17 August 2006

Suing for democracy in Pennsylvania

A lawsuit was filed in Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court on Tuesday which, according to an AP article, is "seeking to stop most Pennsylvania counties from using paperless electronic voting machines, saying that such systems leave no paper record that could be used in the event of a recount, audit or other problem." [Read story.]

As a Pennsylvania resident, this is very important to me. Reports that the 2000 and 2004 elections may have produced misleading results due to either rigging or malfunctioning of the machines is scary. Voting is at the core of our democratic system. If our votes are not accurately counted, and if they cannot be accurately recounted in the event of a dispute, then we're no longer a true democracy.

I doubt that many people would deposit money through an ATM if those machines didn't provide a receipt. Certainly our votes are as important as any bank deposit.

If an ATM can be programmed to spit out a receipt, so can a voting machine. We as citizens of this nation must insist on it.

Fingers crossed that this litigation succeeds in Pennsylvania and that we can get the same ball rolling in other states where it's not already happening -- and in time for this November's important elections.

To view a detailed press release by a law firm representing plaintiffs in the Pennsylvania case, along with lots of supporting documentation (all in PDF format), click here.

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