retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Reuters has a story about how Amazon is bringing its technical expertise into the elections sector.

According to the story, "The expansion by Amazon Web Services into state and local elections has quietly gathered pace since the 2016 U.S. presidential vote. More than 40 states now use one or more of Amazon’s election offerings, according to a presentation given by an Amazon executive this year and seen by Reuters.

"So do America’s two main political parties, the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and the U.S. federal body charged with administering and enforcing federal campaign finance laws.

"While it does not handle voting on election day, AWS - along with a broad network of partners - now runs state and county election websites, stores voter registration rolls and ballot data, facilitates overseas voting by military personnel and helps provide live election-night results, according to company documents and interviews … Amazon pitches itself as a low-cost provider of secure election technology at a time when local officials and political campaigns are under intense pressure to prevent a repeat of 2016 presidential elections, which saw cyber-attacks on voting systems and election infrastructure."
KC's View:
It strikes me as sort of odd that Amazon has such a large and expanding role in the elections systems at a time when it also is the subject of a variety of legislative and regulatory probes. Odd, and maybe a little ironic …

One of the things that I find intriguing about the situation is that while Amazon is seen as having far greater security interfaces that would make it harder for entities to hack our elections systems, the fact that so many of these systems are now being centralized under the AWS umbrella may create a much more perilous problem if someone actually we able to it.

Somehow that seems like a metaphor for so much else that is going on with Amazon. Bigger and better in ways that have been an advantage, but that could end up being a problem.