Polling software fight surfaces before municipal elections

November 3, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A legal scuffle before next week’s North Carolina municipal elections centers on whether counties can use software from a vendor that was once the subject of worries about Russian hackers interfering with the 2016 election.

The case involves VR Systems software that 21 counties used last Election Day to check in voters casting ballots. Durham County had problems with the software, leading to voting delays.

A classified report leaked in June suggested Russian intelligence tried to target VR Systems through phishing emails to election officials, but North Carolina board officials found no such evidence. But board staff is still investigating Durham’s problems and says the software shouldn’t be used because it wasn’t technically certified.

An administrative law judge sided Friday with VR Systems, pointing out the software was certified years ago. The company says it’s pleased with the ruling and the board’s concerns are unwarranted. The board says it will appeal to Wake County court.

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