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North Carolina: Attorney General Cooper Wins $100,000 from Voter Group for Robo Calls PDF  | Print |  Email
North Carolina
By North Carolina Department of Justice   
October 22, 2008
Some voters confused by Women's Voices Women Vote robo calls

A group that made political telemarketing calls that did not comply with North Carolina law has agreed to pay $100,000 in penalties and is barred from operating in the state before the November election, Attorney General Roy Cooper said Wednesday.

The group, Women's Voices Women Vote, began calling people in North Carolina shortly before the May primary election.  The prerecorded calls, also known as robo calls, told people that they would soon receive voter registration forms in the mail, which they should fill out and submit.  But the deadline to register by mail had passed, and some call recipients already were registered to vote, causing confusion.

Political robo calls are prerecorded telephone calls made by candidates, campaigns and advocacy groups using automated dialers.  Under state law, political campaigns and non-profits making prerecorded calls must identify who is making the call, the nature of the call, and provide contact information for the group that makes the call.

The calls did not identify Women's Voices Women Vote or tell how to contact them, so people who were confused by the robo calls were not able to ask for clarification.
North Carolina NAACP Files Formal Vote Suppression Complaint Against Women's Voices Women's Vote PDF  | Print |  Email
North Carolina
By North Carolina NAACP   
May 05, 2008
Alerts U.S. Department of Justice of concerns

The North Carolina NAACP has filed a formal complaint of possible voter suppression against Women's Voices Women Vote, the D.C. nonprofit that as we revealed earlier this week was behind the deceptive and illegal robo-calls made to state residents. The N.C. NAACP hand-delivered its complaint today to state Attorney General Roy Cooper and State Board of Elections Executive Director Gary Bartlett. It's also alerted the U.S. Department of Justice that it's collecting more information from its national network and is contemplating filing a formal complaint with that agency.

N.C. NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II announced the filing of the complaint at a press conference held this afternoon outside the N.C. Department of Justice. He was joined by his group's attorney, Al McSurely, and Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina. The state Attorney General's office is already investigating Women's Voices, but the N.C. NAACP and Democracy North Carolina want to be parties to that investigation.

"When you mess with the right to vote, you're messing with everything that is fundamental in our democracy," Barber said.

May 6 Snapshot: North Carolina PDF  | Print |  Email
North Carolina
By Verified Voting Foundation   
April 28, 2008
North Carolina moved to voter-verified paper records after an election meltdown in Carteret County in 2004. A Unilect Patriot electronic machine lost over 4000 votes, and sparked the eventual passage of the Public Confidence in Elections Law, which mandates at least a voter-verifiable paper record for all voting systems, and requires an audit of at least one statewide race. In Presidential election years, the audited race is automatically the Presidential race.

There are 5,794,294 registered voters in North Carolina, according to the State Board of Elections. Most of North Carolina's 100 counties use voter-marked paper ballots read by optical scanners. The state's counties have only one voting system vendor, Election Systems and Software (ES&S), which supplies optical scanners, the iVotronic direct-recording electronic (DRE) touch screen, and the AutoMARK ballot-marking device. The iVotronic is the only DRE system now used in the state.

It is probably fair to estimate that at least 30% of the May 6 primary ballots will be cast on the iVotronic, and that over two thirds of the votes will be cast on optically scanned paper ballots. Predicting statewide use of the iVotronic is difficult due to the use of the system for early voting in some of the optical scan counties. In recent elections, early voting has comprised about 30% of the overall turnout, but that figure includes both mail-in ballots and in-person early voting. In-person early voting, called One-Stop voting in North Carolina, began on April 17, and will continue until May 3.

North Carolina: Kissell Will Request A Hand Recount in 8th District Race PDF  | Print |  Email
North Carolina
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
November 21, 2006

Five Contests Still Undecided in the State


Recounts are underway in several North Carolina elections, including the closely contested race for the 8th Congressional District, with incumbent Republican Robin Hayes’ lead down to under 350 votes over challenger Larry Kissell. Three of the District’s 10 counties had reported results of recounts yesterday, with the other seven expected to complete their machine recounts by today.

With a margin of victory well below 1% of the more than 121,000 total votes counted, Kissell will be able to request a hand count of 3 percent of the precincts in the districts. If the partial hand count uncovers discrepancies, a full hand count would be conducted. Citing reports of errors, Kissell has already pledged to seek a hand recount if this week's machine recount further narrows the race.


The counties in the 8th district employ as mix of ES&S optical scanners and iVotronic touchscreen voting systems. 

Recount Expected in North Carolina's 8th District PDF  | Print |  Email
North Carolina
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
November 14, 2006

With almost 1,500 provisional ballots yet to be counted, incumbent Rep. Robin Hayes, a Republican, holds lead 449-vote lead over Democrat Larry Kissell in the reported results from North Carolina's 8th District. In astatement released last Firday Kissell noted that less than 3 votes per precinct separate the candidates in the initial results and that many votes remain to be counted. The 8th District uses a mixture of ES&S optical scan and iVotronic touch screen voting systems euipped with Real Time Audit Log (RTAL) voter verified paper audit trail printers.

"I understand why Robin Hayes wants this process to be over, but I believe we all need to be patient while the votes are being counted," commented Kissell.


The official canvass for the state is set for November 17 for local races and November 28 for statewide contests. With the margin of victory expected to be well within 1% of the total votes cast, a recount reuest is expected from whichever candidate trails when the official canvass is announced.

Two days in the field with ES&S OpScan PDF  | Print |  Email
North Carolina
By David Allen, NC Coalition for Verified Voting   
May 08, 2006

This article was originally posted on Mr. Allen's website and is  reprinted with his permission.


or I Was a Roving Tech for PrintElect.

Joyce McCloy of NC Verified Voting sent me a link to a job listing about a month ago for people to act as "rovers" during the NC primary election. The rover's job (one per county) was to assist county election officials with any problems they encountered with voting machines (OpScan and DRE) on election day.

While technical experience was preferred, it was not necessary. Pay was $300 a day plus mileage, meals and hotel expenses for two days. Training would be provided the week prior to election day.

Disclosure: All funds I receive for my efforts will be donated to charity, and documentation posted to certify this. My intention was to get a close look at ES&S systems and procedures as a citizen activist and to provide competent technical assistance if it was needed, not to make money. I was reluctant to take this job on since I knew it would give ammunition in some quarters that "David is in the pay of a voting machine company" and I really don't need THAT headache.

However the opportunity was too good to pass up, so I am risking it anyway.

I would welcome suggestions on who to donate the money to. I am leaning toward a cancer Charity in memory of Andy Stephenson (ed note: Stephenson, a noted election integrity activist and co-founder of VoteTrustUSA succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2005 at the age of 42.)
The training session was divided into two classes, one for OpScan and one for DRE. When I arrived, I didn't know this and walked into the first room with lots of ES&S people. I got through most of the I-Votronic class, before they realized I was set to work in an OpScan county.

The DRE training was eye-opening. Working the machine is complicated, with each voter needing to have an electronic cartridge to initialize the machine before they can vote. The number of things that can go wrong, while not extensive, is certainly much more problematic than on an optical scan system (the sheet for trouble shooting DREs is about six pages, for OpScan two).
North Carolina: A Statement Before The House Ethics Committee PDF  | Print |  Email
North Carolina
By Andrew G. Silver, North Carolina Coalition for Verified Voting   
March 25, 2006

The following statement was made before the North Carolina House Ethics Committee on March 24, 2006. It is reposted here with permission of the author.


During the past decade, The North Carolina State Board of Elections (SBOE) has allowed the deployment of many different insecure and unreliable electronic systems while seeking no technical assistance from qualified computer security experts and requiring no independent review of the computer code. If the SBOE had been doing its job with competence and integrity, there would have been no need for new legislation setting standards for voting equipment in North Carolina and requiring a code of ethics.


Under the SBOE's guidance, the North Carolina electoral system has become a poster child for election mismanagement and breakdown, with the irretrievable loss of  4438 votes in Carteret county in 2004. There have been dozens of other reported instances of electronic voting irregularities in the state and no one can know how many undetected instances.

Most computer scientists with academic status are strongly critical of electronic voting, while those who advocate it most strongly are election officials who have no particular understanding of how the machines work, but place their trust in private companies to relieve them of the burden of handling paper ballots or counting votes. This amounts, in effect, to the privatization of elections, wherein the recording and tabulation of votes are automatically performed by systems controlled by private corporations with no accountability and with no way for the public to witness the counting of votes.


Having votes recorded electronically without expert public oversight is what election integrity activists call faith-based voting. The new law requiring a paper trail and independent review of computer code is a first step only toward reclaiming the election process from private hands, but many local officials and members of boards of elections are seeking to cancel or weaken this law.

North Carolina: Is The Public Confidence In Elections Law Safe Now? PDF  | Print |  Email
North Carolina
By Joyce McCloy, NC Coalition for Verified Voting   
January 29, 2006
North Carolina State Board of Elections Throws Counties A $3Million Bone - Activists Wonder If The County Commissioners Have Been Appeased

On January 26, the North Carolina State Board of Elections approved a plan to spend an extra $3 million of the state's Help America Vote Act Allocation for voting equipment upgrades. The Board also agreed to test equipment for all 100 N.C. counties, saving the counties an estimated $2.4 million. This amounts to the State Board throwing a multi-million bone to the The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) - this in addition to state grants already given last year. The NCACC had been asking for delay, changes or repeal of the Public Confidence In Elections (S. 223) that was passed and signed last summer. They also complained of needing an additional $20 Million that was cut from the legislation. It remains to be seen if the assault on S. 223 is over.

The NCACC had succeeded in convincing many counties that the law was an unfunded mandate and was to too restrictive. Meanwhile, activists were trying to counter the NCACC rhetoric and convince their counties to purchase optical scan voting systems. Buncombe County thought they would be joining a coalition of counties that could force the legislators to revist, revise and rough up S. 223, along with the big push by the NCACC to all counties.

Touchscreen Voting Increases Election Costs in North Carolina PDF  | Print |  Email
North Carolina
By Joyce McCloy, North Carolina Coalition for Verified Voting   
January 25, 2006
Touchscreen Voting Increases Election Costs in North Carolina
A Comparison of Total Annual Expenditures for TouchScreens and Optical Scanners
Not only have computer scientists advised the North Carolina Legislature that touch screen voting machines are less reliable and accurate than optical scan equipment, we find that they are more costly to own and operate. Clearly, this is no way to run an election.
Opponents to voter verified paper ballots often cited costs of printing paper ballots as an excuse for using paperless all electronic voting machines. They also used the argument that optical scan ballots take up more space, therefore increasing costs. We were intrigued, and set out to seek the truth.
The NC Coalition for Verified Voting, in 2005 - completed a study of annual expenditures of the election departments of four North Carolina counties. We found that the cost of using touch screen voting or direct recording machines in Guilford and Mecklenburg county was about 30-40% higher than the cost of using optical scan equipment in Wake and Durham county. This means that not only are touch screens more expensive to acquire, they are also more expensive to operate year after year.
North Carolina: Burke Voters Could Mark Paper Ballots During Next Election PDF  | Print |  Email
North Carolina
By Sharon McBrayer, The Morganton News Herald   
January 19, 2006
This article was published by The Morganton News Herald on January 19, 2006. It is reposted with permission of the author.

It is likely Burke County voters will cast paper ballots during the primary election this year if Burke County's commissioners and election officials don't come to an agreement. Election officials are prepared to order new voting machines by Friday.

David Campbell, chairman of the Burke County Board of Elections, said state election officials told his board it needed to make a decision on voting machines by Friday in order to have the machines ready to use in the primary election.

But Friday's deadline was just a suggestion, said state election officials. Counties won't lose their allotted Help America Vote Act money if they don't order the machines by Friday.

<>Friday's deadline was a guideline to have all the training and equipment needed to be ready for the primary election, said Gary O. Bartlett (photo at right), executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections. Bartlett said in order to be compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, however, the local elections board has until Friday to order enough handicapped accessible machines for each precinct.
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