When people in several North Carolina precincts showed up to vote last November, weird things started to happen with the electronic systems used to check them in.
"Voters were going in and being told that they had already voted — and they hadn't," recalls Allison Riggs, an attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.
The electronic systems — known as poll books — also indicated that some voters had to show identification, even though they did not.
Investigators later discovered the company that provided those poll books had been the target of a Russian cyberattack.
There is no evidence the two incidents are linked, but the episode has revealed serious gaps in U.S. efforts to secure elections. Nine months later, officials are still trying to sort out the details.
It all began shortly after polls opened at 6:30 a.m. on Election Day in Durham County. North Carolina was a key battleground state in a presidential race in which Russian interference was already a huge concern.
Riggs was working at a nonpartisan voter hotline at the time and says the complaints poured in. Alarmed, she contacted election officials to find out what was going on.
"We had roughly six precincts call and report computer-related issues," says Durham County Elections Director Derek Bowens. He says the problems were confined to a few laptops that the county used to run the poll book software.