Friday, September 29, 2006

Democrats Challenge Voting Machine Security

The controversy over the security of electronic voting machines is once again in the spotlight as the Tarrant County Democratic Party prepares to file a federal lawsuit over the right of voters to have a verifiable paper trail in the coming fall elections. As the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports:

Local party Chairman Art Brender asked Secretary of State Roger Williams several weeks ago to overrule a decision by his deputy and allow Tarrant County election officials to provide a backup paper system to its new electronic voting machines.

"I think it is essential that we provide the people of Tarrant County assurance that their vote will be counted," Brender said.

Brender said that if he does not have a response by early next week -- or if his request is rejected -- he will file a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of one or more local voters alleging that the secretary of state's office is in violation of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which he said requires that a voting system produce a "permanent paper record."

Brender said he would also seek to have the Texas voting system declared unconstitutional as a violation of the equal protection clause. In the case stemming from the 2000 presidential election, the U.S. Supreme Court found it was unconstitutional for different jurisdictions to use different methods to recount votes.

Brender said some Texas counties use paper ballots while others use electronic machines without a verifiable paper trail, making a standardized recount impossible statewide.

Residents have cause to be concerned after a preliminary count in the March primary overstated votes by 100,000 (see previous post Tarrant County: One of the Worst Places to Vote in America.)

1 comment:

Bradley Bowen said...

Good for them for standing up for Tarrant County voters!