Come 2018, the county could have to cough up more than half a million dollars for new voting equipment and it could go back to paper ballots. Kim Strach, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, said in a letter sent to local elections offices that most voting equipment in the state is nearing the end of its lifespan. She said counties will need to plan for large expenditures to buy new voting equipment. In her letter, Strach said direct record electronic voting equipment will need to be replaced because the machines will be decertified in January 2018. She said a law change will require a paper ballot for all certified voting systems. The state board of elections will have to approve any new voting equipment, she said.
Burke County currently uses the types of voting machines the state says will be decertified in 2018, and while that equipment may not use a paper ballot, it does produce a paper receipt.
The state legislature made changes to the election law in North Carolina in 2013. N.C. House Bill 589 not only specifies that direct record electronic voting equipment that doesn’t use paper ballots will be decertified in 2018 but the decertification cannot be appealed to the Superior Court of Wake County.
Strach makes it clear in her letter that the purchase of new voting equipment will be the responsibility of counties.