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>> They're vulnerable to tampering and malfunctions, but electronic voting machines that don't even provide a paper trail could be used by 1 in 4 US voters in the November presidential election. I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, where after crunching the numbers, I've found that 44 million registered voters live in areas that still rely on these aging voting machines, despite the fact that we've known for more than a decade that they're riddled with bugs and security flaws.
That could be a big problem this year when suspected Russian hackers have penetrated US voting systems. Without a paper trail, it's impossible to go back and check to make sure that these machines are working properly. The problem is money. Congress handed out $3 billion in the early 2000s to buy new voting systems, but it hasn't approved any money since then.
Some states like Maryland have opted to spend their own dollars to buy new equipment. Some states opted to fit their touch screen machines with printers so voters can ensure their choices are being recorded correctly and officials can conduct an accurate recount in close elections. Other states chose to switch to more traditional paper ballots.
In Virginia, wealthy counties bought new machines, while poor counties are still using old touchscreen systems. Election officials tell me the touchscreen systems that are still in use are tested more thoroughly than they ever have been before. They also point out that they don't connect to the Internet so it's hard to hack more than a few of them at a time.
Still, security experts say we have a long way to go before all Americans can use voting machines that they trust.