Mecklenburg County elections director talks safety and security ahead of midterm election
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The one-stop early voting period in North Carolina officially begins Thursday. Michael Dickerson, Director of the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections, said he and the hundreds of elections workers he oversees have been working hard to get ready.
“The biggest thing we do is train. We recruit and train. We’ve got some 2500 precinct officials out there that we’re training at this moment,” explained Dickerson.
The elections director said that voters do not need to be worried about their vote being compromised. He credits training for helping the process run smoothly.
“We make certain that we test everything before it goes out. We make certain that we’re up to date on all our security measures here,” said Dickerson.
Also Read: Early voting starts Thursday in Mecklenburg County
Election security has been a nationwide concern over the last few years. After the 2020 presidential election, people across the country questioned the legitimacy of the election.
A Quinnipiac poll from December of 2020 found that 77 percent of Republicans polled believed there was widespread voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election. The poll found only 60 percent of registered voters polled said they found President Joe Biden’s victory legitimate.
People protested the results of the election. Rallies were held and threats were even made against elections workers.
Dickerson said the threats against elections workers is something that concerns him.
“It troubles me because a lot of my colleagues around the country I’ve heard from and they have been part of that,” he said. “It’s upsetting that people that are public servants that want to do the job for the people, that somebody’s gonna threaten you because they are unaware of what’s the right process or unaware of how we do things.”
Vicki Koch, a temporary elections specialist in Mecklenburg County, has spent several years working for the board of elections. She spoke to WBTV about the security of the process.
“The election process is the election process. There are rules. There are regulations and you need to follow them,” explained Koch. “All I know is Mecklenburg County’s process and I think it’s very secure. We dot our Is and we cross our Ts.”
Cindy Brinkley, another temporary elections specialist, works alongside Koch. She explained that any mistakes made during the elections process would be caught by someone.
“Everything that we do here, if somebody were to make a mistake, it gets caught in the next step. There’s so many steps along the way,” noted Brinkley.
Dickerson said the elections process in Mecklenburg County is safe and secure. He noted that the elections workers just want to help maintain the integrity of the election, regardless of which candidates are running.
“We just tally the votes. Trust me. At the end of the night, we’re just glad we got it all done,” said Dickerson.
Election Day in North Carolina is Tuesday, November 8.
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