Court Order for NAACP v Cortesposted on: Jan 29 2009
Delays caused by voting-machine breakdowns on Tuesday could unduly burden citizens and deprive them of their right to vote, Chief Judge Harvey Bartle III ruled.
"The evidence, not surprisingly, demonstrated that DRE [direct-recording electronic] voting machines, like all other machines, sometimes fail. When that happens, time is of the essence," Bartle wrote in a 28-page ruling. "The polls are open for one day and one day only and then for only 13 hours. There is no rain date."
The lawsuit followed numerous reports during Pennsylvania’s April primary of long lines when electronic voting machines became inoperable at their polling sites. Voters called national election protection hotlines on primary day, including 866-MYVOTE1, reporting that election officials were not providing emergency paper ballots when voting machines malfunctioned. Callers stated
Anticipating high voter turnout and a repeat of equipment problems that caused delays during Pennsylvania's April primary, a federal judge late Wednesday ordered the state's polling places to offer emergency paper ballots when half the voting machines at a polling place don't work.
During the presidential primary, voters in various Pennsylvania counties reported leaving polling sites without voting or enduring hours-long waits when machines failed. Their experiences were recounted as part of a case filed by the Pennsylvania conference of the NAACP and other voting rights groups against Pedro A. Cortes, Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth.
A federal judge has ruled that Pennsylvania must make emergency paper ballots available to voters on Election Day if 50 percent or more of voting machines fail.
"Even in the best of circumstances, voters can expect and must tolerate more delay than usual on November 4," Judge Harvey Bartle III of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, wrote.View Entire Article Here