Voters, Voter Action: Win In Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Voter Action Press Release <read>

PENNSYLVANIA STATE SUPREME COURT ALLOWS VOTING RIGHTS CASE TO PROCEED

Dec 18 2008 | State’s Highest Court Denies Pennsylvania Secretary of State Permission to Appeal Lower Court Ruling in Voters’ Favor Case Challenging the Use of Electronic Voting Machines Now Moves Toward Trial PHILADELPHIA, PA – Pennsylvania voters challenging the continued use of unverifiable electronic voting machines in their state won another major round on Tuesday when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a ruling allowing their case to proceed toward trial. The state’s highest court, in a one-sentence order, denied the Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s petition seeking permission to appeal a lower court ruling decided in the voters’ favor. In April 2007, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania had ruled that voters have a right under the Pennsylvania Constitution to reliable and secure voting systems and can challenge the use of electronic voting machines “that provide no way for Electors to know whether their votes will be recognized” through voter verification or independent audit…

“Across the country, states are realizing that electronic voting systems cannot be trusted,” says Michael Churchill, senior counsel with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and another lawyer for the voters in this case. “Like voters in other states, Pennsylvania voters have a right to a voting system which will properly count their votes.

I am not a lawyer ,but to me, this is an important decision and precident.  If this decision holds,  it would presumably mean that Pennsylvaina voters are entitled to a lot more than reviewing the source code of DRE voting systems.  Voting systems include the entire process of voting, not just the electronic systems.  If  systems  “that provide no way for Electors to know whether their votes will be recognized” are unacceptable, then systems with inadequate audits with no way for citizens to verify their paper ballots were counted accurtely would also seem to be inadequate.  Of course this would only apply to Pennsylvania, and be most valuable as a precedent to citizens of other states depending on the language in their constitutions vs. Pennsylvania’s.

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