The North Carolina State Board of Elections is inviting the public to weigh in on new rules to protect sensitive voting system information. 

The proposal lays out how authorized individuals can review important information placed in escrow by vendors as part of the state’s certification of its voting systems. It would allow things like voting machine source codes and software to be accessed by proper authorities without risking disclosure.

NCSBE Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell says this new rule further protects against a breach of specific voting system features that could jeopardize the information with a competing vendor, become publicly available, or be used by a malicious actor.

She says public input provides another set of eyes on what’s been put forward.

"Public comment has often raised issues for us that we may not have realized in terms of ADA compliance and making it accessible to our voters with disabilities," says Brinson Bell. "It may also enlighten us on perspectives that some of our poll workers or party officials may have because they come to the voting arena in a different way."

The public comment period closes on September 1, 2023. Comments can be made online, via email, and regular mail. A virtual public hearing will be held on July 20. Brinson Bell says the new rules will go back before the State Board for adjustments and then be sent to the Rules Review Commission for a vote.

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