Dozens of local governments — including Fairfax City and Arlington — could be left scrambling to replace all of their voting machines after a state report called into question the accuracy and security of one-fifth of Virginia’s aging equipment. The state Board of Elections will decide at a public hearing on April 14 whether to scrap the touch-screen voting machines used in 30 counties and cities. The board will accept public comment through April 12. Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration is eager to settle the issue in time for the November election, when all General Assembly seats will be on the ballot — but also before the 2016 presidential contest. … The latest voting machines flap was prompted by complaints from voters who had trouble casting ballots in November. McAuliffe, who said he grappled with a malfunctioning machine at a Richmond precinct, called for an investigation into machine irregularities.
Results of testing from a federally accredited lab, Pro V&V, and the state’s information technology agency found problems with a model of touch-screen machine only used in Virginia, according to a five-page report released last week.
After studying problems in Spotsylvania, the report found the machines, which use a wireless internet connection to tally votes, are prone to crashing and are thought to be vulnerable to cyberattack.
The Department of Elections urged the Board of Elections, whose three members are appointed by the governor, to consider decertifying the machines.