A new report from the Brennan Center for Justice shows that 14 states will be using at least a few voting machines that are more than 15 years old in 2016 — so old that they remember a world without smartphones and are nearly at an age where they could cast a ballot themselves. Forty-three states are using voting machines that will be at least ten years old, likely purchased the last time America freaked out about old voting machines when the Help America Vote Act passed in 2002. Many contain parts that are no longer manufactured or systems that haven’t been updated since the last millennium.
Which means that election officials — many of whom lack the funds to buy a new fleet of expensive vote counters, especially in poorer regions — are worried about what would happen in 2016 if the old machines crash, accidentally register a bunch of wrong votes, get hacked, or just stop working, potentially leading to an outbreak of 2000-era Floridas across the nation, or at least superlong lines that depress turnout. The report stresses that it is unlikely that the machines will all fail on Election Day, but it does contain the words crisis, scary, disaster planning, and dangerous.