There are 43 states that plan to use outdated voting machines in the 2016 presidential election. Of those, no fewer than seven states – Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Virginia, Texas, and Washington – will use machines that are over 15 years old, a study conducted by the Brennan Center of Justice at New York University School of Law reported.
“No one expects a laptop to last for 10 years. How can we expect these machines, many of which were designed and engineered in the 1990s, to keep running?” the report reads. “[T]he majority of systems in use today are either perilously close to or past their expected lifespans.”
Some of the manufacturers of the machines have gone out of business since they were first produced. This has made it difficult for some voting officials to repair the machines and find replacement parts.
“Georgia was in such dire stratis over the lack of parts for its voting machines that it hired a consultant to build customized hardware that could run its Windows 2000-based election system software,” Kim Zetter wrote in Wired.
Such vulnerabilities make the machines susceptible to hacking and may even make it possible for unauthorized access to skew results.
“Today there are tougher security standards than there were years ago when all of these machines were bought,” said Christopher Famighetti, one of the reports authors, to Wired. “The systems we’re using were not tested to the security standard that we consider necessary today.”
Watch Thom Hartmann address this issue:
For more on this, read the article from Wired titled: “The Dismal State of America’s Decade-Old Voting Machines.”