December 15, 2005 | By Rebecca Jeschke

Evidentiary Hearing Set for North Carolina E-Voting Certification

As you may know, EFF filed suit last week on behalf of voting integrity advocate Joyce McCloy, arguing that the North Carolina Board of Elections ignored its obligation to test all electronic voting system source code before certifying those systems for use in the state. Wednesday, the judge in the case asked for further briefing on the issue and additional oral argument in a hearing set for Dec. 21.

At issue is North Carolina's tough election transparency law, which requires the Board of Elections to review all e-voting code "prior to certification." However, on Dec. 1, the board certified voting systems from Diebold Election Systems, Sequoia Voting Systems, and Election Systems and Software without having first obtained -- let alone reviewed -- the system code.

North Carolina voters like McCloy have reason to be worried. The state suffered a serious e-voting malfunction in the 2004 presidential election, when over 4500 ballots were lost in asystem provided by UniLect Corp. Meanwhile, e-voting vendors continue to hide their proprietary systems from meaningful review. So we appreciate that the judge recognized the seriousness of the issue, and we're looking forward to the hearing Wednesday.

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