As America preps for the next presidential election, its voting machines are in need of a serious update. Almost every state is using electronic touchscreen and optical-scan voting machines that are at least 10 years old, according a recent Wired article, with Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Texas and Virginia are all using voting machines that are at least 15 years old. When these machines were introduced, dial-up Internet was used by most of the country, and the voting technology was equally primitive. These outdated machines have a litany of problems including degrading touchscreens, worn-out modems and failing memory cards. And this is before one considers the cybersecurity issues.
Earlier this year, Jeremy Epstein, the senior computer scientist at SRI International, wrote an article on why the AVS WinVote touchscreen Direct Recording Electronic voting machines were decertified by the Virginia State Board of Elections.
According to Epstein, the decertification was sparked on Election Day in November 2014, when machines in one precinct crashed repeatedly because, according to rumors, a volunteer was trying to download music onto his iPhone. The Virginia Information Technology Agency (VITA) was tasked with investigating the problems and published a report saying the machines had a host of problems.