Counties across the state say they need a major upgrade to voting equipment to prevent system failures in the next election. They fear aging and potentially failing machines could get in the way of a successful electoral process. Officials say providing new machines for nearly the entire state would cost around $34 million. Some want to split the cost in the Governor’s budget over two years which could have the entire state up and running by the next major election. Current problems include the voting machine operating software. “The biggest one I think is they say that they run off Windows XP and that is no longer being supported by Microsoft,” said State Rep. Trevor Drown (R/Dover). “So there’s nothing that’s upgradeable in regards to the equipment.”
Drown presented the issue to the Election Subcommittee at the State Capitol Wednesday (2/1). Several County Clerks from across Arkansas shared their concerns, asking for funding to replace equipment.
The Secretary of State’s Office pulled from its savings to upgrade 11 counties last year leaving most of Arkansas’s 75 counties with older equipment.
We’re told new machines would be different from the current system in that when individual parts or components fail they can be replaced or upgraded without switching out the entire system.