By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear oral arguments at City Hall today over the legality of a type of electronic voting machine used in Philadelphia and 49 other counties. Voter-rights advocates say the machines risk the security and verification of the ballot.
The machines are called direct recording electronic, or DRE, and with a press of a button or turn of a wheel voters can choose the next governor or congressman, with choice recorded directly into the machine’s memory. Advocates says there’s a problem.
“You can’t verify that the result at the end of the day is what was put in, because there’s no independent record of what the voters’ choices were,” says Marian Schneider, part of a team of attorneys representing two dozen plaintiffs who claim DREs violate state law
She says the paperless machines are unable to maintain physical record of each vote, as well as a statistical recount of a random sample of ballots.
“There’s no dispute, these machines can’t do that,” she said.
The Commonwealth Court has rejected several of the plaintiffs’ claims, but they’ll get a chance before the high court today. Attorneys for the Commonwealth declined to comment.