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State Board to Host Public Demonstration of Voting Equipment

Raleigh, N.C. — The State Board of Elections later this month will host a public demonstration of a new voting system under consideration for use in North Carolina elections.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 27 in Room 2009 (OSBM Commission Room) on the Second Floor of the Dobbs Building, 430 N. Salisbury St., downtown Raleigh.

In January 2023, Election Systems & Software (ES&S) requested certification of its EVS Voting System. A voting system is the complete software and hardware solution for preparing, casting, and counting ballots. It includes ballot tabulators, ballot marking devices, and election management computers. Once a voting system is certified at the state level, any county board of elections is permitted to procure that voting system for use in a county’s elections.

The system was certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission in November 2022. [Read EVS certification documents submitted to the State Board].

Pro V&V, a certified voting system testing laboratory, tested EVS and determined that it meets the requirements for voting systems in North Carolina. [Read the Pro V&V Test Report.]

The purpose of the public demonstration is for members of the State Board and the public to witness the operation of the voting system. This demonstration fulfills the requirements of Section 3.5.10 of the Elections Systems Certification Program.

“This is a major step in the process of reviewing new equipment before the State Board decides whether to certify it for use in North Carolina,” said Karen Brinson Bell, State Board executive director. “We encourage voters to see this equipment in action and learn about all the safeguards in place in our election system.”

The demonstration will be followed by a State Board meeting at 1 p.m. in the Board Room on the Third Floor of the Dobbs Building. A meeting agenda will be released in the coming days and posted to the State Board website, NCSBE.gov.

After the demonstration, the State Board will solicit public comments on the system for a week, as required by the Certification Program. Details about the comment period will be released and available on the State Board website on June 27.

Ultimately, the State Board will vote on whether to certify the system for use in NC elections. Currently, ES&S products are used by 94 of the state’s 100 counties. Six counties use Hart InterCivic voting equipment. 

Facts About Voting System Certification in NC

*North Carolina law requires that voting systems meet certain federal and state requirements. The federal requirements are found in Section 301 of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) (PDF). State requirements are found in sections 163-165.7, -165.8, -165.9, and -165.9A of the North Carolina General Statutes; in Chapter 4 of Title 8 of the North Carolina Administrative Code; and in the State Board’s Voting System Certification Manual (PDF).
*All voting systems are certified by the State Board of Elections after undergoing mandatory testing by nationally accredited laboratories. All systems used in North Carolina have been tested, used, and audited in other states. This ensures that voting systems are reliable, accurate, user-friendly, accessible to persons with disabilities, and capable of secure operation.
*Each of the 100 county boards of elections, in conjunction with their county board of commissioners, decides which approved voting system will best serve their voters. Before a county may purchase a new system, the county must conduct public demonstrations of the equipment and test its use in an election or simulated election.
*Once certified as a voting system in North Carolina, the vendor must deposit the system’s source code in an escrow account maintained by the State, post a bond or line of credit (currently $17.01 million) to offset the cost of a new statewide election in the event of a defect in the voting system, and establish an office with support personnel in the state.
*Under state law, voting equipment may not be connected to the internet or use wireless access, limiting the possibility of outside interference.Read more about Voting Equipment used in North Carolina. Read more about Pending Voting System Certifications.

Courtesy of State Board of Elections