Voting devices for blind get court OK - East Valley Tribune: News

Voting devices for blind get court OK

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Posted: Wednesday, July 26, 2006 12:13 pm | Updated: 4:39 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Arizona counties won’t have to get rid of touch-screen voting machines they are purchasing for the blind and disabled.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge late Monday threw out claims by four individuals who charged that these machines, manufactured by Diebold Elections Systems and Sequoia Voting Systems, are not reliable. The lawsuit said they are not secure and can be “hacked.”

But Judge Barry Schneider refused to even let the case go to trial, saying it wasn’t his job to decide which machines are usable in Arizona. “In effect, (the) plaintiffs are asking this court to substitute its opinion for those experts and others who have participated in the process,” Schneider wrote.

But attorney Michael Liburdi said Schneider was missing the point.

He said the issue was not whether the process of selecting Diebold and Sequoia machines was fair but whether they can produce accurate — and verifiable — results. Liburdi said an appeal is being considered.

The lawsuit was one of several filed across the nation with the help of Voter Action, which describes itself as a nonprofit group seeking to ensure “election integrity.”

Most Arizona voters will continue to use paper ballot machines that can be reviewed and verified. But federal law also requires that each polling place have machines accessible for visually and mobility impaired voters.

Secretary of State Jan Brewer allowed counties to purchase these machines from three companies: Diebold, Sequoia and Election Systems & Software.

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