In a unanimous ruling, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has denied an appeal by a group of 24 voters who asked it to bar the use of some types of electronic voting machines. At issue was whether direct-recording electronic voting systems – DREs – which do not produce simultaneous paper records as each vote is cast, violate the state Election Code and the rights of voters. The state has approved six types of DREs for use in Pennsylvania. Most, if not all, midstate counties use electronic voting systems. Pennsylvania’s highest court backed the use of DREs in a 35-page ruling issued this week by Justice Correale F. Stevens. That decision upholds a ruling Commonwealth Court issued in October 2013.
Stevens rejected arguments by the group of voters that the DREs cannot guarantee an accurate count of each vote, do not produce legally-required permanent physical records of the votes cast on them, and are not sufficiently tamper-proof.
The voters, who launched their court fight in 2006, wanted the court to order the replacement of DREs with optical scan systems or with electronic voting machines equipped with new “voter-verified paper trail technology.” Stevens told them they should take that concern to the state Legislature.