“Habitual” technology failures in an “obsolete” and glitch-prone state voter registration system could have devastating effects in 2016 if not addressed quickly, elections officials across the state say. The aging state computer system is used to check in voters locally, ensuring their eligibility, before they cast ballots. But local elections supervisors say the state system is prone to crash, sometimes for days, precluding efforts to verify that eligibility. They also say the state has been slow to upgrade the hardware, despite millions in federal funding. Florida’s top elections official, Ken Detzner, was not available for comment on Friday. But his spokesman said fixing the system will be his “highest priority.” In a memo to local elections officials this week, the state said it was moving to address the problem this month.
Still, several county elections officials expressed alarm that Florida has not been more aggressive in fixing the issue, especially since it has already affected the outcome of at least one local election.
With the state’s next presidential primary barely one year away, elections officials say they are increasingly worried — especially given Florida’s reputation for election problems.