Old Voting Machines Are 'Biggest Threat' To California Elections

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
By Marissa Cabrera, Michael Lipkin
Photo by James Durkee via Compfight
Above: A man fills out a voting ballot in 2008.

Since the 2016 election, U.S. election officials have been focused on ensuring the integrity of the nation's election system due to cyber security concerns. But California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said the biggest threat to the state’s election system is actually old voting equipment.

“Not only is it based on outdated technology, the bottom line is the machines are old,” Padilla said. “When they have to find replacement parts that are no longer made and they have to hunt for them on Ebay, that’s not a good thing… We’re kind of living on borrowed time.”

In his state budget proposal, California Governor Jerry Brown included $134 million for new voting systems for all 58 counties. The funding requires a local match by the counties.

RELATED: Secretary Of State Alex Padilla To Discuss Voting Rights With UC San Diego Students

San Diego County’s optical scan technology-based voting equipment is 14 years old, according to county registrar Michael Vu.

Padilla said the need to upgrade and replace the state's voting equipment predates the 2016 election cycle, but reports about Russian activity ahead of the 2016 November election, raised the priority level to get new voting equipment.

Padilla discusses Tuesday on Midday Edition, what is being done to make sure California’s voting system is secure for the 2018 midterm elections.