Judge hints he won’t stop polling site software use Tuesday

Renee Phifer, Kelly Monroe
In this Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 photo, Renee Phifer, Rockdale County board of elections assistant director, left, demonstrates a new voting machine at a polling site to Kelly Monroe, investigator with the Georgia secretary of state office in Conyers, Ga. Last summer, a security expert came across a gaping hole in Georgia's election management system. The revelation prompted a lawsuit seeking to compel Georgia to toss all of its touchscreen voting machines and replace them with a system that provides a paper record of every ballot cast. Georgia is one of five states where no such record exists. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina trial judge is hinting he’ll probably not stop the use during Tuesday’s municipal elections of polling place software from a vendor linked to alleged Russian hacking last year.

Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway heard arguments Monday between the state elections board and VR Systems, which contracts with nearly 30 counties to provide electronic poll books.

An administrative law judge sided with the vendor last Friday in deciding the software remained approved for county use. The state appealed to Ridgeway, who said he’d rule later Monday but had concerns whether the matter was properly before him.

VR Systems software malfunctioned last November in Durham County, leading to long lines and later worries after federal officials warned Russian spies were hacking VR Systems emails and even public voting rolls.