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Old Voting Machines Could Pose New IL Election Problems

Illinois Campaign for Political Reform via press release

The polls have opened for Illinois’ primary election, as voters were allowed to start casting early ballots Thursday. But the state’s election technology needs to be overhauled, according to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.


Sarah Brune is the group's executive director. She says voting machines in some of the state’s election jurisdictions are as much as 15 years old. 

“Think about the computer you use every day; it’s not 15 years old, because it wouldn’t work if it was,” she said. 

The last time Illinois purchased voting machines was in 2006, and the signs of their age are beginning to show. 

“Some jurisdictions find themselves replacing broken parts with other broken parts, or scouring the internet for old obsolete technologies to keep these machines running,” Brune said.

While it's probably too late to modernize voting machines for the upcoming election, the Campaign wants the state to assess the problem and come up with solutions by the next presidential election, set for 2020.
Officials at the Illinois State Board of Elections said they support the effort. 


Sam is a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working out the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.
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