Voters cast ballots at a precinct in Weaverville on Election Day. Colby Rabon / Carolina Public Press
Voters cast ballots at a precinct in Weaverville on Election Day in 2016. File photo by Colby Rabon / Carolina Public Press

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Welcome to The Kicker from Carolina Public Press, a North Carolina news show bringing you conversations with journalists, sources and newsmakers from across the state.

In this episode, Carolina Public Press contributing writer Jordan Wilkie talks about the issues of ballot integrity raised by the NC Board of Elections’ recent decision on certifying some voting machines that use a barcode to record votes, making it impossible for voters to verify that their intent was recorded correctly. The systems will also make vote audits more difficult.

The state has now certified several different types of machines. The barcode system is used only on a machine produced by ES&S. It will be up to individual counties to decide which of these certified systems they will purchase for the 2020 elections.

Voting rights activists and independent election experts had generally advised the NC Board of Elections not to certify the barcode machines. But company officials and some county election directors pushed for its inclusion.

Some of the organizations that opposed use of the ES&S machines have warned that they will sue any counties that purchase these systems for violating the rights of voters.

About The Kicker

The Kicker is a production of Carolina Public Press. It also airs weekly at 7 p.m. Wednesdays on WPVM radio 103.7 FM in Asheville. Send an email to if you would like to contact the staff of Carolina Public Press about The Kicker.

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