Voting machine challenge goes before Pa. Supreme Court

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 Marian Schneider represents voters in the case (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Marian Schneider represents voters in the case (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Pennsylvanians who dislike the electronic voting machines used in much of the state had their day in court on Wednesday.

 

Pennsylvanians who dislike the electronic voting machines used in Philadelphia and much of the state had their day in court Wednesday as the state Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments in the case.

Marian Schneider represents the voters who filed the suit, contending the current voting machines are flawed because they don’t directly record each vote in a way that preserves it on paper. They say that’s vital in the case of a malfunction.

“You don’t have the original record of the voter’s intent, and our position is that there are systems that are certified in Pennsylvania, optical scan systems for example, that have a voter verified paper record that you can compare to the electronic record to make sure there was not a bug or error or malicious code that created a wrong record,” she said. “That’s what you need to do.”

Representing the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the office that oversees Pennsylvania elections, attorney Steven Bizar said the current system is working well and doesn’t need to be changed.

“There’s never been an instance of tampering, there’s never been an instance of the machine causing a problem,” he said. “There’s been a couple of rare instances where the machines were operated improperly, and additional training was implemented. But the machines have worked magnificently.”

Thirteen Pennsylvania counties use optical scan machines, similar to those used for grading standardized tests, that do create a paper record.

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