President Donald Trump on Friday promised an intense, “whole-of-government” focus on securing the nation’s elections from cyberattacks — but a POLITICO survey of states finds ample reasons to worry about both this year’s midterms and 2020. Only 14 states plus Washington, D.C., say they plan to replace their voting machines in time for the next presidential election using their shares of the $380 million in election technology funding that Congress approved in March, according to POLITICO’s survey of election agencies nationwide. At least seven other states have paid for new voting equipment with other money. But 21 states either have decided not to upgrade their machines or are unsure of their plans — with some saying they would need much more federal aid to swap out their equipment.
… But security experts have long warned that voting machines represent an often-overlooked vulnerability for American democracy, especially the paperless touchscreen devices that 30 states rely on either totally or partially. Those experts said the $380 million that Congress provided this year is barely enough to train election workers and fix the voter registration databases that were a top target for hackers in 2016 — and nowhere near enough to replace insecure voting machines.
“Congress urgently needs to work with the states and figure out how to get this dilapidated technology out of polling places before 2020,” said J. Alex Halderman, a computer science professor and voting security expert at the University of Michigan.