On Friday, October 29, the state chair of the North Carolina Republican Party filed a lawsuit against the North Carolina State Board of Elections, complaining about the accuracy of the iVotronic vote-counting machines that are used in 35 counties. The lawsuit is Fetzer v Bartlett, U.S. District Court, eastern district, 4:10cv-158-H.
On Saturday, October 30, a hearing was held, and the parties settled. The State Board of Elections promises to instruct all polling place officials to orally tell each voter to read a sign, titled “Voter Alert.” The sign says, “Touchscreen voting machines are sensitive. A summary page will appear at the end of your ballot so you can review the choices selected. CAREFULLY (underlined and in bold print) review your ballot to make sure your vote is accurately cast.”
Also, the Board has instructed all local election officials to preserve all programming materials, records and audit logs from the iVotronic machines.
The Democratic Party has the top line on all North Carolina ballots. This is because of a state law that says parties with at least 5% of the voter registration are put on the ballot in alphabetical order. Because only the Democratic and Republican Parties have 5% of the voter registration, and because “D” comes before “R” in the alphabet, this means that all North Carolina ballots always have the Democrats at the top, and Republicans are on the second line. If a voter intends to vote for Republicans, and touches the touch-screen in the area between the Democratic and Republican lines, the machine interprets that as a vote for the party on the top line, even though that voter intended the party on the second line.