Democracy NC Election Report: 2016 voter experience and recommended changes for 2018

Democracy NC issued a report on the 2016 election based on first-person accounts gathered during early voting and Election Day 2016 from voters, on-site poll monitors, and calls to the Election Protection hotline. The data “demonstrate that much more granular problems disrupt the rights of voters to participate in elections — problems that state and county elections agencies have the power and responsibility to address," according to Democracy NC. 

The report highlights issues from the 2016 election including inconsistent implementation of out-of-precinct voting, excessively long lines, voting equipment breakdowns, and poorly trained poll workers. Based on the 2016 voter experience, Democracy NC suggests some changes the state and county boards of elections can implemnet for 2018. Those include:

  • Improve consistency in poll worker use of the existing protocol for out-of-precinct voting, making it clear that the choice to vote provisionally lies with the voter, not poll workers.
  • Review training materials on curbside voting, and work with county officials to improve the curbside voting experience through better signage, etc.
  • Request funding from the General Assembly to assist with upgrading voting equipment and other elections costs so the burden does not fall on solely on counties
  • Develop a “Code of Conduct” for poll workers that focuses on "(1) courtesy, respect, and sensitivity toward all voters regardless of age, race, language, gender, and ability; (2) clear communication; (3) efficiency and convenience; (4) basic knowledge of NC election law and administrative guidance; and, (5) commitment to ensuring that all eligible voters are able to cast ballots."
  • Expand state and county efforts to recruit poll workers who are "younger, more diverse, culturally-competent, and tech-savvy."

Read Democracy NC's full report here