The commonwealth of Pennsylvania was hit with a lawsuit on Tuesday filed by voter advocates that attempts to halt the state’s usage of paperless electronic voting machines because they leave no paper trail and therefore no record that would likely be needed in the event of a recount or audit, the Associated Press reports via WashingtonPost.com.
The suit says Pennsylvania violated its state election code and constitution when it certified and used paperless e-voting machines, and it requests that the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court revoke certification of the machines employed in more than 85 percent of the state’s 67 counties, according to the AP. The remaining counties employ scanning machines to read paper ballots on which citizens fill in circles to vote, the AP reports, and the suit seeks to make the entire state use the optical scanning systems.
Voters in New Mexico were forced to use the optical scanning system during a vote earlier this year due to similar legal action, and related suits over the use of e-voting machines have been filed in California, Colorado and Arizona, according to the AP.
State representatives defended the machines, saying they’ve been adequately vetted, and they noted the systems worked relatively well during the May 2006 primary, in which Pennsylvania residents in every county save one employed either touch screens or optical scanning machines to vote, the AP reports.
Leslie Amoros, Department of State spokesperson, told the AP that every electronic system in use is state certified and can produce virtual votes based on digital images.
The parties that filed the suit claim that votes have been lost on multiple occasions using e-voting machines, including during the May 2005 and May 2006 primaries, and some complications could still be passing under the radar, the AP reports.
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