Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education

02.27 How to Make College Cheaper

Letters
Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

02.28 Prince William will take plight of Africa's elephants 'behind enemy lines' in China

02.26 Shell shelves plan for tar sands project in face of low oil prices

02.25 Obama blocks Republicans' Keystone pipeline bill in rare veto

02.25 Driverless big rigs: new technologies aim to make trucking greener and safer

02.25 Lester Brown: 'Vast dust bowls threaten tens of millions with hunger'

News Media

02.27 CBS Has Released the Falklands Protest Footage Bill O'Reilly Asked For. It Doesn't Support His Claims. [13:41 video]

02.26 America’s cult of the newscaster-hero has swallowed itself

Daily FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & Culture

02.28 Eight dead in Missouri shooting rampage at multiple crime scenes, police say

02.28 Texas school on lockdown after spate of apparently random shootings

02.28 Gun-rights advocates fight Obama over ban on 'military-grade' AR-15 bullets

02.27 SPIEGEL Interview with Naomi Klein: 'The Economic System We Have Created Global Warming'

02.27 The Warming World: Is Capitalism Destroying Our Planet?

02.27 DC legalises recreational marijuana despite GOP opposition in Congress

02.26 This Billionaire Governor Taxed the Rich and Increased the Minimum Wage -- Now, His State's Economy Is One of the Best in the Country

02.26 As Shutdown Nears, McConnell and Boehner Remain Far Apart

02.26 DHS shutdown: Boehner says House in 'wait-and-see mode' as deadline looms

02.26 Warren and Cummings on MSNBC's Morning Joe [9:26 video]

Justice Matters

02.28 Truth and reconciliation is coming to America from the grassroots

02.27 Watch John Oliver Tackle One Of the Biggest—And Least Talked About—Problems in US Politics [13:26 video]

02.26 Rape in the American Prison

02.26 Can Bipartisanship End Mass Incarceration?

High Crimes?

02.27 Aid agencies sound alarm on Gaza amid fears rebuilding could take a century

02.25 Syria has used barrel bombs in hundreds of locations, says rights group

Economics, Crony Capitalism

02.28 Giving Obama fits: The Elizabeth Warren way

02.25 Net neutrality: Republicans to strike back against Obama's 'internet grab'

International

02.28 What We Still Need To Learn From Spock's Utopianism

02.28 World leaders condemn muder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov

02.27 A Partial Accounting of the Damage Netanyahu Is Doing to Israel

02.27 The Human Stain

02.27 The Increasing Harassment of Jews Around the World [600 comments]

02.27 An Anti-ISIS Summit in Mecca

02.27 China 'aggressively' expanding into South China Sea says US

02.26 Saudis Said to Aid Israeli Plan to Bomb Iran

02.26 Emma Thompson and Greg Wise in tax boycott over HSBC scandal

02.26 3D-printed cities: is this the future?

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: