Election officials concerned by outdated voting machines: report

Election officials concerned by outdated voting machines: report
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Voters heading to the polls this November in more than a dozen of the most competitive House races in the country will be confronted with aging voting machines that cannot be verified by paper ballots, according to election officials.

Reuters reports that officials in 14 districts where congressional races are expected to be close are concerned about malicious actors accessing voting data and changing vote outcomes.

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In total, more than 140 House elections will be held in regions of the country where all or some voters do not have access to machines capable of providing a paper recount for auditors.

The inability of these machines to provide data for auditors could become an issue in races where the final result is too close to call and a recount is ordered.

“Voter confidence is a really big thing, and it’s the battle I worry about losing,” Pennsylvania’s elections commissioner Jonathan Marks said.

Four hotly-contested elections in Pennsylvania will take place in counties where the older machines are used, Marks said.

Last year, the Department of Homeland Security revealed that voter rolls in 21 states had been accessed by hackers, likely linked to Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, while Congress passed $380 million in funding to upgrade voting systems nationwide.

Jeanette Manfra, the DHS cybersecurity chief who oversaw the agency's efforts to respond to Russian intrusions in voter systems, said earlier this year she worries about similar threats to upcoming elections.

“I will always be worried about it and it is always something that entities are going to look to influence our democratic processes,” she said. “As a country, we should be in a position to counter that.”