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Aging voting machines pose security threat

Posted at 9:41 PM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 22:41:41-04

Concerns surrounding aging voting machines compromising your vote here in Texas have come back into focus ahead of the upcoming midterm election.

“While the lifespan of any electronic voting machine varies, systems over a decade old are far more likely to need to be replaced, for both security and reliability reasons,” the Brennan Center for Justice reported.

Older machines are more likely to use outdated software, and sometimes there may not be security patches available.

Texas is one of 38 states using discontinued models in one or more jurisdiction.

Confidence in the voting system was shaken during the 2016 election after reports of Russian interference. The federal government told election officials in 21 states, including Texas, that hackers targeted their systems before the presidential election.

“Any electronic devices connected with the Internet, they sometimes come with a security measure. So every system needs to be current with the updated versions,” said Abhijit Nag, a cyber security expert from A&M Central Texas.

Aside from the age of equipment, keeping a paper trail has become a national trend in better securing equipment. More than one in ten voters could cast ballots on paperless machines.

Upgrading and replacing equipment is expensive. States received $380 million for election security upgrades. But industry experts say that is only a fraction of what is needed to replace antiquated machines.