The vast majority of the approximately 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide use Windows 7 or an older operating system to create ballots, program voting machines, tally votes, and report counts, according to a recent Associated Press analysis.
On Jan. 14, Microsoft will stop providing technical support for Windows 7, which includes producing "patches" to fix software vulnerabilities.
However, the software giant has said it will offer continued Windows 7 security updates for a fee through 2023, one example of how a lack of federal requirements or oversight can result in private companies determining the security level of election systems.
Even if certain jurisdictions wanted to switch to Windows 10, which has more security features, it is uncertain whether the operating system could be certified and rolled out in time for upcoming primary elections.
From Associated Press
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