US voting machines are failing. Here’s why.

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  • Published on:  Thursday, March 29, 2018
  • The greatest threat to American voting machines might not be hacking, but old age.

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    In our latest collaboration with ProPublica, we take a look at US election security and the status of American voting machines. Check out the full ProPublica report at:

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    In 2017, hackers Rick Rolled a voting machine in Las Vegas. Even though the machine was out-of-date and the demonstration didn’t replicate real-life conditions, the stunt brought national attention to an election crisis that has been building ever since the “hanging chad” fiasco that occurred during the 2000 Presidential election recount.

    In her story on American election security, ProPublica’s Kate Rabinowitz revealed that many state and local election officials are suffering a funding crisis. Without the money needed to maintain and update electronic voting machines, officials are having to make do with equipment that was manufactured in 2008 or even earlier. At that time, most machines had recently been replaced thanks to the 2002 Help America Vote Act, but few have been updated since.

    By isolating machines from the internet and keeping them in secure locations, officials are able to reduce the threat of widespread hacking, but the machines are plagued with more mundane technical problems that states have been slow to address and could have major consequences for future elections.

    On the bright side, the omnibus spending bill that was passed in March 2018 allocated $380 million dollars for state election officials to update their voting infrastructure. Whether that money is actually provided and how it will be spent, however, remains to be seen. is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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  • Vectored Thrust

     (Mar 29, 2018)

    Did I just get rickrolled by Vox?Also, this is why the uk does paper ballots with entirely manual counting where representatives of all of the political parties and the media are present to watch the count. Sure, it takes an awful long time, with some counts not being declared until 7am or later when polls close at 10pm, but it's the most secure and reliable method of voting. No ageing machines necessary

  • error 404

     (Jan 29, 2019)


  • Christopher Kempf

     (Nov 8, 2018)

    Many US states call upon people to vote on dozens of different races and ballot questions at one time, while in the UK, as far as I know, people usually only vote for their next MP at a general election. Counting US ballots by hand would take weeks.

  • Charles Kuhn

     (Mar 29, 2018)

    Buying new machines every ten years... How about simple paper voting?

  • Arsenic Poisoning

     (Dec 7, 2018)

    three wordsballotboxstuffing

  • Averagely Pro

     (Nov 10, 2018)

    Are you stupid? What will the voting machine companies do then? You'll pay for their profits?

  • Our Founding Liars

     (Mar 29, 2018)

    Rick Astley hacked the election. Keep asking questions. Investigate rick roll

  • C&TC Network

     (Nov 7, 2018)

    Even the elites at the very top of the global hierarchy are meer pawns in comparison to the shadow overlord, Rick Astley.We were too foolish to see it coming.God help us all.

  • exboi

     (Jul 30, 2018)

    Wait a second...I’ve seen you around before

  • Os

     (Mar 29, 2018)

    Getting rick rolled by vox

  • José Hernández

     (Nov 6, 2018)

    Can you explain youself? I didn't get that reference.

  • Dion Dimucci

     (Mar 30, 2018)

    Os lol

  • ElyssaAnderson

     (Mar 29, 2018)

    What are they doing with all that money? How much do these voting machines actually cost, and how many do they actually need?It sounds like somebody is getting rich holding the elections hostage.

  • Rakibul Chowdhury

     (Nov 9, 2018)

    vote++; //All you need

  • Jordan Jacobson

     (Mar 29, 2018)

    Thats not a lot of money. If the machines can be expected to last a decade, then it literally comes out to one dollar per person a year to maintain the electronic voting systems as per your example. If the machines were to be replaced every five years, that is two dollars a head per year. Whether it comes locally or federally, we are gonna have to bite the bullet and raise a tax to pay for these systems.

  • Carl Rei Saito

     (Mar 29, 2018)

    I wonder how the world would have been if Al Gore won?

  • John Gil

     (Nov 10, 2018)

    Carl Rei Saito A nightmare

  • I'm gay, but

     (Nov 9, 2018)

    It would be gory

  • Medea's Biggest Fan

     (Mar 29, 2018)

    Why not just use a pencil and paper like in the UK?

  • Pokemon ash pikachu Rider Nagano

     (Nov 14, 2018)

    I sorry. Even through i am uk, They don't want to use Papers and Paper, Because it's *MACHINE AND TECHNOLOGY BOI*

  • fss1704

     (Sep 21, 2018)

    +TheMysteriousJosh we might as well invent the numbers rather than pay for the voting machines, it'd be cheaper and the result is the same, if we don't have opensource code of the voting machine the elections is as illegitimate as it can be, literally, there's no excuse.

  • frankbauerful

     (Mar 29, 2018)

    Why does the US use voting machines in the first place? Pure pen&paper voting with pure manual counting works fine for Germany, Europe's most populous country. Germany also does not have lines at the polling places because there are enough of them. Somehow the US manages to be at the same time more modern and less efficient.

  • Redsoxking

     (Nov 11, 2018)

    we have 320 million people germany is not close to that number

  • TheManelich

     (Aug 11, 2018)

    60 million votes if you take 20 000 people and count 1 votes per second it takes 50 minutes.

  • Tim T

     (Mar 29, 2018)

    There is this really handy thing called paper. It's pretty hacker proof and you can use it together with the help of a pen. Works pretty good here in Germany.

  • jordan lucien

     (Jul 29, 2018)

    What about eraser marks that doesn't look different from the new mark

  • Luna Fowler

     (Mar 29, 2018)

    How is ticking multiple boxes of writing anything on it making it invalid a problem? It just doesn't get counted since the person didn't make clear who they are voting for and the final count shows how many were invalid.

  • Lil Jack

     (Mar 29, 2018)

    About 1 year ago Vox released a video saying how difficult it was to rig an election. Now they say the election process is vulnerable.

  • Tim

     (Sep 3, 2018)

    Oh look, strawman arguments!It's hard to hack an election, because if you do manage to get a handful of votes, the police are going to be alerted and you won't change the election results at all.Of course, you can't exactly arrest the machines for being bad, so.

  • theAppleWizz

     (Apr 24, 2018)

    when the hell did they say that in the video. they only said that the machines are old and need to be replace.