Voting Equipment


Read the facts on North Carolina’s voting systems, including details on security, requirements, and the certification process.


  • All voting systems in North Carolina use paper ballots, marked either by hand or with a ballot-marking device, providing a paper trail of votes cast that can be audited or recounted by elections officials.
    • Note: Military and overseas voters, as well as visually impaired voters, can request, access, and submit an absentee ballot through a secure online portal provided by the State Board.
  • All 100 counties comply with federal law by having ballot-marking devices available at every polling place for any voter who needs or wishes to use one to mark a ballot independently.
  • All counties in North Carolina currently use either ES&S or Hart equipment.
  • Each of the 100 county boards of elections, in conjunction with their county board of commissioners, decides which approved voting system will best serve their voters. County purchase of any new system may only come after public demonstrations of the equipment and test use in an election or simulated election.
Checkmark graphic, symbolizing voting.

Voting Equipment By County

Are you curious about which ballot marking devices or tabulators will be at your voting site? Explore the interactive maps and tables on the following pages:

  • Under state law, voting equipment may not be connected to the internet or use wireless access, limiting the possibility of outside interference.
  • All voting systems are certified by the State Board of Elections after undergoing mandatory testing by nationally accredited laboratories. All systems used in North Carolina have been tested, used, and audited in other states.
  • As of 2017, any newly certified voting system in North Carolina must comply with the most recent Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) for federal U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) certification. This standard exceeds the federal requirements stated in Section 301 of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), as per the policy of the State Board of Elections.
  • Once certified as a voting system in North Carolina, the vendor must deposit the system’s source code with the state’s approved escrow agent, post a bond or line of credit (currently $17.01 million) to offset the cost of a new statewide election in the event of a defect in the voting system, and establish an office with support personnel in the state.


North Carolina law requires that voting systems meet federal and state requirements:


Before any election system can be used in North Carolina elections, it must be certified by the State Board of Elections. This ensures that voting systems remain reliable, accurate, user-friendly, accessible to persons with disabilities, and capable of secure operation. The State Board of Elections administers a certification program for any election systems vendor looking to do business in North Carolina.