Cyber experts warn against using aging voting machines vulnerable to attacks

by Laura Ramirez

Photo: Alamy

With midterm elections just around the corner, a new report by the Brennan Center and Verified Voting revealed that numerous states still use outdated voting equipment, which is susceptible to fraud and lowers voters’ confidence in elections.

According to the report, electronic voting machines have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years, with the equipment edging closer to 10. Jeremy Epstein, a cybersecurity expert, warned against aging software, saying that it is “riskier, because new meth­ods of attack are constantly being developed, and older soft­ware is likely to be vulner­able.”

Nonetheless, the report concluded that an alarming 24 states, with more than 41 million registered voters, still use voting machines more than a decade old as their principal voting equipment.

Furthermore, 23 states with roughly 21 million registered voters use principal voting equipment that is no longer manufactured. The Brennan Center reports, “And approx­im­ately 40 million voters live in 26 states and two territ­or­ies rely­ing on assist­ive voting equip­ment — systems that are required under the Help Amer­ica Vote Act to ensure that indi­vidu­als with disab­il­it­ies can vote privately and inde­pend­ently — that has been discon­tin­ued.”

However, the price to replace all the outdated equipment over the next decade will amount to $1.8 billion, the Center for Secure and Modern Elections estimated.

Another issue of concern is DRE voting machines that do not produce a VVPAT, also known as a voter-verified paper audit trail, the Brennan Center added. The report states these machines require voters to engage via a touch-screen monitor and are a source of controversy as models have “flipped” votes and “incorrectly” registered “voters’ choices due to calib­ra­tion errors asso­ci­ated with aging hard­ware,” the report claims.

States with DRE voting machines, such as Louisiana, Texas, Indiana, and New Jersey, have attempted to minimize the machines’ vulnerabilities in the form of legislation.

While the report offers hard-hitting facts about the dangers of outdated voting machines, it downplayed the significance the machines have on voting irregularities.

As previously reported, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) warned that electronic voting machines made by Dominion Voting Systems in at least 16 states have serious issues leaving them vulnerable to hacking. Dominion machines have been highly criticized following the 2020 presidential election due to claims of vote manipulation and illegal activity.

Election integrity advocates, like My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, have been sounding alarms about these cyber threats in our election process. Lindell announced his latest film, “Selection Code,” which dives into “what’s inside” these voting machines.

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