Durham County

Russian election hacking? Not in Durham.


When Durham County Board of Elections Chairman Bill Brian heard on Friday that North Carolina was not a target of Russian hackers, he said he felt vindicated.

The Department of Homeland Security contacted 21 states on Friday that it said were attacked and the Tar Heel state was not among them.

While there were problems in Durham on Nov. 8, 2016, they were not associated with any outside interference, Brian said.

“We’ve been saying repeatedly that we could find no evidence of tampering in Durham,” Brian said. “There’s been no evidence. We spent a lot of resources and time chasing ghosts. We’ve got better things to do. There was no tampering.”

On Election Day, some electronic poll books failed to operate correctly and officials resorted to using printed rolls at the affected precincts. An initial assessment of that equipment by the N.C. State Board of Elections found no evidence of tampering.

Brian said he was relieved that the DHS findings matched what the state board found in its investigation.

Earlier this month, the Durham elections board was the subject of a report by the New York Times about those Election Day problems.

Brian said he was disappointed in the conclusion the Times drew.

“It was very frustrating,” Brian said. “The findings we made were consistent with what the state (Board of Elections) found. My experience with the New York Times was very disappointing.”

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6678, @JEJ_HSNews

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