It’s a new age of machines. Voting machines. Arizona and 42 other states have election equipment that has exceeded or is close to passing its expected life span of 10 years, according to a study by the Brennan Center for Justice, a law and policy institute at New York University School of Law. “The equipment for the most part has been fairly durable,” said Eric Mariscal, election director of Gila County. Mariscal said that Gila County Dept. of Elections has used the Accuvote paper ballot scanner units since 2004. “We’ve had very few problems,” he added.
Back in 2002, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act and gave each state funds to improve elections with new procedures, databases and equipment. But the money is gone and the machines are beginning to show signs of age.
Mariscal said that in 2014 the county’s computer server began to show signs of trouble. “It collapsed on us. Probably just from, you know, old age or just the finicky nature of computer machinery,” he said.