voting machines

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North Dakota: Aging voting machines could pose a challenge for counties | Prairie Public Broadcasting

In 2017, the North Dakota Legislature was asked to fund new voting machines. The Legislature declined. And that means North Dakota is using the same voting system it purchased back in 2004. “That’s a long life span for technology,” said Deputy Secretary of State Jim Silrum. Silrum said the current machines use the Windows 7 operating system. Windows no longer supports that system, and Silrum said the counties have had to cannibalize their existing machines to have some that still work. “You can’t any longer find chips or motherboards that run slow enough, because modern technology has advanced,” Silrum said. “They just say, ‘Why would we want to build something so slow?'” Read More

National: ‘Let Me Vote!’ Voters Experiencing Problems During Primaries: Long Lines, Faulty Machines, Ballot Shortages Among Problems | Latin Post

Earlier this week, millions of Americans in 12 states across the country participated in the Super Tuesday election, which helped Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton move one step closer to winning their parties’ nominations. However, many voters were subjected to long lines, confusing information and defective voting machines before they were able to cast their votes. Others were prohibited from voting altogether due to technicalities and strict ID laws. Although Americans are encouraged to take advantage of their right to vote, doing so can be very difficult. Officials at Election Protection — a nonpartisan coalition of groups that run an Election Day hotline to help voters who encounter problems — were flooded with over 1,500 calls from voters experiencing problems at different polling sites. The majority of the calls came from Texas and Georgia, but a large number also came in from Alabama, Virginia and Colorado as well. “We received calls from voters needing assistance on a range of issues resulting from poll worker misinformation, voter ID problems, overcrowded polls, long lines and ballot shortages,” said Chris Melody Fields Figueredo, who co-leads Election Protection and acts as manager of Legal Mobilization and Strategic Campaigns at Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, to Latin Post in an email. Read More

Michigan: Aging voting machines a ‘catastrophe waiting to happen’ | Bridge Magazine

Michigan voters will spend next Tuesday wondering who will win the state’s presidential primaries. Elections officials will spend that same day wondering if the state’s voting machines will make it through one more election. Michigan’s voting machines are outdated and beginning to break down, with counties buying used parts on the Internet and nursing a computer operating system that stopped being sold in 2008. “Every election is like waiting for a catastrophe to happen,” said Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum. “That’s no way to run an election.” Voting machine problems at the polls could lengthen the already long time it takes many Michigan voters to cast ballots – Michigan already ranks 46th in that category. Read More

National: Is Your Election Night Reporting System Ready for 2016? | Government Technology

There is a certain buzz in the air on election nights that gives voters a sense of involvement in a larger process and state elections officials knots in their stomachs. Will state reporting systems keep up with the deluge of access attempts so common in our technology-driven society? As media outlets and the public at large pound on the digital front door for the latest poll numbers, results portals across the country face the strain of hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of hits. Some falter and are overwhelmed by the attention and come crashing down; others come to the game prepared, having learned from past follies. Though 2014 wasn’t exactly what you’d call a big-ticket election — with no presidential candidates on the ballot — states across the country experienced issues with their election reporting websites. Whether the problems were due to overwhelmingly high Web traffic or just technical difficulties, several states had to step back and rethink their online reporting strategies. With 2016 expected to be a veritable title fight between the headline grabbers like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Government Technology caught up with several states who have seen issues in the past and moved to confront them head on. In Virginia, problems with the state’s election reporting website started in 2008, when online traffic to the site caused an outage. Read More

Kansas: Lawsuit over possible voting machine “anomalies” in Sedgwick County moves forward | KSN

There is now a trial date set to get voting results tested in Sedgwick County. Local Certified Quality Engineer Beth Clarkson is suing Sedgwick County Elections Commissioner, Tabitha Lehman. Clarkson wants to find out if there could be election fraud in Sedgwick County. Or, possible problems with the electronic voting machines. “I’m really concerned that our voting system has been undermined by these voting machines,” says Clarkson. “And I think we’ve got to do something about it if that’s the case.” Clarkson wants an anonymous sample of the paper tapes that tabulate elections results. She says there are statistical anomalies with the electronic voting machines. Secretary of State Kris Kobach was part of the lawsuit. But at a hearing before a judge on Monday, Kobach was dropped from the lawsuit. Read More

Voting Blogs: EAC Commissioner Masterson on Aging Voting Technology | EAC Blog

Recently a report was released discussing the current state of voting technology across the United States as we head in to the 2016 Election Cycle, which covers elections for many offices, from President to statewide offices to school boards.  Pam Fessler of NPR (a reporter who has spent years reporting on election administration issues and talking to state and local election officials) summed up the report, “Voting machines around the United States are coming to the end of their useful lives. Breakdowns are increasingly common. Spare parts are difficult, if not impossible, to find.” Read More

National: Hanging chad redux? Old voting devices could create new crisis, report finds | The Guardian

The United States is heading for another catastrophe in its voting system equivalent to the notorious “hanging chad” affair that shook the country in 2000 and propelled George W Bush into the White House, experts on electoral procedures are warning. The voting technology deployed by most states around the country is now so antiquated and unreliable that it is in danger of breaking down at any time, the experts say. Some states are having to go on eBay to buy spare parts for machines that are no longer manufactured. The extent of decay in America’s electoral infrastructure is laid bare in a new report from the Brennan Center, a nonpartisan institute at the New York University School of Law specializing in democracy and justice. Having consulted more than 100 voting specialists in all 50 states, the center concludes that the country is facing an impending crisis in the way it conducts elections. As Louisiana’s secretary of state Tom Schedler put it to an official hearing recently: “It’s getting a little scary out there.” Read More

Louisiana: iPad voting might be coming to Louisiana | The Times-Picayune

It won’t be available during this election, but Secretary of State Tom Schedler wants to bring iPad voting to Louisiana in the next two or three years. If reelected this fall, Schedler said he would look to transition Louisiana from its traditional voting machines to iPads. The shift would cost a fair amount of money – a rough estimate puts it somewhere between $45 million and $60 million. So Schedler might first look to lease the equipment to bring the cost down initially. iPad voting would also run as a pilot program in select locations before consideration was given to launching it statewide, according to Schedler’s office.    Read More

Pennsylvania: New voting machines might not make it past Philly City Council vote | NewsWorks

Philadelphia’s budget plan calls for purchasing new voting machines, but some City Council members are balking at the $22 million expense. The request for new voting machines is based on the age of the current machines, now about a decade old, said Greg Irving of the City Commissioners. “The current voting technology is now 13 years old, it has seen an increase in the number of power failures and printer problems,” Irving said. “We also have issues in election board and committeeperson races with missing write in tapes because our machines only produce one copy of write in votes.” Read More

Virginia: Roanoke County, Botetourt County, Montgomery County to replace banned voting machines by June | Richmond Times-Dispatch

The decision by the State Board of Elections to scrap thousands of touchscreen voting machines used in 20 percent of the state’s precincts sent shock waves through Virginia’s community of voter registrars, forcing them to scramble and replace the faulty equipment less than two months ahead of the June 9 primaries. The board on Tuesday imposed a ban on all touchscreen direct recording electronic voting machines of the WinVote model, because the continuing use of the aging devices “creates an unacceptable risk to the integrity of the election process in the commonwealth,” said Edgardo Cortés, commissioner of the state Department of Elections. A review by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency after the Nov. 4 elections had confirmed what computer experts had feared for years — that the WinVote machines may be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Virginia is the only state where WinVote devices are still in use. Read More