A recent report identifies Florida, home of the 2000 Bush-Gore election fiasco, as one of the states at-risk of future voting problems due to the age of its voting equipment. According to theBrennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, 30 out of Florida’s 67 counties have not updated their voting machines in more than a decade, increasing the possibilities of technology breakdowns and glitches on Election Day. At least a dozen of the 30 counties mentioned will have new equipment in-place in time for the 2016 presidential primaries, including Manatee County, which just received new equipment this week. That leaves Polk County as the only county in Greater Tampa Bay that has not replaced its equipment in more than a decade. In fact, its optical scan machines are the same machines the county used for the 2000 presidential election.
“It’s kind of like an old car; you know what the problems are with them,” said Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards, who pointed out her machines have a long track record of success. “When you bring in new equipment, there’s always bugs and (unexpected) things…so I just have a confidence in the (current) equipment that has served us well.”
But the Brennan Center report said older equipment tends to breakdown more frequently and cause more unexpected problems. And there’s a billion-dollar need for new voting equipment in America.
“It would be like…a 10- or 15-year-old laptop or cell phone what that would be like as far as operating. It just doesn’t work.” said University of North Florida professor Michael Binder.