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November 19, 2017

State concerned over third-party pollbook software

The State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement will immediately seek review in Wake County Superior Court of an administrative law judge’s order authorizing the use of a Florida-based vendor’s voter check-in software in Tuesday’s (Nov. 7) municipal elections.

Problems in Durham County on Election Day 2016 and Russian hacking efforts reportedly targeting VR Systems’ electronic pollbook software, EViD, prompted agency staff to closely review the vendor’s operations in North Carolina. Questions remain about the functionality and security of the software, and State Board staff determined it should not be used in this year’s elections.

Attorneys for the State Board, in a hearing this week, argued that the current version of EViD is not legally certified by the State Board, a requirement under a 2015 state law. {G.S. 163-165.7(a2)}. Because of ongoing litigation, the State Board has not had any members to consider certification since June.

Counties that have used EViD in the past are prepared to use authorized alternatives on Tuesday.

“While we understand the vendor’s desire to continue to operate in North Carolina, it is our responsibility to the public to ensure that our elections are secure and compliant with North Carolina law,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, State Board executive director.

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