At its June 20 regular meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution approving the use of the ExpressVote ballot marking system for early voting in Buncombe County in accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-165.8. With the approval of the FY24 budget, the Board of Elections will acquire 140 ExpressVote machines to allow 10 machines at each of the 14 Early Voting sites at a cost of $604,225 plus shipping. The estimated system lifespan of each machine is 15 years with an estimated $21,000 added to the required maintenance agreement ($150 per machine) in the future but not the first year.
Buncombe County currently uses ExpressVote for early voters who request ADA access to voting, and the ballot marking device is currently used by 11 other N.C. counties, including our neighbors Henderson, Transylvania, and Haywood. ExpressVote provides touchscreen ballot marking for voters to make their selections. Once confirmed, the ballot prints, giving voters another opportunity to review prior to submitting.
At its Jan. 24 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Elections approved ExpressVote for Early Voting. Click here to see earlier discussion and public demonstration of the device.
Chair of the Board of Elections Jake Quinn notes ExpressVote is not a new mechanism, it is an expansion of a system we are already using. With the new machines voters will check-in with poll workers, give their name, and receive their ExpressVote ballot: a piece of paper with precinct and ballot style information printed at the top. Voters will carry their ballot to voting booths and insert the paper into the ExpressVote machines. Selections are made on the touchscreen. Before printing their completed ballot, voters are prompted to review their selections and return to any race and make changes. The ExpressVote machine then prints selections on a paper ballot that can be reconfirmed by the voter. As with the previous voting process, voters will take their paper ballot to the DS200 tabulator machines, insert them, and receive their “I Voted” sticker.
Election Services Director Corinne Duncan previously noted that any change to voting should come with effort to familiarize voters before arriving at the polls. With the budget approved by the Board of Commissioners, Election Services will continue partnering with the County Communications & Public Engagement team toward a goal of a pilot in the Fall of 2023 and a full implementation in the 2024 Presidential Primary.