|Lamont McClure backs ExpressVote XL|
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.