RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – Republicans in the conservative North Carolina House Freedom Caucus want to get an inside look at state voting machines, they say, to clear up myths that they could be connected to the Internet during an election.
But the North Carolina Board of Elections denied the request and wants the lawmakers to trust the state’s vetting process.
Rep. Keith Kidwell (R-79) is spearheading the effort.
“The state board of elections is a state agency. We have oversight on everything in this state,” Kidwell said.
He and 25 other house Republicans want to have technicians open and inspect random voting machines to debunk rumors that they could include modems.
“Open and allow us to look in the systems and then close the systems. We would not invade, compromise, or damage the machines,” Kidwell said.
Kidwell said the caucus does not have concrete evidence of the modems, but rather emails from constituents.
“What we have are concerns from the public,” Kidwell said.
North Carolina State Elections Director Karen Brinson Bell said the concerns are unfounded.
“There’s a lot of national rhetoric and rumor and misinformation around the voting equipment in our country and in our procedures and that’s come home to North Carolina,” Brinson Bell said.
State law does not allow voting machines to reach the web.
Brinson Bell said there are many levels of security voting machines go through, which include a federal certification process, pre-election accuracy tests, and a post-election audit.
“There is no set up in North Carolina that allows for modemed data with our voting systems or with our tabulation,” Brinson Bell said. “No one outside of an election official or someone certified by federal authorities are able to access our voting equipment.”
Still, Kidwell and other members of the caucus said they’re not going to back down on their request.
“We will get the access, we will get the data that we request,” Kidwell said.