Gives the State Eight Days To Find An Alternative To Touch-Screen Voting Machines
Ruling in Holt's Home State Disallows the Very Voting Machines His Federal Bill Would Institutionalize!
By John Gideon on 9/5/2007, 12:22pm PT  

Just announced this morning and reported by The New Jersey Star-Ledger is the news that a state judge has given the state Attorney General eight days to report an alternate means of voting to the state's 10,000 touch-screen machines.

The ruling undoubtedly comes as an embarrassment to Congressman Rush Holt of New Jersey, who has been championing an Election Reform bill in the U.S. House that would allow for the very voting systems the judge in his own state has now disallowed.

New Jersey law requires that all voting machines used in the state must provide a voter verified paper audit trail (vvpat) as of January 1, 2008. A group of voters went to court and questioned whether any vvpat printers could work properly when added to the state's voting systems. The court agreed to require that the printers be tested.

Testing was accomplished by New Jersey Institute of Technology on printers provided by the voting machine vendors to be used on the state's Sequoia AVC Advantage, Sequoia AVC Edge, and the Avante Vote-Trakker. All of the test printers failed the state tests.

The test results were provided to the court, which then told the state Attorney General to report back on September 5 with an alternate plan.

Instead of returning with an alternate plan the state told the judge that they had been busy with plans to retest the printers, which would take another six weeks. The judge, however, has instead given the state eight days to return with an alternate solution --- not enough time for such a retest. The judge stated, when issuing the order, that "This is a crisis."

That New Jersey will be disallowing the use of touch-screen voting systems comes at an ironic moment for Congressman Holt as he champions his Election Reform Bill (HR 811) in the U.S. House. Given the judge's ruling, the touch-screen systems Holt's bill would allow would now be disallowed in his own home state.

According to the Star-Ledger...

"It's time to take a different direction," said Rutgers Law professor Penny Venetis, representing the activists. She said scanners will cost far less than the $40 million per election she estimates it would cost for printers.

She said computer scientists have offered free software for the scanners.

Why is it that a judge in New Jersey can know that adding a vvpat printer to a touch-screen voting machine is an excercise in pointlessness while some in the Election Integrity community, those supporting Holt's bill, think it's a solution to all of our problems?

And all of this is happening right under Holt's nose. Open your eyes Congressman.