The days of hanging chads might be over, but new Election Day challenges have arisen to fill the void. Electronic voting machines, online voter registration portals and optical scanning devices place significant strain on data center operations. States, counties and cities must now ensure they have the infrastructure necessary to support these increasingly popular technologies — especially with the 2016 presidential election just over the horizon. But even though all states face the same Nov. 8 deadline for Election Day improvements, the varied adoption of voting innovations means no two states have the same infrastructure-upgrade needs.
In Iowa, for instance, the statewide voter registration database and election management system frequently undergo minor tweaks and fixes by a third-party vendor, says Kevin Hall, communications director for the Iowa Secretary of State.
“We made relatively modest modifications to accommodate electronic voter registration this past year, as well as changes to accommodate one new voting machine that was approved almost two years ago,” Hall says. “However, we did add significant memory to the system this past year.”