North Carolina's latest election problem: New but not secure voting machines
Nothing seems to work smoothly when it comes to elections in North Carolina. Just this year, for example, ballot fraud mandated the rare do over of a congressional election and the courts ordered yet another remapping of gerrymandered political boundaries.
Now comes another problem: The potential failure to properly certify new election systems.
Academics, advocates and some members of the state Board of Elections have questioned whether the board has properly reviewed the source code and security capabilities for three election systems, particularly the ExpressVote machines produced by ES&S, reports WRAL.
Concerns about the ES&S system center on its use of a touchscreen that produces a bar code printout, which is then read by another machine. This satisfies a state law that requires a paper verification, but does not assuage concerns about the system's security. Opponents prefer a hand-marked ballot.
Interested parties say they have been asking for answers to their questions for a number of weeks. Karen Brinson-Bell, executive director of the Board of Elections, emailed county officials to say she would have answers at a board meeting next week.
"The lack of response to date is irresponsible, given that the questions have been swirling for at least three weeks," Marilyn Marks, founder of the Coalition for Good Governance, wrote to the board. "Obviously, if the legally mandated certification work had been performed, documentation would have been produced weeks ago."
- A small burst of bipartisan Hill activity to combat election hacking ... ›
- Partisan gerrymander landmark: N.C. court says state districts ... ›
Marginal improvements have been made to help voters understand the questions posed to them on the ballot this November, a new study concludes, but such ballot measures still favor the college-educated — who represent a minority of the U.S. population.
This year voters in eight states will decide the fate of a collective 36 such propositions. In a study released Thursday, Ballotpedia assessed how easy it is to comprehend what each proposal would accomplish, concluding that the difficulty level had decreased compared with the referendums decided in the last off-year election of 2017 — but not by much.
In fact, according to a pair of well-established tests, 21 of the 36 ballot measures cannot be understood by the 40 percent of the voting-age population who never attended college.
Colorado has become the second state to ask the Supreme Court to decide if states may legally bind their presidential electors to vote for the candidate who carried their state.
The issue of so-called faithless electors is the latest aspect of an increasingly heated debate about the virtues and flaws of the Electoral College that has blossomed, especially among progressive democracy reform advocates, now that two of the past five presidential winners (Donald Trump in 2016 and George W. Bush in 2000) got to the Oval Office despite losing the national popular vote.