New election systems use vulnerable software

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The vast majority of the nation's 10,000 election jurisdictions are using Windows 7 or an older operating system to create ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts. That from an Associated Press analysis.

That's significant because Windows 7 reaches its "end of life" on Jan. 14, meaning Microsoft stops providing technical support and producing "patches" to fix software vulnerabilities, which hackers can exploit.

In a statement to the AP, Microsoft says it will offer continued Windows 7 security updates for a fee through 2023.

But it's unclear whether that often hefty expense would be paid by vendors operating on razor-thin profit margins or cash-strapped jurisdictions.

It's also uncertain if a system running on Windows 10, which has more security features, can be rolled out by primary season.