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Legacy Voting Machines Ripe For Tampering, Breakdowns

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Voting on a system that could be out of date.

Most U.S. states are using voting systems that are at least a decade old.

Credit: Bob Brown

Nearly every U.S. state is using electronic touchscreen and optical-scan voting systems that are at least a decade old, while six states employ machines at least 15 years old, according to a Wired article.

SRI International computer scientist Jeremy Epstein wrote a report earlier this year on why the Virginia State Board of Elections decertified AVS WinVote touchscreen Direct Recording Electronic voting machines. Recurrent crashes and other problems were cited by the Virginia Information Technology Agency (VITA) in a study that uncovered a host of issues, including easily guessable and unchangeable encryption keys, a lack of patching since 2004, a weak set of controls, and only marginal physical safeguards against tampering for physical connections.

Since the VITA report, some firms have created updated systems and protections to help voters sign and vote faster and more securely. Blockchain Technologies aims to replace existing systems with secure, open source voting machines that use block chain, which would employ quick response codes to represent a block chain address, the ballot ID, and the election ID.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is using its tablets and cloud technology in certain elections. For example, a mobile-enabled system built on Microsoft Azure will be utilized by Iowa precincts to report their voting results on caucus night in 2016.

From Government Computer News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2015 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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