North Carolina allows bar code ballots despite voter outcry

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina election officials are allowing bar code ballots in elections starting next year despite an outcry from voters uncertain that their choices will be accurately counted.

The State Board of Elections on Friday voted 3-2 to allow a voting-machine maker to sell equipment that converts votes into bar code data that is then tallied by the company’s other machines. Almost two dozen speakers urged the elections board to reject bar code systems because voters can’t read the codes to check that they’re correct.

Democratic board chairman Damon Circosta sided with two Republicans on the five-member panel, citing the risk of delay after touchscreen-only equipment is disallowed in December. New voting machines in about a quarter of the state’s counties need to be ready for primary elections in March.

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