Optical-scan tabulators — machines that tally election results — in Michigan are over a decade old. Local officials are seeking replacement of the machines, as concerns arise over the validity of the outdated equipment. “All 83 of the county clerks have been actively lobbying for new election equipment because our election computers are over 12 years old,” Barb Byrum, the clerk of Ingham County said. “No one owns a cellphone that’s more than three years old, let alone a computer over 12 years.” The Ingham County Clerk’s Office has been requesting updated equipment for ‘at least’ three years, Byrum says.
Launching a campaign that would allow voters to cast ballots online is a convenient and simple thought. But considering the idiosyncrasies of each person’s vote, the inability to verify each online voter, and lack of security, an online election is too much of a threat to democracy, experts say. The technology of the 21st century has made it so virtually any daily chore can be completed from a desktop, tablet or smartphone. Marie Wicks is the East Lansing City Clerk, Freedom of Information Act Coordinator, and proponent of voting online. Wicks said an online election would expand political reach and inspire youth.