Barcode Ballots to be Offered in NC Despite Public Concern

[Published in Spectrum News, August, 24, 2019]

RALEIGH, N.C. – After months of delay, the State Board of Elections decide on the type of voting systems counties could offer voters in the 2020 elections.

  • Barcode ballots will be an option for counties in the 2020 elections.

  • Opponents to this decision say it's not secure because humans cannot read barcodes to verify their choices are being represented correctly.

  • The board chair says the option gives counties flexibility.

One option is a barcode ballot, which received overwhelming pushback during public comment because, once selections are made, voters cannot see on the barcode they submit their choices were recorded correctly.

"A voting machine that records a voter's selection in the form of barcodes is inherently unreadable by humans and cannot be properly audited," said Dianna Wynn with the League of Women Voters.

But not everyone shares Wynn’s concerns.

"I am supportive of giving the counties the flexibility to do what they need to do. That's the whole point of the State Board of Elections," said Damon Circosta, standing by his decision.

Circosta, a Democrat, did not vote along party lines; defeating a fellow Democrat's motion to remove a barcode system as an option.