WASHINGTON (AP) — Microsoft says it’ll offer free security updates through the 2020 election in the United States — and in other interested democratic countries with national elections next year — for federally certified voting systems running on soon-to-be-outdated Windows 7 software.
That word comes from a Microsoft executive in a blogpost Friday.
An Associated Press analysis previously found that the vast majority of 10,000 election jurisdictions in the U.S. use Windows 7 or an older operating system to create ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts.
Windows 7 reaches its “end of life” on Jan. 14, meaning Microsoft stops providing free technical support and producing “patches” to fix software vulnerabilities, which hackers can exploit. Cash-strapped election officials have been scrambling to address this.