Judge to consider case against voting machines

Posted: October 26, 2004

TRENTON — A Mercer County judge will weigh arguments this afternoon from voting-rights activists who contend that electronic voting machines are unreliable and vulnerable to fraud.

Lawyers for the Constitutional Litigation Clinic at Rutgers University sued the state last week, seeking to force election officials to use old-fashioned paper ballots in the presidential election next week.

They argued that the electronic voting technology used in 15 of the state's 21 counties does not provide a printed record and therefore "cannot be relied upon to protect the fundamental right to vote."

State officials have said the electronic voting machines have been reliable in previous elections, with the only problems stemming from human error.

But Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D., Mercer), one of the individuals who brought the lawsuit, said that paper ballots should be used to double-check the accuracy of the electronic technology.

"Ronald Reagan said it best - we need to 'trust, but verify,' " Gusciora said at a news conference yesterday. "Last time the election was about the missing chad. We don't want this one to be about the missing megabyte."

The case will be heard by Assignment Judge Linda Feinberg in Superior Court in Mercer County at 1:30 p.m.

Contact staff writer Kaitlin Gurney at 609-989-7373 or kgurney@phillynews.com.

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