A federal judge will decide whether to toss out a lawsuit asking for federal oversight of South Carolina’s purchase of new voting machines, at a cost of up to $60 million. After a nearly two-hour hearing in Columbia, U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs said she would make a decision within 10 days. Childs could dismiss the lawsuit, which asks for a court order requiring the S.C. Election Commission to buy new, high-security voting machines. Or she could let the suit proceed. During Tuesday’s hearing, S.C. Assistant Attorney General Wesley Vorberger, representing the S.C. Election Commission, told Childs the lawsuit is unnecessary. The Election Commission, he said, already is seeking bids for new hacker-resistant voting machines for use in the 2020 election.
“We believe the case is moot because of this,” Vorberger told the judge, saying the two South Carolinians who sued the Election Commission last summer — demanding new, more secure voting machines — no longer have an issue because new machines will be purchased.
Last summer, former state Sen. Phil Leventis, D-Sumter, and Mount Pleasant businessman Frank Heindel sued the Election Commission and its executive director, Marci Andino.