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NC State Statutes: View & Observe the Machine Tape/Start & Finish of the Day

While you do have the legal right to see and observe the machine tapes before the polls open and after they close, the BOE director in your county may not allow you to. This is a problem. We have received reports that some counties are okay with observers viewing the tape while other do not. Example: Henderson county violates state law with a policy change. Buncombe is ok. There are others. Go figure!

In either case, you ask. Be polite. Don't lose your temper. Follow the instructions of the chief judge. You should download the NC State Statutes below and hand them to the judge/BOE director if the answer is NO. Write up an Incident Report even if the answer is Yes. Be sure to include details: judge/witnesses/where you stood in relation to the machine. Remember, This is our evidence. We want you to be on the right side and don't give them an excuse to remove you. Thanks. JB

08 NCAC 04 .0304 OPERATION AND MATTER OF VOTING ON VOTING SYSTEMS (a) Prior to the opening of the polls, the precinct officials shall open the voting system and examine the ballot for accuracy and examine the counters or other method to determine there is a zero balance. Any persons interested in viewing this procedure may observe but shall not interfere or impede the process. If the system prints a zero tape or other paper document, the document shall be maintained and secured in the manner prescribed by the manufacturer and the county board of elections. (b) The voter shall follow the instructions contained on the voting system. Only official ballots shall be introduced into the voting system. Spoiled or damaged ballots shall not be introduced into the voting system. If a voter improperly marks or damages a ballot, it shall be returned to the precinct official, marked as spoiled and maintained as specified by the county board of elections. The voter may not receive a replacement ballot until the spoiled or damaged ballot is returned to the precinct official. The voter shall not be given more than three replacement ballots. (c) Except as provided for curbside voting in G.S. 163-166.9, official ballots shall not leave the voting enclosure during the time that voting is being conducted there. History Note: Authority G.S. 163-22; 163-165.7; Temporary Adoption Eff. April 15, 2002; Eff. August 1, 2004; Readopted Eff. June 1, 2019


See paragraph (h) The counting of the ballots shall be made in the presence of the precinct election officials and witnesses and observers who are present ad desire to observe the count. Observers shall not interfere with the counting of the ballots.

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