Election Officials Say Voting Machine Changes Could Sow Voter Confusion

Election Officials Say Voting Machine Changes Could Sow Voter Confusion

11:54am Jun 11, 2019
A new voting machine prints and tabulates paper ballots. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

Guilford County officials are worried that with the pending elimination of many touch-screen voting machines, replacements may not be ready in time for the 2020 election. 

A 2013 law requires the decertification of touch-screen voting machines that use electronic ballot counting, as opposed to paper tabulation. The goal is to guard against cyber hacking. Both Guilford and Mecklenburg counties are among those that will need to make the switch.

But Guilford County officials say that with a December 1st deadline looming, there may not be enough time to get new machines in place.

The News and Observer reports that county representatives still don’t know what machines they’ll be allowed to buy as replacements.

Karen Brinson Bell, the new state elections director, says she understands the concern, but agrees that paper balloting will be the best way to ensure the accuracy of election results.

The State Board of Elections will meet on Thursday to consider the companies vying to provide voting machines in North Carolina.

But with a presidential election year looming, one official says giving the districts more time to replace the machines would also help to alleviate voter concern and confusion.

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