Across much of the country, voters are casting ballots at voting machines with expired warranties or outdated components. For the next election, these machines will likely suffice, but these decade-old machines could fail in the next few years. The problem is two-fold: Many Ohio counties say they do not have the money to purchase replacements for their 2005-era machines, and anyway, there’s little incentive for them to update. Voting-machine technology hasn’t advanced much since the federal government last revised its certification standards — in 2005. The Presidential Commission on Election Administration, appointed by President Barack Obama last year, called the aging of first-generation voting machines as an impending crisis. There’s nothing to panic about today, but we ought not to wait until there’s a major breakdown in an election to act,” said Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, in charge of running elections for the state’s 7.7 million voters.
Husted wants to see the federal government fix a problem he says it created by funding the purchase of new voting equipment or lifting the standards that stipulate what states buy.
… In California’s Los Angeles County, one of the country’s biggest voting jurisdictions, election officials are creating their own voting system, instead of purchasing one with outdated technology. But so far, that county is the exception, not the rule.
“(Some jurisdictions) are holding machines together with baling wire and duct tape,” said Pam Smith, president of Verified Voting, a California foundation that tracks voting across the nation. “ There are only so many elections this stuff can get through.”