Charlotte Talks Politics: Voting In Mecklenburg Gets A New Look

Jan 27, 2020

Monday, Jan. 27, 2020

The ballot box is where we'll come face to face with the 2020 election, starting with North Carolina's Super Tuesday primary in March. That election will mark the county-wide debut of new voting machines.

Voters will make their choices on touch-screen machines that churn out a paper ballot with their choices marked. That paper ballot is then fed into a tabulator that scans a bar code to record the vote.

Mecklenburg County is buying new touchscreen ExpressVote Ballot Marker machines that also produce a paper ballot.
Credit Election Systems & Software /

A change in state law required the use of election systems with some form of a paper ballot. While Mecklenburg will continue to have a touch-screen machine in the process, other counties, such as Guilford, are using paper ballots that voters will mark by hand.

Mecklenburg elections director Michael Dickerson is confident in the machines' ability to withstand hacking - a concern that has hovered over elections since Russian attempts to hackĀ  America's elections infrastructure in 2016.


Michael Dickerson, director of elections, Mecklenburg County

Liz Howard, counsel, Brennan Center for Justice's Democracy Program; former deputy commission with Virginia's Department of Elections (@lizlhoward)