RALEIGH – Ever since the advent of cyber-security threats to electronic elections systems, blown sky high by Democrats’ perversion of the legitimate threat into a Russia/Trump collusion hoax, state boards of elections have been scrambling to update equipment and allay fears of interference. North Carolina has seen the added strain of electoral fraud investigations upending elections and demanding further changes in the security and integrity of elections.
After years of struggling under these issues, as well as dysfunction on a political and leadership level, the N.C. Board of Elections finally voted to approve new touchscreen voting systems and new ID rules for voting via absentee ballot. It may mark a temporary reprieve from scrambling to put out fires, but that’s not to say this latest pivotal Board vote wasn’t a scramble in itself. In fact, the vote was to essentially look the other way as the voting machine vendor requested to switch from the system it actually put through the State’s certification process, to a different one the State hasn’t tested.
The Board voted to let it slide, and let the system skip the certification process the State designed to ensure security in an age of hacking threats and broad suspicion.
From the News & Observer:
“[…] A month ago, however, ES&S — the nation’s largest voting machine company — told state officials it actually didn’t have nearly enough of the voting machines the state had approved. The company asked state officials to fast-track approval for a different machine.
The same board members who had objected to the machines approved this summer also objected Friday to the new approvals ES&S requested. […]
In an email to The News & Observer, election security advocate Susan Greenhalgh said the machines approved Friday were substantially different from the ones approved in August, although state officials disagree.
In a letter before Friday’s vote, Greenhalgh had urged state officials to not approve the replacement machines without more thorough testing.
“In the last three years, reports of unprecedented cyber threats against election infrastructure in the United States have blanketed the news and rattled the public,” wrote Greehalgh, a vice president of the National Election Defense Coalition.
After the meeting, Greenhalgh said she was disappointed in the decision and pointed to some recent examples of high-profile problems with ES&S machines, like a Pennsylvania election last month where “votes appeared to be severely undercounted,” according to the local Morning Call newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
“The State Board of Elections should be strengthening the testing and certification, not weakening it,” Greenhalgh said Friday. […]”
Except the State Board of Elections has been in such shambles over the past three years — because of petty lawsuits by the Cooper administration, partisan agendas, fraud scandals, leadership scandals and changes — that they’re forced to scramble for patchwork solutions before time expires.
Two of Governor Cooper’s appointed chairs have been canned, one for a habit of overtly public partisan tirades, and the other for lacking the sense to not use a professional conference to try out lewd sexual jokes. Another chairman bowed out during the court-ordered transition earlier this year because his private communications with partisan contacts during the notorious 9th District fraud saga destroyed any sense of his objectivity as an elections board member.
Democrats have been beating the foreign interference drums, taking a real issue of concern and soiling it with partisan political opposition to President Donald Trump. Yet in North Carolina it is Democrats in control that have have fostered so much dysfunction that the Democrat-run State Board of Elections can’t even satisfy their own protocols to address the threats they themselves have worked so hard to foment.
Read more on the new voting machines, and changes to absentee voting requirements, here.