Friday, May 01, 2020

Federal Court Rejects Challenge to Voting Machines Used in NorCo

Lamont McClure backs ExpressVote XL
In 2016, Jill Stein failed as the Green Party's candidate for President. In Pennsylvania, she garnered 49,485 votes, less than one percent. Now she's failed in a federal lawsuit demanding that the ExpressVote XL voting system be scrapped. That just happens to be the one used in Northampton County.

In a scathing opinion, District Court Judge Paul Diamond on April 29 rejected all arguments in her "pointless" "eleventh-hour" motion that "would have disenfranchised some six million Pennsylvania voters." Of the ExpressVote XL, Judge Diamond noted "[t]he machine is reliable and easy to use. It is a hybrid device, combining ballot-marking and tabulating/scanning functionalities within a single system." He rejected the "daft theories" advanced by her so-called expert, noting they undermine public confidence in our voting system. His final conclusion is that Stein based her motion on "absolutely nothing." He quoted from a voting machine expert who said Stein's allegations are "as likely as the fact that androids from outer space are living amongst us and passing as humans.”

Judge had previously gutted most of Stein's suit because she presented "no authority recognizing a right to have one’s vote verified through any procedure," let alone paper ballots. He added her fear of vote tampering in “borders on the irrational.”

Though her lawsuit was on life support, Governor Tom Wolf nevertheless settled. He commanded all 67 counties, in a late 2018 unfunded mandate, to acquire voting systems that include voter-verifiable paper ballots. What's more, they had to be in place in time for the 2020 presidential election. No consideration was given to the logistics of such a demand or the financial burden it imposed on counties.

The ExpresVote XL was the choice of the vast majority of about 30 election judges who viewed four different systems. It was the choice of Northampton County's Election Commission, who recommended it to Northampton County Council by a 3-2 vote on March 6, following a contentious meeting pitting election judges against paper ballot purists.

Arguing in favor of The ExpressVote XL was GOP Chair Lee Snover. "We're not a third world country," she asserted. "We have technology for a reason. I don't want anyone determining the intent of my vote except for me and the machine."

Before accepting this recommendation, Northampton County Council waited to see how the system performed in Delaware's primary. Council finally approved the purchase on May 16 after the system received a glowing recommendation from Delaware election officials.

Numerous election judges and poll workers spoke in support of the new system. They argued it would be familiar to voters and present none of the privacy concerns or multiple lines that would accompany paper ballots.

In addition to election judges, Elections Commissioner Maude Hornick said she supported ExpressVote XL because she wants no election official to decide how she intended to vote.

Trudy Fatzinger, Secretary of Pennsylvania Council for the Blind, reported that ExpressVote XL is handicapped-friendly. This was a selling point to Executive Lamont McClure, who observed that 25% of Pennsylvania's registered voters have some form of disability.

The sole dissenter was Robert Werner, who argued that because an old touchscreen voting machine could be reversed engineered, it necessarily follows that the ExpressVote XL would be vulnerable, too. This is what is known in logic class as a fallacy.

Like Stein, Werner has sued, too. His lawsuit is in Commonwealth Court, where lawyers for the state are seeking delay because of Covid-19. Based on Judge Diamond's ruling, it appears there's no need to worry about getting a new system.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Werner is as relevant as the late Bob Freeman.

Anonymous said...

“baseless and irrational,”

“are approximately as likely as the fact that androids from outer space are living amongst us and passing as humans.”

“Daft theories"& "pointless Motion.”

I just thought the machines were hard to use, but this language general reserved for
conspiracy theorists actually makes me more suspect of the machines integrity than the Stein lawsuit. It's a little over the top.

"very difficult, if not impossible” to replace the voting machines in time for the November general election."

Really? This is a credible statement in light of the industrial mobilization to the Covid-19 response? To bad we can't vote on a ventilators.

Anonymous said...

This paragraph should disappoint every American -

Judge had previously gutted most of Stein's suit because she presented "no authority recognizing a right to have one’s vote verified through any procedure," let alone paper ballots. He added her fear of vote tampering in “borders on the irrational.”

Taken to the extreme, is this no different than to say “ You are getting a final vote total, so just keep your stupid mouth shut! “

Anonymous said...

"as likely as the fact that androids from outer space are living amongst us and passing as humans.”


exactly what Werner wants us to think

Anonymous said...

Yes and BOTH Hornik and her sister Snover now dont trust the machines and it has nothing to do with aliens. The judge didnt look very closely. If he had he would have noticed the poorly designed paper viewing window and the poorly designed "touch" of the screen. But hell, maybe we'll go to all mail-in and the county will be sitting with 3 million dollars worth of useless junk eventually.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Judge Diamond's opinion is 41 pages long and follows a hearing, voluminous briefs and lengthy exhibits. The lawsuit was frivolous, which tells me the lawsuit in Commonwealth Ct is just as spurious. The sole witness produced by Stein's condescending know-it-alls was found to have no credibility. Zero. He even contradicted himself on the stand.

I saw these citizens for better elections at several meetings. They accused council of refusing to do its homework on several occasions even though council was probably more familiar with the different systems than these elitists. For these folks, it was an emotional, and not a logical, issue.

Hornick and Snover both endorsed the machines, and were reacting to the debacle in November, when 30% of the machines we used had been improperly aligned. No doubt part of their objection now is political. That error has been fixed. Moreover, I strongly encourage you to vote by mail so you don't have to worry about machines you distrust.

Anonymous said...

8:48AM

You did it, so it can be done...an argument can be made in favor of the vote calculators provided by the Nebraska hedge fund owners, without the ridiculous language the Judge chose to use.

The statement the judge thought quotable from the unnamed so called expert witness is so outlandish it makes the Stein lawsuit appear to have merit, and makes the Judge look foolish for even considering a witness with space alien androids as human infiltrators analogies as testimony. This witness sounds like he should be held over on a 302, not quoted.

"I strongly encourage you to vote by mail so you don't have to worry about machines you distrust."

Bravo! You even provide a reasonable voting alternative.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The judge's language was entirely appropriate. Stein's sole witness had no credibility and even contradicted himself. But then again, so did her lawyers. They went back and forth on what relief they were seeking. It was a frivolous lawsuit. The state lawsuit, based on the same theory, will suffer the same fate.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, why are you afraid to discuss YOUR elitism?

Anonymous said...

Judges and politicians = "legalized criminals". What did anyone think would happen here? Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this the law suit that our esteemed Mr Bob Warner joined in? Along with Deb Hunter and Matt Munci in the background egging the Warner's on?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bob Werner and his wife Sandy. If Deb Hunter wanted to be involved, I think she has enough personal integrity that she would have joined in. Matt Munsey, however, is a slithering snake. He tries to hide his fingerprints, but he certainly is a moving force behind that frivolous lawsuit.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie, why are you afraid to discuss YOUR elitism"

Who's afraid? In addition to being incredibly handsome, I have the mind of an Einstein. I'm a very stable genius. But I happen to be very humble.

Anonymous said...

If that's sarcasm, it won't get you out of this; you're just projecting your insecurity. If you're being sincere, then you're just a hypocrite.

Which is it?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm projecting something elitists like you lack - humor. You all take yourselves way too seriously.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Deleted two comments from the paper ballot purists. In addition to being elitist, they are sore losers.

Anonymous said...

You're lying. At least one of the deleted comments had to do solely with your name-calling, not ballots. You need to reconsider your lofty opinion of yourself.