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NCEIT Summary for Cast Vote Records for Legislative Action Days

Bill - Access and Retention of Cast Vote Records

The Problem

· Folowing the November 2022 general election, public records requests for cast vote records (CVR) were made in at least 14 counties in NC. The State Board of Elections rejected those requests based on the confidentiality of the information, despite the fact the CVRs are election records that should be accessible for public inspection. More than half the states in the U.S. allow access to and inspection of the Cast Vote Records by statute- including NY, CA, OH, TX and FL.

· Some county boards claim the CVRs are not public records because they were not printed, which is inconcistent with the definition of public records as in NCGS 132-1.

· Some county boards claim their electronic systems do not create Cast Vote Records. However, Section 1.1.5-A of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) 2.0, dated 2/10/21, prepared for the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) states, “The voting system must support casting a ballot, recording each vote precisely as indicated by the voter subject to the rules of the election jurisdiction, and creating a cast vote record that can be tabulated and audited.”

· Citizen analysts of election results need access to Cast Vote Records for inspection and verification that machine counts of ballots for each race match the machine’s printed reports. Without this access, voters lose confidence in the accuracy of machines and the outcomes of elections.

The Solution

· Clarify for the State Board of Elections that cast vote records (CVR) shall be shared with the public in a timely manner. Chapter 132-1 of the NC General Statutes, the Public Records law, provides for the records to be released to the public as long as confidential information is separated from nonconfidential information.

· Require the settings on all electronic voting systems to create and retain the cast vote records for every election as per the EAC’s VVSG 2.0 Guidelines.

· Require the retention of the CVRs for aperiod not less than 22 months as per all other election records.

See Also

Definition. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a Cast Vote Record (CVR) is an electronic record of a voter’s ballot selections, and its primary purpose is to provide a record of voter selections that can be counted in an efficient manner to produce election results.”

Section 301(C)(2) of the Help America Vote Act specifies that voting systems shall produce a record with an audit capacity for such systems.

NIST presented a common data format specification for cast vote records (CVRs). The intended audience of the specifications includes the general public. In creating these standards, NIST worked alongside the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) Interoperability Public Working Group with contributions from many different organizations.

The purpose of NIST’s specification is to provide a standard format “for CVRs to assist election officials, auditors, and other election analysts in collecting, aggregating, tabulating, and auditing CVRs from multiple types of vote-capture devices” which are used to produce election results. An additional purpose is to “provide greater transparency.”

Contact: North Carolina Election Integrity Team (NCEIT), Jim Womack, (919) 770-4783,

Paid for by North Carolina Election Integrity Team (NCEIT)

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