>> As voters head to the polls for this year's mid-term elections, many will be forced to rely on outdated electronic voting machines that can't be checked for hacking, tampering, or malfunctions. Reporter, Sharon Bernstein is on the story.>> Right now in New Jersey and several other states, voting machines are purely electronic.
So you go in, you touch a screen. You make your choices and it goes. And there's really no way to audit that to see what the voter really, really intended. And if there isn't voter confidence, if people don't believe that the count is correct, especially in closed races, it could really cause chaos in the system.
>> Among the states with dated voted systems, Pennsylvania, home to some of the closest and potentially most critical elections of 2018.>> They've got four very close races that Democrats are trying to flip the house of representatives from the Republicans, trying to take seats away. And the concern is that if the race comes down to just a few votes, how we'll know if those votes were legitimately cast.
>> There's also the issue of Russia's suspected meddling in the 2016 elections, and the fear is, they'll try it again. Congress allocated money to help voting districts switch to advanced systems that leave a paper trail. But Bernstein says, most of those won't be ready in time.>> It takes years to certify these machines for all the local jurisdictions to buy them.
Will they be able to do it by the 2020 presidential election? Hopefully.>> In the absence of new machines, Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of State, Robert Torres, says he's conducting security assessments aimed at protecting the votes.>> These services include routine scanning of our public facing systems to check for vulnerabilities.
>> A Reuters analysis shows that in all, ballots in 14 pivotal races in seven states could be cast on potentially vulnerable electronic voting systems.