It seems that the technology used for elections in the US is decades old and an easy target for different kinds of attacks. Not upgrading the EVMs increases the possibility of attack vectors on EVMs. So why is Congress underfunding deployment and upgrading new EVMs?

  1. America's Electronic Voting Machines are scarily easy targets - Wired.com
  2. The voting technology we really need? Paper. - The Atlantic.
  3. America's voting technology crisis. - The Atlantic.
  4. The Insecurity Of America's Old And Underfunded Voting Systems - NPR.

For comparison, India (being the world's largest democracy) has relatively advanced and cheaper EVMs which doesn't cost the government a huge amount of money in terms of cost.

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    Often times the first adopters of a technology are then also stuck with the oldest implementation of it, while newer adopters (like India) can jump right to the latest (and usually better) version. This is also why organisations like banks and insurance companies often run on ancient technology.
    – user11249
    Mar 19, 2018 at 14:20
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    @Carpetsmoker There's a critical difference there in that banking systems are fantastically secure because they rely on extensively proven technologies rather than upgrading to new versions. It's way easier to break a modern Java application than a 30 year old Cobalt system, to use a trivial example. Mar 19, 2018 at 14:29
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    Yes, you are right that there are also many differences @GGMG, but I think that the general principle still applies?
    – user11249
    Mar 19, 2018 at 14:33
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    @Carpetsmoker Maybe. Legacy systems can certainly be insecure (Look up some of the original viruses or famous Windows bugs for good examples) and they can be fantastically secure (banking, electrical grid, nuclear launch codes to use obvious examples). But a newer system =/= "usually better", either in terms of security, usability, or stability. I'd make that an answer, but I don't have the experience Wired has. Mar 19, 2018 at 14:40
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    @GGMG It's also why the United States Nucear Arsenal hasn't had much tech upgrades... a good portion of systems in the missiles are hard code, which means that in order to change that code, they have to remove hardware and replace it with a component with the changed code.
    – hszmv
    Mar 19, 2018 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


First, voting methods, such as EVM are primarily a state and local function rather than a federal function, although federal regulation and funding are permitted.

Second, the current administration opposes such funding in its budget, in part, because that would admit that there was a problem in the 2016 election which could cast doubt on its legitimacy.

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    Your second point is a joke right? The current administration is less than 2 years in, why didn't the previous administration do anything about this? Were they also opposed to it?
    – tima
    Mar 23, 2018 at 6:19

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