Back on August 23rd, in a controversial 3-2 vote, the NC State Board of Elections (SBOE) certified electronic voting equipment made by Elections Systems and Software (ESandS) even though everyone agrees that a voter's ballot choices can't be audited. Not everyone agrees that the inability to audit the votes on those machines is any big deal, like the 3 on the SBOE in favor of certification -- two Republican members and Chair Damon Circosta.
NEW PROBLEMS WITH ESandS Electronic Machinery
A long investigative piece this week by Jordan Wilkie in the Carolina Public Press uncovers this:
|Karen Brinson Bell,|
Exec. Dir., SBOE
2. ESandS lobbyists suggest a different machine, an "upgrade," which was not tested and certified by the SBOE.
3. By waiting until last month to inform the SBOE that it can't meet its obligations, ESandS has effectively sandbagged the board. So the lobbyists -- the lobbyists -- suggested that since new testing and certification on the substitute machines couldn't be completed in time for use in 2020, why couldn't the administrative staff just go ahead and approve the new machinery, bypassing the appointed 5-member SBOE? Just "wave the new system through."
4. SBOE Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell recommended that the Board of Elections approve the ES&S request -- inaccurately describing, by the way, the technical changes in the new machines that raise legitimate concerns about ballot security. I mean, Brinson Bell seriously misrepresented the technical changes in the new machines in an apparent attempt to rush the SBOE into approving them, according to Jordan Wilkie's reporting.
6. The big question for next week: Will SBOE Chair Damon Circosta continue his unaccountable soft spot for ESandS electronic equipment? Will he vote with the Republicans to certify new equipment that hasn't been adequately tested or hasn't gone through the normal mandated certification process?