Acting Homeland Security Secretary Tours Mecklenburg Election Warehouse

CHARLOTTE, NC- There are five days until Super Tuesday and the acting Homeland Security Secretary is in Charlotte to tour election equipment and speak on election security.

Nearly 40,000 people in Mecklenburg County have already cast their ballots, doing so on new machines rolled out for the 2020 elections.

“We test every single piece of equipment that goes out to the polling places in North Carolina,” said Karen Brinson Bell, the North Carolina Election Director.

Local, State, and federal officials held a round table discussion on election security and checked out the new machines.

“We think it’s fantastic what the state of North Carolina is doing here,” said Chad Wolf, the Homeland Security Secretary.

Wolf got an up-close look at the new voting equipment from Mecklenburg County Elections Director Michael Dickerson.

“We want to make sure we’re accurate. There is nothing worse than giving out wrong information,” said Dickerson.

The machines print out a paper ballot with the voter’s choices. They then take the paper and run it through a tabulator, which records the barcode.

“We have complete confidence. The testing that Mecklenburg county has done. They’ve tested over 34 thousand ballots,” said Brinson Bell.

Some are concerned about the scanning barcode, but officials say they are confident in the machines. When it comes to election security; the machines are not connected to the internet, so they can’t be hacked. But outside interference is a concern.

“Foreign actors in Russia, in particular, are trying to influence public sentiment, spread disinformation and erode trust in our democratic institutions,” said Wolf.

Wolf says they’re working to educate the public on how to spot misinformation, but didn’t detail any procedures or programs in place.

Polls open Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. and will remain open until 7:30 p.m.