) Mirai malware, it's simple to burn down DNS, the internet's master address list. You don't need to be Russia or China to foul up the internet; any moderately skilled hacker can do it now.
It's late in the day in Nevada. You're getting ready to vote. You look at Facebook, and your Trump-supporting friends are rejoicing because their news sites are reporting that with his leads in Fla., NC, and Ohio, he has the election in the bag. Gagging with nausea, you decide not to vote... only to find the next day he hadn't won, but your state did vote for Trump.
It won't matter what the real results are. So-called news sites such as Breitbart on the right and Daily Kos on the left will issue biased reports. If you rely on them for your news, you will not be getting an accurate picture.
In this world of pick-and-choose news, bias is nothing new. But, on Election Day of all days, you must be sure of your facts. If you're not, you may make some really bad voting decisions.
You're also going to see a lot of social network buzz about how if you're in NC, for example, you must have a picture ID to vote. That is a lie.
Check your local laws, make sure you know where you vote, and do this all before Election Day. There's already bogus information out there on your voting rights. Come the day, I expect there to be even more.
4. Voter registration rolls hacking
What if you go to your polling place and find you've been purged from the eligible voter lists? It's possible that your record was hacked.
It's also possible that your voting record was discarded by Republican-controlled state governments such as in WI and NC. Whether it was done by internet hacking or local politicians, in almost all states you can file a provisional ballot.
5. News attacks
It's 9 PM Eastern Standard Time and CNN just announced that MI and VA just went for Trump. Say what? Sure, it's possible, but unlikely, that one might go Republican -- but both? The analysts say they find it hard to believe, but the numbers are the numbers... except when they're not.
Unofficial voting results are collected by The Associated Press. They get these early results over the internet. They are then sent to the various news organizations, once more, over the internet. Along the way, it is possible that the data could be caught and changed. Sound crazy? It's already happened.