Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education

01.26 The Talking Cure

Letters
Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

01.31 Ebola outbreak: Virus mutating, scientists warn

01.31 How China's Filthy Air Is Screwing With Our Weather [1:24 video]

01.31 What a waste: study finds big US brands stuck on disposable packaging

01.31 Climate change is lifting Iceland – and it could mean more volcanic eruptions

01.29 US Senate refuses to accept humanity's role in global climate change, again

01.29 White House unveils plan to open Atlantic waters to offshore oil drilling

01.29 The Sheldon Silver Medical Connection: None Dare Call It Health Care Corruption

01.28 When you wish upon a star: nuclear fusion and the promise of a brighter tomorrow

01.28 Global warming spells disaster for tropical Andes glaciers

01.28 Beijing smog makes city ‘unliveable’, says mayor

News Media

Daily FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & Culture

01.31 Sarah Palin speech inadvertently raises $50,000 for Hillary Clinton

01.30 Bernie Sanders wants to spend $1 trillion on infrastruture

01.30 An Attorney General by Any Other Name

01.30 Americans Believe in Science, Just Not Its Findings

01.30 Pro-gun activists turn on Texan politicians over open carry issue

01.29 Joint Chiefs Warn Against Sequestration, Again

01.27 Koch brothers set $889m budget for 2016 presidential election

Justice Matters

01.30 Will the Obama administration finally bring the CIA's torturers to justice?

01.26 The war on leaks has gone way too far when journalists' emails are under surveillance

High Crimes?

01.30 Opinion: The Myth of Humane Killing

Economics, Crony Capitalism

01.31 Five years into recovery, Dow companies squeeze workers as investors thrive

01.30 Wal-Mart’s manufacturing recovery?

01.30 Draghi's Dangerous Bet: The Perils of a Weak Euro

01.30 The World's Next Mortgage Crisis?

01.29 How More and More U.S. Corporate Profits Escape the Corporate Income Tax

International

01.31 The Purpose of Silicon Valley

01.31 Merkel's Unintended Creation: Could Tsipras' Win Upset Balance of Power in Europe?

01.31 The Typical Millennial Is $2,000 Poorer Than His Parents at This Age [maps]

01.31 The urbanist's guide to the world

01.31 Thousands expected at rally for Spanish anti-austerity party

01.30 Ghost Ships: Turkey Becomes Springboard for Syrians Heading to Europe

01.30 Bill Gates on dangers of artificial intelligence: ‘I don’t understand why some people are not concerned’

01.30 Never mind growth, Davos delegates – how about a World Development Forum?

01.30 ‘We are so proud' – the women who died defending Kobani against Isis

01.30 'Doubt everything' – Ukrainian students' warning to Russian counterparts

01.29 Afghans live in peril among unexploded Nato bombs that litter countryside

01.29 Germans Are In Shock As New Greek Leader Starts With A Bang

01.29 Global Cyber Defense Demand Will Exceed Capability for Years To Come

01.29 Our Overreaction to Terrorist Attacks Like Paris Is Only Making Things Worse [videos]

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Voting Systems Lawsuit Reaches U.S. Supreme Court

NATIONAL NEWS:

Voting Systems Lawsuit Reaches U.S. Supreme Court

SOURCE: Lynn Landes of ecotalk.org
It's clear to me that without direct access to a physical ballot and meaningful transparency in the [voting] process, our elections have no integrity whatsoever," says plaintiff Lynn Landis.
A little-noticed voting rights lawsuit has made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court (Docket No. 05-930). It constitutes the first legal challenge to the widespread use of nontransparent voting systems. Specifically, the lawsuit challenges the use of voting machines and absentee voting in elections for public office.

The lawsuit was originally filed by freelance journalist Lynn Landes in July of 2004 in Philadelphia federal court (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Landes on November 2, 2005.

In her lawsuit Landes claims that, as a voter and a journalist, she has the right to direct access to a physical ballot and to observe the voting process unimpeded. Voting by machine or absentee, Landes claims, introduces obstacles and concealment to a process that must be accessible and transparent in a meaningful and effective manner.

Landes is representing herself in this action.

"I tried to get civil rights organizations interested in this case, but had no luck," said Landes in a prepared statement to the press. "Their disregard for this issue is incredible. It's clear to me that without direct access to a physical ballot and meaningful transparency in the process, our elections have no integrity whatsoever."

The defendants in the Landes lawsuit are Margaret Tartaglione, Chair of the City Commissioners of Philadelphia; Pedro A. Cortes, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States.

Attorneys for the defendants have successfully fought Landes, claiming that she did not prove an injury and therefore does not have standing. Landes counters that she has the right to challenge the constitutionality of acts of the legislative branch under federal statute and case law, most significantly under Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).

It was only after the Civil War, as the elective franchise expanded to minorities and women, that three changes to state and federal election laws were adopted that eventually made the voting process a private and nontransparent enterprise.

Prior to the Civil War, voting was a public and transparent process. It was only after the war, as the elective franchise expanded to minorities and women, three changes to state and federal election laws were adopted that eventually made the voting process a private and nontransparent enterprise: absentee voting was allowed (1870's), the Australian secret ballot method was adopted (1880's), and voting machines were permitted by Congress (1899).

Today, 94.6% of all votes are processed by machines and approximately 30% of all voting is conducted early or by absentee.

The defendants' response is due at the Supreme Court no later than February 24, 2006.


The Landes lawsuit can be found here. (If a password is required to see the document, type in anything and you should get in anyway.)

The case docket no. can be viewed here.



Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on February 6, 2006.

 


Public Service Ads: