14 States Use Voting Machines Older Than 15 YearsDo You Live in One of Those States?

March 31, 2017 • Blog Post • BY MAEGHAN OUIMET, WIRED BRAND LAB

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IN THIS ARTICLE

  • Take a closer look at the outdated technology powering Novembers election and learn just how many states are still using paper ballots
  • States want to fix these outdated voting machines, but lack the funds to do so

Old voting machines are hard to fix, expensive to replace and, most importantly, they pose a major cybersecurity risk

Imagine using the same computer today that you used in 2006. Now, imagine that perhaps the most important decision Americans make is running on that same technologyantiquated, old and oftentimes unreliable.

According to a report from the Brennan Center for Justice, 43 U.S. states are using voting machines that are no longer manufactured and date back a decade (or more). This means its not only difficult to repair these machines for lack of available parts, but that they are also ripe for cyber attacks.

In Virginia, for example, the Brennan report revealed that the voting system in 24 percent of its precincts had to be decertified after it found the machines could be accessed through wireless featuresmeaning voter data could be compromised.

Its getting a little scary out there, Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler told the Louisiana House and Government Affairs Committee.

Lack of updates boils down to lack of fundsthe Brennan report found that while states want to replace these antiquated systems, the money isnt there. Failing to invest the estimated $1 billion (which, by the way, is less than the total amount donated to the 2016 presidential candidates) for a nationwide update to voting hardware and software has the 2016 presidential election living, disconcertingly, in the past.

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