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House | March 6, 2013 | Committee Room | Elections

Full MP3 Audio File

I would like to begin by offering my sincere thanks to those of you who have taken time to be here today. The agenda of today will be a presentation from our State Board of Elections, in which you will get, I hope, to meet our Director. And he has brought some key staff that he's going to introduce as well. We will then introduce our committee staff and they will address the election related legislation that passed during the last legislative session. So with that, the Chair is going to ask Mr. Gary Bartlett if he, Mr. Bartlett's here I was told, to please come up to the front sir. And at this time, the Chair will recognize the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections, Mr. Bartlett. You have the floor sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES]: Thank you Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you and the Speaker and other leaders for the approach that you are taking on the Voter ID Bill and I concur with your gold standard. As everyone knows in here, there's a transition going on. There will be a new board soon and the new board, when they are named and sworn will make some changes, but until then, for this committee and for any Senate Committee, we are going to have Johnny McClain, who is our Chief Deputy Director, be responsible for anything dealing with administration of the elections, absentee, any ITS issues with the help of Marc Burris and voting systems, and Kim Strach, anything to do with campaign finance. And I will assist in anyway possible to do whatever needs to be done for the needs of the voters, the general assembly and any interested public. As you know, there are five members to the State Board of Elections and we have fifty-two employees. The Board has oversight of all the elections, voter registration and campaign finance. Also, they hear appeals and conduce investigative hearings. We have a little over six point four million registered voters. When I began we only had three point one million registered voters. I would like to share a couple things before I introduce the staff. I was told that [?] revenue was what was needed. I'd like to call your attention that we have some very good websites that you can get information from. We have a general website and also an elections resource center which shows our governance and also we probably have the most data of anyone or any elections office in the United States. So, feel free to use it and if you don't know where to look for it, please give us a call. Some of the things that we were able to do through the years is that we were the first southern state to implement the National Voter Registration Act of 1992 and we were one of the leaders in the Help America Vote Act. We also have one of the most cost effective and comprehensive voter registration systems and there were only two in the United States before we started ours. This has been very helpful during the redistricting process. Since 2010, our staff, both the voting equipment section and the [?] seams section has been getting data and reports to the general assembly and I have been, and since the lawsuit, have offered five affidavits for the state. North Carolina has also been an elections model for agency voter registration and also for those with handicap and disabilities. We have worked that part very hard.

And we also have got a couple things that may not know about. Is that long time ago, back in the early, it was around 2003, we started implementing a uniformity, a uniformity program where everything that we do as far as procedures and forms are the same from one end of the state to the other. This was something new in elections. And we left enough flexibility for local control, so that they could make some decisions that would be helpful for their county. We also have something we call a wellness check and that is a self audit of the county board of elections to determine if they're in compliance and what their needs are and what help that they may need. But, we also have many other successes but I thought that I would just share that with you. And Mr. Chairman, if there's time at the end, I've got seven suggestions or I can just give them to you. At this time I would like to introduce Johnny McClain, she is our chief deputy, for a few words. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ms. McClain please, you have the floor ma'am. Up here, please. We're glad that you're here with us today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman and Mr. Bartlett. It has been my privilege to have worked at the board of elections since 1985. In case you have heard a rumor that I have been there forever since the beginning of time, it is slightly exaggerated, but I do seem to have quite a period of time with the board of elections and have been fortunate to oversee and be part of many of the changes that Mr. Bartlett has identified. If there are ever any questions that you have, information that you need, we are pleased to provide that information to you as quickly and accurately as possible. In addition to election results, voter registration totals, we also assist in the administration of the absentee voting laws. There has been a complete rewrite of the absentee voting laws that included both the civilian and then most recently, the military and overseas citizens. Not to say that it might not need some further review to allow for more participation by the people qualified to vote by absentee ballot. Thank you so much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Director McClain. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Next we have Kim Streck, who is our campaign finance director. Deputy director. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Welcome to the committee Ms. Streck. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Thank you committee. I am Kim Streck. I'm the deputy director for campaign finance and most of you, if I haven't had the opportunity to meet you personally, I'm sure you've probably met someone on our staff who has hopefully been helpful in assisting you with your required reporting with our office. The campaign finance division provides disclosure, as you well know, of all your reports. We do that from our website and we have the ability for you to come in and see anything that any candidate in the state has filed. One of the things that we hope that will happen eventually will be that all committees will file electronically with our office so that we can provide you more efficient and timely disclosure of those reports. We have a small staff, but please know that any questions you have, anything that we can do for you we would certainly at any time be happy to do that. Thanks. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Next, I'd like to call on Mark Birth, who is director... [end]

Speaker: IT services , Speaker Changes: welcome sir you have the floor, Speaker Changes: Mr chairman ?? thank you for having me out here today ?? IT directors for state board of elections i have been there for fourteen years simply i like the vision behind the certain make everything work we have been doing a good job with state board election and technologies we don't have a lot of staffs over responsibilities we make the technology work to make the better we have a very good relationship and technology relationship with D M V D H H S department of corrections the cant keep the voter list as clean and make them responsible I'm not the that mainly works but if you have a question ?? than k you, Speaker Changes: one success that failed to mention is that mark ?? was the first ?? to check your voter registration and application for your absentee voting by text and email which he submitted for all states who wanted to use the next person i would like to call up here was ?? who handles our voter registration is director voter registration and also business analyzes ?? our state wide registration , Speaker Changes: good after noon mam welcome welcome you have the floor , Speaker Changes: thank you Mr.Chairman ?? primarily I'm responsible for voter registration for the state board of elections and absentee voting as well i work primarily with county board of elections and the N V R A agencies and general public anyone who asks questions regarding those avenues of election ?? thank you, Speaker Changes: thank you is that will our staff ?? before the ?? is gonna share with us he is going to announce the seven concerns that he would like to address ?? briefly and see any members that would like to ask any of the staff who just gave a report any other ?? Representative Harrison please state your purpose, Speaker Changes: thank you Mr.Chair i have a question with Mr ?? but i know there is have a fund will matching feral fund to avail 2004 of election cycle we did not access that state match that didn't match is that something is continual or is tat a onetime thing cause of voting early in expanded is this the bank fund are in that way of collect funding interest built is utilized upon the appropriate maintenance ?? our funding for the general assembly ?? so our call is ?? we need it to match it by several members of the figures two years ago it was 553,000 because of the one and a half percent ?? it is down better ??, Speaker Changes: Representative ? you have the floor sir , Speaker Changes: let me follow up on that bill so that we didn't access the half funds but we didn't detect any major problems constructing last election without that money did it, Speaker Changes: yes sir, Speaker Changes: thank you, Speaker Changes: Representative ?? please state your purpose , Speaker Changes: a question Mr ?? please, Speaker Changes: ??, Speaker Changes: thank you Mr.Chairman am interested from the IT stand point this really is the point from Mr.President there been any desire to standardize anyway i know there are number of different method used more tabulation across the state how our are approaching that sort of issue from county to county am nit sure if i,

Then what you mean by that regulation and it's supposed to do this I mean, but you have the envelope of the following home at night, but said the machinery of the different from the machines such techniques used from the ITC employed now the action we have two types of unemployment North Carolina one is optical scan works since which is the paper refill in the auto the post with added later that is calling him 100 and they have us the counter in deplorable actions office that takes the same ballot that is of 650 handed, is only four absentee ballots or recounts the other, voting equipment is the on direct record of electronic on the touch screen machine that, as a paper trail and those served two terms of had been living on a machine called a freak accident when she is currently being used the state board is in the process of completing a certification or the next generation of him 100 would show will be a hands better features but that is why we have a North Carolina analysts say that, the touch screen, try even though it's in the balance of the 45, 32-represents about 40% by the voters and it's usually in the war populated metropolitan areas the optical scan workstations and better utilized in smaller companies Mr. Bartlett feature could fall on that all need to use a touch screen technology (SPEAKER CHANGES) is they're in Colander all for the books real life the way to achieve not solve one of us need two and received a call from one and we have been (SPEAKER CHANGES) we have a backup batteries with a 4 hour lights and we also have generators Stevens county needs to be a patient, we'll have we've had some electrical outages four and we're not an issue that we've been able to get the general reader scored 4 hour is battering go back to schools and was sufficient of two additional action picture arts and (SPEAKER CHANGES) some have called you have to have a column and an basic question the nineties there was the direct touch typing the G A heard they're all hour of paper trail forces to simply we've read out a number into the game that's considered a paper trail (SPEAKER CHANGES) noted has a boater visible paper trail where the voters sees how they are toys is more peace initiative owner wants to change the walls and for the change in one movie on the voting this then the cast and inside machine there or in least two or $3.00 rebounded that that's where you could create health ballot issues, but by the way the things that is so the bill of more of a legislate tours may not mind is that in 2006 we introduce any of saying after each election, Mario original and also a tournament selections where we have a statistician currently under contract if you and say they have to election it was a random selection of polling places where we do they can track not only for the emblem hundred marks its paper on ballots and also for the scrolling paper and other cities in the output from AIDS and determine whether in on the roads and so far and away and not had any issues with either machine the only difference is used it would mark cents paper ballots some people do not always market for Gerry Owen market too late but issue voter in 10th when the circle and they were circle or write in the name of all the circle where is if there is an IQ of you …..

Speaker: we could see what the voter intend we already voted in ?? Speaker Changes: Representative ?? please state your purpose Speaker Changes: thank you Mr.Chairman i ask Mr?? a question Speaker Changes: ?? Speaker Changes: thank you Mr ?? for being here with us this afternoon ii have a question and follow up that if chairman if how many votes were cast here in 2012 election in North Carolina Speaker Changes: if the chair could interrupt told Mr.Chair ?? is no going to do any maths so of we need to check that up we need to evacuate Speaker Changes: then let me ask that follow up before that question Speaker Changes: 4.5 million Speaker Changes: yes Speaker Changes: 4.5million Speaker Changes: somewhere around there Speaker Changes: and follow up Mr.Chairman Speaker Changes:yes mam you are recognized of that 4.5 million how many documents of cases were of fraud ?? find in that number Speaker Changes: Speaker Changes:we are still having that investigation at the moment we have out ?? Speaker Changes: thank you Speaker Changes: Representative john please state your purpose, Speaker Changes: for a question Mr.Charmian ? behind you thank you than you for being here today had another line of questions that I'm gonna be brief but just a i wanna little bit tabulated between ?? on the machine trail could you give a some approximate percentage of ballot's in north Carolina that o f the actual paper ballot that voter actually marks do you know that I'm asking, Speaker Changes: no sir Speaker Changes:let me predict this way idea of more than one buying OK i gotta buying and i actually get what i received ?? in duplicate that i marked down and that shows exactly what my amount total was i gotta another buying and i receive a seat if it will it tells me that my ?? was certain amount but it is not i duplicate my paper OK in my home county we mark ballot's we mark paper ballot's and the machine that counts that balance and if we want to ?? we would see the actual ballot that are marked and it would be ?? in that paper ballot's now what I'm understanding with some of the paper computer there is as paper trail in the sense that is ?? that tell some who i voted for ?? bit three is not a actual piece of paper that i marked is that correct that is correct Speaker Changes: and so the question I'm asking you i guess i approximately what percentage of those votes in North Carolina would be the actual pieces of paper that the voter marked I'm just trying to get a feel for 95 % or 50% ?? Speaker Changes: i would ask the staff ?? if they have a better answer than me but i would say that the paper of that the voter actually marks represents about 60% those who vote Speaker Changes: follow up Mr.Chair different subject altogether i don't know if you have a particular staff member that ?? I'm gonna talk little about training for people that work on county board of elections i seen that have over seemed in count y board of elections but there is some kind of training conferences that they may attended something that helps down is that in the case Speaker Changes:yes sir Speaker Changes: we have during the even number of years two conferences state wide during odd number of years one we also have director conferences that are in same number in opposite years so we have at least two over year we have a certification ?? that is optional for county board members in fact a direct must have a passing grade of 85 or have to take the test until the ?? Speaker Changes: follow up in odd number of years when were that be the odd number of years would probably be in august Speaker Changes: is that some king of training that takes place from April i heard recently from county board Speaker Changes: that is going to be the county association conference and that is overseen by the state board of elections would you have an input and would that be

And we usually said the Indian those say they can have a course called him and we know that there is one of the building (SPEAKER CHANGES) four 1st week of all but five, to share my like my concern else getting around to use if you had some oversight are input in the SNA is concerning the meeting we would have training in April for basically outgoing board members when you when you're placing board members in any gap in the state board is coming in first and may need county board is coming and then in June I understand some of the same people will still be on that board of building the new members and that this ABC to the resources and time and effort being spent to train people that are basically outgoing board member site is not always to get some input into the timing and schedule there might be there (SPEAKER CHANGES) going home state to the directors association about the honesty and yet is there are all conference with Bateman of every one of the steelworkers made lately and of the board members become the law will have always (SPEAKER CHANGES ) represented by the restriction or to become belligerent banking is cheered I usually two coming on the facility missed on command you hang your staff from the great work to achieve. I had been down here for several years who started out doing a paper polling and your staff is trying to help me convert two via electronic I can imagine you weren't of work seemed to really overwhelming for this month's elections are eight Angeles, 12 black go to Cuba nine visit two of the inner core of the actions we need to go on at least some of his staff to link and telling them I think they probably think if dying on behalf of the students are really nice facility and much more room is the first time at the end of an opportunity to see you now want to mention for the work that you ought to continue doing a great job in 2 to 1 and two represent two on stage or five question Mr. Garlic (SPEAKER CHANGES) ginger and let rise and so they were present Jones question of offering me with an election process of migrating from Greg bell Atlantic and on election process alone as a catcher national party and I stand with a stranger for you suspect of money back in the town of medicines and then authorization vote which ago and signed an issue of sessions using the same as much attention and then the moment as in the newspaper scroll of mine (SPEAKER CHANGES) Mr. Bentsen the authorization vote is a slew of its use in lieu of fall below and reason why it is a better system of keeping out the one that he and his username your address the balanced out by the way and signature scent of the areas in the issue with the black market record of that record is not try to play with so far over to the fall of some of the second site and that the median and I think this (SPEAKER CHANGES )using used during early voting against the computer strain the article with five different or you still have the same process: things you need to know about early voting is the bad effects of the voting and you will be documented with the number and if it means Chairman George is not correct all but if its challenge for use by the little of the campaign for two or more fall agenda for kids under the subject,(SPEAKER CHANGES) we have a situation project was passed selection and the 2012 receiving some problems John Gresham’s plane such an era line between good and presidential election of leaving its mark on logging plans to come out of five boys are the vote jump from one to the other end of session airlines and its solution down the road four making a bigger space may be so that the sausage and we'll have representatives of the U.S. wants to make its market stalls on that column will not truly be solved to the next generation which they're coming out……..

soon. One of the things that I would like to share with the committee, is that some of it deals with how high or short a person is, whether they use their index finger, or if they use their thumb, we've seen them use their knuckles, and what we suggest, aside from looking at the scrolling paper to ensure that you mark the choice that you wanted, is to use a stylus or an eraser at the end of a pencil. That certainly will help cut down on those issues. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Chair's gonna give Mr. Bartlet a brief break, and the Chair wanted to ask Miss Strack - and I apologize, Miss Strack, I didn't give you time to prepare for this, but as I listened to Representative Mobley's comments, I was just curious if you could speak - and you can speak from that mic as well - if you could speak to what percentage of the campaign finance reports are still filed manually as opposed to electronically. Miss Strack, if you will, would you press that button right in front of you? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay. Probably, a safe estimate is there's probably close to 75% of the reports are probably filed manually, and what this translates for our staff is that all of that information has to be in the data entered in order for the public to be able to search that data, but there's probably... I would say less than 30% are filed electronically. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Chair would like to thank all of the members. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Representative Michaux, please state your... [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah, I'd like to... [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Chair does apologize, sir, I did not see you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It's all right. No problem. [SPEAKER CHANGES] But you are recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm used to being ignored. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's never happened since I've been here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I know, I know. Miss Strack, let me ask you this. Have you all changed the platform so that it would be able to interact with various other platforms? I've raised that question before. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I know you have. You have, and that is something that, we are working with a vendor now, to do just that, so that people that have Mac computers, such as yourself, could also use the software. That is something we do not have available at this time, but it is something that we have asked the vendor that we've contracted with to do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] May I follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You got an idea when that's probably gonna get through? I'm tired of filing manually. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, we want you to be able to file electronically as well, so I will see if I can get back with you on a time that it should be ready. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Chair's intent was only to give Mr. Bartlet a break, the Chair was not trying to ignore Representative Faircloth and Representative Cunningham. Representative Starnes, you have an inquiry and you are recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is there any evidence that people who file electronically have fewer errors than those who do it on paper? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm not sure that I could tell you... Speak intelligently about what the differences are. I would say that those that file electronically, there are things in our software that prompt you if you make a mistake, it's gonna point those things out to you, so I would hope that people that file electronically are gonna find some of their errors identified for them before they actually file the report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Floyd, did you have an inquiry for Miss Strack? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gentleman's recognized. And Mr. Bartlet, I think you're gonna be back up here in just a minute. Please, Representative Floyd. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If you file the electronic version, and the last sheet on the hard requires signature, to show... I mean, I haven't seen it, haven't tried it, but everyone keeps encouraging it so I'm gonna try it... but what type of signature's required, on the last... Page nine? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We still require a signature, so you would file electronically and submit that to our office, but you would also have to print out a hard copy of just the summary page-- the cover page with your original signature and mail that to our office.

we was in one of the other sub-committee meetings and the one person said the reason why they hand carried hard copy so they don't have to deal with mail fraud[SPEAKER CHANGES]well I would hope is not the reason why you would do that[SPEAKER CHANGES]the chair would like to point out that we only have about five minutes left the chair has acknowledged Representative Faircloth and then Representative Cunningham so Mr Bartley I think they have an inquiry for you Representative Faircloth you are recognized[SPEAKER CHANGES]thank you Mr. Chairman questions from Mr. Bartley if I may we have literally thousands of students every year who come from North Carolina for higher education we have literally thousands of military personnel who come into this state and out of this state every year when a student for example from let's say Kentucky comes to North Carolina and goes to one of our Universities and on the records at the University and list their home address as Kentucky whatever their proper address is but they're staying at obviously staying here for the purpose of the election what is their address are they a North Carolina voter or a Kentucky voter [SPEAKER CHANGES]because of court cases in the past which governs this the student has the right to register in North Carolina same thing with a military family however, if there is any evidence that shows that they are not truly a resident because of other actions they do then they can be challenged and if they are shown not to be a true resident then they can be removed from the rolls[SPEAKER CHANGES]follow-up [SPEAKER CHANGES]gentlemen recognized[SPEAKER CHANGES]assume for a moment that a student is in North Carolina another student registers here cast a vote here and then gets on the plane and goes back to Kentucky it's a National Election and goes there because that's his home state and cast a vote is there any cross reference between elections boards in the various states that would protect that double ??[SPEAKER CHANGES]not at the moment unless we received information thirty years we have collaborated with different states whenever we were able to get that information in fact, one of the seven suggestions I've got with chairman Lewis is to enter into a consortium with states on voting equipment and voter registration so we can do cross checks beyond state lines. Currently we have just completed,well we'll soon to be completed an investigation where we found out that there have been some Florida voters voting in North Carolina[SPEAKER CHANGES] thank you sir[SPEAKER CHANGES]Representative Cunningham you are recognized Ma'am[SPEAKER CHANGES]thank you Mr. Chairman Mr. Bartley as a regular voter I came in and voted I wanted to know if there is any kind of verification of how I voted i'll have to come to the board of elections how long would that process take and is not technology to the point where they can give me a verification slip when I vote [SPEAKER CHANGES]repeat please I want to make sure I understood what you said[SPEAKER CHANGES]as a regular voter if I came in to the voting booth and I voted and wanted to check and see if my vote was cast properly I would have to come to the board of elections what would that process time take for you to verify and show me how I voted and is not technology to the point where if I vote it can kick me out a verification slip showing how I voted[SPEAKER CHANGES]but first of all, there is no verification slip to show how you voted because we have secret ballots in North Carolina second there were discussions similar to this and several sessions ago about whether or not to give a receipt to a voter it was determined that would be bad business because it might assist people who

Vote buying to show exactly how they voted in order to get something in return. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Starnes, I'm gonna let you have the last word. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chairman. I want to follow up on Representative Faircloth's comments. The student is from Kentucky. He's in college in North Carolina, so he registers to vote in North Carolina and by doing so is claiming that he is a resident of North Carolina. The parent of the student is claiming him as the deduction on his federal income tax saying that I'm keeping him up. Would that in itself be a conflict as to residency? [SPEAKER CHANGES] No, sir. What I need to do is get you the court case and show you what the standards are that the court has laid out for that. One of the things that we have seen in the past that is unsettling is that you'll have a student go to a university. They will get excited about registering and voting there, and the parents, being their relatives send an absentee ballot application request, and it's sent to the parents and we have caught some voting that ballot. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Representative Starnes. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe Jerry Cohen wanted to weigh in on this. However, the chair did not anticipate that Mr. Bartlett would have been as big of an attraction as he has been today, and in accordance with House rules, we must adjourn in order to go to the floor. So the committee stands adjourned.