The State Board of Elections has postponed a decision on whether to certify new voting systems for use in North Carolina. The delay is causing some concerns for several counties, including Guilford.
North Carolina is switching to paper-based voting machines to protect against cyber security threats.
Election officials say they need more information about three companies that want to supply the new systems, specifically who owns them.
Guilford is among several counties that need to replace their equipment before a January 1, 2020 deadline.
“We have to go through a process, and that's what becomes more challenging," says Charlie Collicutt, director of Guilford County's Board of Elections. “It sounds easy, you know, we are six or seven, eight months away from needing them, but it's really a tighter time frame than that because we still have to do public demonstrations, and local boards still have to come up with their decisions.”
State election officials say they want to give voters more time to learn about the companies. There are also concerns over reports of Russian hacking.
The Department of Homeland Security is currently inspecting equipment used in Durham County that was supplied by a vendor whose system was targeted by Russian hackers in 2016.
Durham County says its investigation shows the problem was likely caused by human error.
The companies seeking state approval for their voting systems will have until June 21 to submit additional information.
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