For all of the attention in the past year that has been focused on improving North Carolina elections, the most visible aspect of Tuesday’s primary did little to assure voters that the process is better.
For much of Tuesday night, the N.C. State Board of Elections’ website experienced serious delays and even outages when it came to reporting county-by-county results in a timely manner.
The snafus were particularly puzzling, given that Boards of Elections offices in Nash and Edgecombe counties compiled their results relatively quickly. The state’s website simply couldn’t display them. That was true for many other counties, as well.
Remember, too, Tuesday’s election was a relatively small primary in an off-election year. Statewide, only about 15.7 percent of registered voters even bothered to cast ballots.
Imagine the issues the state board might have experienced had this been a full-blown presidential election, with dozens of other races on every ballot in the state and a voter turnout of 50 percent.
We might still be waiting for returns.
The Republican leaders of the N.C. General Assembly last year passed legislation to adopt voting law reforms they believe the state must have in place in order to ensure fair, impartial elections. Let’s hope the same leaders recognize that the tabulation and reporting of Tuesday’s primary results proved to be a disappointing indicator of how efficiently the state can manage one of the most important processes in a democracy.
Someone needs to find a repair kit before next November.