North Carolina counties which use touch-screen voting systems will now have to post a "Voter Alert" at precincts warning voters about potential problems with the machines following a complaint [PDF] filed in federal court by the state's Republican Party on Friday. The lawsuit, heard today on an expedited basis, was filed after voters in several counties had reported to party officials that their attempts to vote for straight-ticket Republican ballots were flipping on the screen to straight-ticket Democratic ballots.
Those reports of vote-flipping led to the NC GOP issuing a threat late this week to sue the State Board of Elections (BoE) if their demands were not met to order certain precautions be taken at polling places which used the 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems. After the Executive Director for the BoE sent a letter in response to the GOP's demands, downplaying the reported incidents as "isolated" and "no different than ones that must be addressed in every election," the Republican complaint was filed in federal court on Friday afternoon. (The sharp letters back and forth between the state GOP and BoE can be read in our previous report on the NC situation.)
Judge Malcolm Howard tonight also ordered that pollworkers must tell voters to read the printed alert, and that memory cards and other programming materials, records and audit logs from the oft-failed ES&S iVotronic touch-screen DREs must be preserved for examination after the election. Late today, the BoE Executive Director Gary O. Bartlett sent a notice [PDF] to the County Boards of Elections detailing the changes ordered by the federal judge.
The "Voter Alert" to be posted in all precincts using the touch-screen voting systems must read as follows...