As I reported earlier, 31 Wisconsin counties don't have enough memory to run an electronic recount while preserving the data from the original count. The Government Accountability Board did in fact request permission to delete the data, which bewilders me. However, the candidates agreed in court to a hand recount in those 31 counties in order to preserve the vital original data. Only the parts of those counties that lack enough memory will undergo a hand recount.
The voting equipment in question is the Optech Eagle, and the needed memory cartridges are no longer manufactured. In the private sector, we get contracts that specify how long hardware will be manufactured, and we don't select hardware that can't be maintained for the desired length of time. The military also requires strict hardware contracts, stricter in most cases. So, it's not unusual to demand memory for the expected life of a machine, it's required in many situations. We definitely have some serious issues with our computer election systems in Wisconsin.
The Government Accountability Board lists very little information about our computer election systems on their website, but there doesn't appear to be any information on the Optech Eagle beyond which municipalities use it.
The candidates were right in agreeing to a hand recount, just as Kloppenburg was right for requesting a recount.