Mecklenburg County pulls malfunctioning voting machines

Some election officials are receiving complaints that some of the voting machines are malfunctioning.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NAACP reports mechanical problems popping up in Mecklenburg County and at least four others polling places across the state.

According to a statement issued to the state board of elections, the NAACP "received reports that voters used electronic voting machines to select a candidate, but that the machines identified a candidate other than the one the voter originally selected."

"We've heard a couple of concerns, and we take those concerns very seriously," says Mecklenburg County Director of Elections Michael Dickerson.

He says the county have already pulled a couple of machines out of an early voting site in Cornelius, after reports of mechanical malfunctions.

When technicians on site attempted to duplicate the errors, they were unable to do so.

Still, Dickerson says, they are operating with an abundance of caution.

"When voters are concerned and my site coordinator is really concerned, I want to make sure that we take care of everything," Dickerson said.

Most electronic voting machines, including those in Mecklenburg County, have several safeguards in place that are designed to help stop a mistaken selection.

Machines in Mecklenburg County have a real-time audit log showing each selection along the way.

They also have a step that requires a voter to review the ballot before it is cast.

As a final level of protection, the machine has a prompt, asking the voter to confirm the selections and then casts the ballot.

So far none of the complaints of mechanical malfunctions that resulted in candidate name changes have been substantiated, according to both Mecklenburg County and N.C. board of elections.

Both agencies are requesting voters be vigilant in the booth, and reminded people that the machines have sensitive touch screens that can easily alter a selection with a simple touch in the wrong place. 

Copyright 2016 WCNC


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories