RALEIGH – Monday the North Carolina Board of Elections delayed a decision on what kind of voting machines the state will require, after security concerns and problems with accuracy have plagued certain systems through out the state. The goal is to have approved systems set up in time for 2020 elections, but with every delay that goal becomes harder to reach.
The decision in from of the board is to require the approved systems, “shall produce human-readable marks on a ballot.” With spooks of Russian election interference, constant cyber security fears, and general vote integrity being at the top of voters’ minds, they need to have confidence that their votes are recorded accurately and can be double-checked.
As such, touch-screen voting systems are not really confidence inspiring, especially after so many reports of those systems changing people’s intended votes to the opposite party. Nearly two million voters have used such system recently, but a law passed a couple years ago by the General Assembly will phase them out.
So deciding which systems to approve, and making sure voters feel good about the integrity of their vote is the priority.
Three companies are seeking to be certified: Election Systems and Software (ES&S), Clear Ballot, and Hart Intercivic. ES&S is has had a monopoly on voting systems in North Carolina for some time.
Hopefully the board can get all their ducks in a row and make a decision that satisfies federal and state regulations, but most importantly voter expectations for the soundness of the electoral process.
The Board is supposed to meet again for a final decision of which systems to approve within the next 15 days.