Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education

03.30 Killing Jesus: Bill O'Reilly's film is touted as history. But facts aren't sacred to him

Letters
Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

03.30 Texas city opts for 100% renewable energy – to save cash, not the planet

03.28 It's taken seven years, but California is finally cleaning up microbead pollution

03.28 Rockefeller Brothers Fund: it is our moral duty to divest from fossil fuels

03.28 Can Aqua-Spark fund the future of aquaculture?

03.28 The California drought is a problem Silicon Valley isn't helping to solve

03.27 Large fall in UK greenhouse gas emissions of over 8% last year

News Media

03.30 Joe Firestone: The New York Times Soft-Pedals the Dangers of the TPP

03.28 The Reckless Man's Case for Bombing Iran

03.27 Always Remember, the NY Times Pushed, Hard, for War in Iraq

Daily FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & Culture

03.30 Republicans see Obama as bigger threat than Putin and Assad, says poll

03.30 Apple's Tim Cook calls out 'religious freedom' laws as discriminatory

03.30 Cutting the cord: a look at the pros and cons of quitting cable [As expensive, commercial-laden shows and movies get stupider, the choice gets easier]

03.29 Fracking Town’s Desperate Laid-off Workers: ‘They Don’t Tell You It’s All a Lie’

03.29 In Vote to Expand Social Security, 42 Democratic Senators Vote Yes While Every Republican Votes No

03.29 War budget might be permanent 'slush fund'

03.29 Which Companies Are Buying the Election?

Justice Matters

03.30 The Radical Humaneness of Norway’s Halden Prison

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

03.30 Class Struggle In The USA

03.30 The GOP has spoken: The wealthy and powerful could use more help | Editorial

03.29 Elizabeth Warren Strikes Back as Citigroup Tries to Blackmail the Democratic Party

International

03.30 New Age Of Water Wars Portends ‘Bleak Future’ For The Middle East

03.30 Arab states plan joint Middle East force as Yemen conflict continues

03.30 Nigerian laureate Wole Soyinka laments ‘vicious, unprincipled’ election

03.28 Texas man who won hunting auction to be allowed to import black rhino trophy

03.28 Amazon Robot Contest May Accelerate Warehouse Automation

03.28 The Confused Person's Guide to Middle East Conflicts [an Escher-like graphic]

03.28 Portable media players give North Koreans an illicit window on the world

03.28 Saudi planes pound Yemeni capital in second night of bombing, witnesses say

03.27 Sex parties, cartels and 'significant' risks: DEA agents stung by damning report

03.27 Back from the Brink: Spain Emerges as Model for Europe

03.27 Caliphate Under Pressure: Is Islamic State in Trouble in Iraq?

03.27 How the US Government and US Military Became Murder, Inc.

03.27 South Sudan food crisis leaves people of Ganyiel desperate for a peace deal

03.27 US defends strategy in Yemen and Iraq but diplomats admit: it's a mess

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: