Voting machines delayed

The Forsyth BOE certifies the High Point primary results.

Voting machines delayed
October 19
05:00 2017

Forsyth BOE begins early general election voting

The absence of a State Board of Elections (BOE) is causing a delay in Forsyth County getting new voting machines that may affect next year’s primary.

The Republican-led General Assembly passed legislation earlier this year to change election boards in North Carolina from having a majority that represents the governor’s party, which would now be Democrat, to one evenly split between parties. Gov. Roy Cooper sued to stop this and it’s still being considered in court. As North Carolina awaits a ruling, the State BOE’s term expired and the board is now vacant. County BOEs have continued to operate with the Republican-majority boards they already had.

Even with these complications, elections continue to be held with county BOEs and State BOE staff continuing to do their normal functions.  However, the lack of a State BOE has created problems for Forsyth and several other counties that need to get new voting machines for next year.

“Without a state board to certify vendors and equipments, we don’t have any options to replace that equipment,” said Forsyth BOE Director Tim Tsujii.

State law requires counties to have paper-based voting systems by Jan. 1, 2018. Forsyth County planned to buy new touchscreen machines that would produce paper ballots, test them during this year’s municipal elections and use them in next year’s election. But with no certified machine they can purchase, that plan has been delayed. Tsujii said that the certifications on machines currently used in Forsyth’s early voting runs out at the end of this year.  He said there may be enough time to get the machines and test them before the General Election, but not before the primaries, which may require the BOE to rent older machines that are still certified and use paper ballots.

Forsyth BOE’s other duties have been running normally. On Monday, the board certified an unusual election it held for six registered High Point voters who live in the part of that city that’s in Forsyth County. Normally High Point’s primary would be held with Winston-Salem’s, but since the Winston-Salem municipal elections were moved to even numbered years and there’s no other municipality in Forsyth that holds primaries, a separate primary was held for just those six voters. One early voting machine was set up from Sept. 21-Oct. 7 at the BOE office with one precinct opened for voters on Primary Election Day on Oct. 10.  Not a single vote was cast, but staff still went though the procedures and paperwork to certify that result, which was signed by the Forsyth BOE and sent to the state.

“It’s a disappointment that people don’t always exercise their right to vote,” said BOE member Susan Campbell.

BOE staff estimate the High Point municipal election cost Forsyth County about $700.

Early voting for municipal elections begins today at the BOE office, 201 N. Chestnut St., and will run through Nov. 4 for Bethania, Clemmons, High Point, Kernersville, King, Lewisville, Rural Hall, Tobaccoville and Walkertown, with Election Day this year being Tuesday, Nov. 7.

“I’m still hopeful that more will turn out to vote this year than in previous off-year elections, but we’ll have to wait and see,” said Ken Raymond.

All three current Forsyth County BOE members said they’d like to continue to serve if they’re chosen again by their party. Raymond was also chosen by the N.C. GOP for the State BOE if the court rules for the new, evenly split version.

About Author

Todd Luck

Todd Luck

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors