Election system runs on outdated, vulnerable operating system
The majority of 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide use Windows 7 or an older operating system for voting or tallying — archaic systems vulnerable to hackers, AP reports.
Why it matters: Private vendors, and state finances, determine the security level of election systems, which lack federal requirements or oversight.
What they're saying: J. Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan professor and election security expert, said the country risks repeating "mistakes that we made over the last ... decade-and-a-half when states bought voting machines but didn't keep the software up-to-date."
What's next: Windows 7 reaches its "end of life" Jan. 14, meaning Microsoft stops technical support and patches, although security updates will be provided for a fee through 2023.
- AP's 50-state survey found that battleground states using Windows 7 include Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Arizona and North Carolina.