Pricey Harrison

Friday, May 06, 2005

Paper Trail For Ballots

A group of citizens, technology experts and lawmakers lobbied on behalf of legislation to require paper records from all voting machines used in North Carolina. Bills before House and Senate committees would require the backup paper ballots, allow elections officials to review source coding on electronic voting systems, and take other steps to guarantee that all votes are accurately counted. The proposals arose after problems with voting across the state last fall led to delayed results in a number of races, including the still-unresolved race for state superintendent of public instruction. Members of the N.C. Coalition for Verified Voting urged lawmakers to pass the bills, saying the technology of electronic voting is still developing and not yet reliable enough to eliminate some sort of fallback record-keeping. Rep. Verla Insko (D-Orange) said she believes chances for passage of the House bill she sponsored and I co-sponsored are good. Our Board of Elections has some problems with the bill, but I hope we can come up with a system where voters have confidence that their votes were counted without imposing too much of a burden on county boards of election across the state.

On a separate election law matter, our Election Law Committee considered a bill that would eliminate runoffs, meaning there would be only one primary. I am interested in hearing from you on how you feel about that.

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