16 July 2004

Court Upholds Calif. E-voting Ban

Advocates for the disabled claimed it was discriminatory

News Story by Dan Verton

JULY 12, 2004 (COMPUTERWORLD) - A federal judge last week upheld a California directive that decertified touch-screen voting machines and withheld future certification until vendors of those systems can meet specific security requirements.

The decision arose from a lawsuit, Benavidez v. Shelley, brought by disability rights advocates and four California counties that oppose California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley's requirement for voter-verifiable paper audit trails. The counties also oppose Shelley's order to decertify direct-recording equipment (DRE) voting systems.

The plaintiffs argued that banning the systems would disenfranchise visually or physically impaired voters.

In an order issued by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Judge Florence-Marie Cooper wrote that "the evidence does not support the conclusion that the elimination of the DREs would have a discriminatory effect on the visually or manually impaired."


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