Buncombe County – Members of the WNC Freedom 2020 organization, a voter integrity group, and Don Yelton, a Buncombe County candidate for District 3 Commissioner, went to the Buncombe County Board of Elections on Thursday and delivered a demand letter.
In the letter, they sought five confirmations to ensure “the voting public has fair & free elections…” and asked for “information and all documents relating to” Buncombe County voting systems to verify the following:
•Confirm that all ballots contain the required option of straight-party ticket voting.
•Confirm that all versions of voting systems and voting equipment in use have had any network-connection capability disabled and cannot connect to any network.
•Confirm that all versions of voting systems and updates have recently been certified in accordance with section 301 of the Help America Vote Act and state general statutes.
•Confirm that a glitch in the NCSBE SOSA equipment that allows a voter to have more than one ballot printed during one-stop early voting has been fixed.
•Confirm that none of the devices connected to the county network or county device or any wi-fi connection at the home office after October 18, 2022, are part of the voting system.
The Tribune reported on the glitch mentioned in point 4 of the letter in the last two issues of the newspaper. It was brought to our attention by Kay Olson, a precinct judge and a member of WNC Freedom 2020.
The Buncombe County Director of Elections, Corinne Duncan, confirmed that the glitch existed but told the newspaper that any double voting would be caught by the end of the day when it would show the same voter voted more than once.
The glitch occurs because the computers, which act as voter check-in books, sync via the internet every 15 minutes. This brings up the group’s points 2 and 5 about connecting to the internet.
WNC Freedom 2020 considers the check-in books to be part of the early voting system. Section 300: Approval and Operation of Voting Systems stipulates: “(2) It shall enable the voter to vote a straight party ticket in a general election.” The current ballot has no such option.
The group also cites NCGS 163-165 (j), which states, “No voting system used in any election in this State shall be connected to a network, and any feature allowing connection to a network shall be disabled. Prohibited network connections include the internet, intranet, fax, telephone line, networks established via modem, or any other wired or wireless connection.”
According to 163-165 Definitions (11) “‘Voting system’ means a system of casting and tabulating ballots. The term includes systems of paper ballots counted by hand as well as systems utilizing mechanical and electronic voting equipment. ” This seems to include all equipment, including the check-in computers, that should not be connected to the internet.
The Tribune contacted Duncan to get her reaction to the letter and some of the group’s concerns, but as of press time, she had not replied.