League of Women Voters Urges NC Board of Elections to Withhold Certification of Systems or Machines That Do Not Use Hand-Marked Ballots

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

League of Women Voters Urges NC Board of Elections to Withhold Certification of Systems or Machines That Do Not Use Hand-Marked Ballots

RALEIGH, NC, June 12, 2019 -The League of Women Voters of Wake County (LWV-Wake) has carefully followed the process of certification and purchase of new voting machines for upcoming elections. Experts in cyber security, computer science, and law have written many evaluations and testified at congressional hearings regarding concerns about the technologies and systems contained in the voting systems that the NC Board of Elections is considering.

The League of Women Voters urges the NC Board of Elections to withhold certification of any systems or machines that do not use hand-marked ballots. The voting public in North Carolina is very aware of the vulnerabilities of our elections. Recent reports in the press have highlighted the possibility of hacking from outside forces and the risks posed within the less-than-transparent internal operations of various election equipment vendors. The passage of NC Session Law 2018-13 was intended to provide protection against the use of voting systems that did not require paper ballots after December 2019. The intent of this law should be honored.

The NC Board of Elections needs to explicitly review the concerns raised by experts. The voters must be confident that any new systems certified and approved will

  • Securely and accurately record the choices made by the voter.

  • Accurately count and report these selections.

  • Provide a paper record that can be reviewed and audited for the time period required by federal law (22 months).

Marian Lewin, LWV-Wake’s Voter Services Director, observes that “currently, only hand-marked paper ballots followed up by risk-limiting audits adequately meet criteria related to security, accuracy, and election auditing requirements.” Until these important standards can be guaranteed by any new voting systems, the League of Women Voters asks that the NC Board of Elections delay certification.

Dianna Wynn, President of the League of Women Voters of Wake County, states, “the League represents the voters. Not the voting machine vendors who want to sell the machines they are marketing. Not the candidates or political parties who just want to know who won the election. Not even the hard-working election officials who just want to be able run an election with machines that work. The League speaks on behalf of the voters who are concerned about the integrity of our votes.”

“Faith in government, at all levels, is at an all-time low. Trust in elections is one of the most important issues facing our country, and our vote is the foundation of our democracy, “observes Marian Lewin, LWV-Wake’s Voter Services Director.

The League of Women Voters of Wake County is a grassroots nonpartisan organization dedicated to encouraging citizens’ participation in government and to the understanding of important issues through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters neither endorses nor opposes political parties or candidates. Learn more at www.lwvwake.org.

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Media Contact:

Dianna Wynn

President, LWV-Wake

lwvwakepresident@gmail.com

919-271-4455

or

Jenny Kotora-Lynch

Communications Director, LWV-Wake

55angua55@gmail.com

919-637-5296