Judge delays lawsuit over voting machines

Carlisle/West Shore

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — Cumberland County officials are preparing for April’s primary election, but certification of the county’s new voting machines is in question.

The county plans to use new Express XL touchscreen machines, also chosen for Northhampton and Philadelphia counties.

There is contention regarding the machines, however. A lawsuit preventing their use, filed by former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, is delayed in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

Stein said the use of barcodes prevents voters from verifying their choices before casting ballots. She claims the XL machine doesn’t have a paper ballot as defined by state law.

Cumberland County commissioners think otherwise.

“We’ve done our due diligence upfront,” county board of commissioners chairman Gary Eichelberger said. “We’ve done the followup that was necessitated by the questioning and we’re still very confident in these machines that they’ll do the job.”

The federal court hearing is delayed a month until Feb. 18, but no matter the outcome, Eichelberger says voters will not have a problem come Election Day.

“In our contract with ES&S, there is a provision that states that they have to provide us with a certified alternative if these machines would be withdrawn from certification,” Eichelberger said. “We are going to have an election and we are going to have certified voting machines.”

With 400 machines already in hand, the county plans to hold multiple voting machine demonstrations where people can come and figure how to use them.

The board of elections is also figuring out how to best spread the word about the machines and have simple instructions for voters at the polls.

“Anybody who wants to vote is going to have what they need to know how to use the machines,” Eichelberger said.

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