Despite Planned Upgrade, New Jersey Voting Machines Remain 'Primitive and Hackable' for 2018 Midterms

October 22, 2018 AT 10:05 AM

By James Nash

With less than three weeks to midterm elections in which New Jersey is a congressional battleground, election-security experts warned that the state's voting machines remain vulnerable to hacking.

The state is moving ahead with plans to replace its 11,000 voting machines with devices that create paper ballots that voters verify and that can be manually counted in the event of irregularities. However, those new machines won't be in place on election day Nov. 6, and probably not during the 2020 presidential election, members of an Assembly committee were told.

The Assembly's State and Local Government committee voted in favor of bills to begin the process of replacing electronic touch-screen machines with voting machines that optically scan paper ballots, and to earmark federal funds for the effort expected to cost $60 million to $90 million statewide.

Election-security advocates, including Princeton and Rutgers professors, pressed committee members to upgrade New Jersey's elections infrastructure, which they said remains vulnerable to both sophisticated plots and more picayune tampering.

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