A group of Forsyth County Republicans is taking a protest about the midterm election to state officials after the group’s complaint was dismissed by the county Board of Elections last week.
The three protestors filed paperwork with the county regarding their plans to appeal the decision, a required move to advance it to the State Board of Elections.
The county's election machines should have shut down automatically on election night but were not programmed to do so, which required election officials to send a code to all precincts to allow them to turn off the machines and tabulate the results. Forsyth elections officials say there’s no evidence that the mistake led to anything that would have changed the outcome of any races.
During a hearing for the protest, county Elections Director Tim Tsujii said a review of audit logs of the election machines found no manipulation of the votes or any record of additional votes cast after the polls closed.
The protesters argue that the board’s dismissal was based on a lack of evidence that the error affected the outcome of the election. They say no such standard is required by law.
As of the end of the day Wednesday, the state board had not received the appeal paperwork, a spokesman for the board said.
Under state guidelines, the North Carolina Board of Elections can ask for additional evidence, conduct its own hearing, or send the case back to the county.
Should the state board also dismiss the protest, the group can further appeal to Wake County Superior Court.
*CORRECTION: This story has been updated to clarify the process by which the machines were turned off on election night. A previously published version of this story indicated that "a code was sent improperly." The code was not sent improperly. It had to be sent after it was discovered that machines had not been programmed to shut down automatically.