RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina's elections board says it has received a smattering of complaints about electronic voting machines getting things wrong, but nothing outside the norm for a presidential election year.
State Board of Elections spokesman Pat Gannon said Tuesday the complaints involve touch-screen machines used for early voting in less than a third of the state's 100 counties and by even fewer on election day.
As for the claims the machines are switching people's votes, during an interview over the phone Gannon said they haven't been able to prove any of the claims are true.
"To my knowledge, at this point, we don't have any cases where elections officials noted significant problems with any machines based on these complaints. Of course they're all looked into and that's why we encourage people to immediately flag down an election official."
The North Carolina NAACP had reports from five counties that the machines wrongly identified a voter's choice, but the voters were able to correct their ballots before casting them.
The organization said it happened in
- New Hanover
Cumberland County elections director Terri Robertson says five people told her machines initially displayed a wrong vote, but all corrected their ballots after reviewing them.
Gannon expressed confidence in the accuracy of the machines. "They're tested thoroughly before each election, they're also recalibrated every morning before early voting starts," said Gannon. "That said, they are technology, they are machines and occasionally they do malfunction."
The NC State Board Of Election released the following statement:
The N.C. State Board of Elections is aware that some voters have contacted advocacy groups or elections officials with concerns about touch-screen voting machines in several counties.
Similar reports have been made in recent elections, and we take them very seriously.
We want to ensure voters that safeguards are in place to ensure touch-screen machines accurately record voters’ selections.
Touch-screen machines are tested thoroughly before each election. They are recalibrated daily before voting begins to test and ensure accuracy. If a voter notices an issue with selection accuracy of a machine, they should raise their hand and notify an election official immediately. If needed, the machine may be taken out of service for recalibration, and the voter may be moved to a different machine.
Also, each touch-screen machine prompts voters to review their selections before casting their ballot. As with paper ballots, voters should check over their selections to ensure accuracy prior to casting their ballot. On touch-screen machines, voters also can review a real-time audit log that records all of their selections.
“We urge all voters to carefully review their selections before casting their ballots, and to immediately report any questions or concerns to elections officials,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, executive director of the N.C. State Board of Elections.
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