Onslow Co. election officials to test run voting equipment in local elections

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – In August, N.C. State Board of Elections certified three new pieces of voting equipment.

Now Onslow County is testing one voting machine for future elections.

On Monday afternoon’s Onslow County Board of Commissioners, they and the Board of Elections unanimously voted to test Clear Ballot.

Voting equipment is presented to Onslow County Commissioners. Credit: Onslow County Government

Director for the Onslow County Board of Elections Jason Dedmond said parts of the current equipment are hard to find.

“It’s basically non-serviceable,” said Dedmond.

Dedmond emphasized the alleged hacking in the 2016 presidential election was not a reason for the change.

“We’re unhackable here in Onslow County because we do not touch the internet,” said Dedmond.

Voters won’t notice a change in equipment.

Paper ballots will still be used.

The digital scanner in Clear Ballot will record an image of a ballot without identifying the voter.

“If a race was so close that we needed to look at it more than my board would actually have the power to meet in here and vote on adjudicating the voter intent,” said Dedmond.

Other benefits include flexible ballot printing, timesaving, and a reduction in cost.

Dedmond said using Clear Ballot, one ballot will cost less than one cent versus the 21 cents they’re paying now.

The Onslow County Board of Elections plans to test Clear Ballot on election day November 5 at a Jacksonville precinct.

This does not mean Clear Ballot will be used in the future.

If all goes well, the Board of Elections will ask county commissioners to fund the machines for future elections.

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