Many voting machines in Pa. are more than 10 years old

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Oct 9, 2015 2:09 PM

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania voters in the presidential race next year will use machines that, for the most part, are at least 10 years old.

In fact, a Brennan Center for Justice report says most states use machines that are more than a decade old.

It says it's hard to figure out the most reasonable lifespan for a machine because the systems are so new.

Previous models could last far longer than a decade.

But the technology may not be as reliable in the machines currently in question.

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro Cortes acknowledges the commonwealth is looking at potential solutions.

But he says voters should feel confident.

"We are working closely with the counties to make sure we do our due diligence to provide those opportunities. But as far as the November election this year, as well as the presidential election next year, all counties feel comfortable that they have the technology and the resources necessary to administer a good election," says Cortes.

Cortes says the state should have new systems certified soon for counties that want to replace voting machines or upgrade their software. "With the understanding that the equipment is aging, the department is taking affirmative steps to looking to newer technology. We anticipate that there's going to be new systems that will be certified soon."

The Brennan Center estimates nationwide, the process could cost $1 billion over the next few years.

Cortes says counties will have two options: buy completely new machines, or upgrade the technology within the ones they have now.

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