Court throws out judgment on voting machines

AP News
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Posted: Oct 03, 2011 12:33 PM
Court throws out judgment on voting machines

The Supreme Court has thrown out a ruling on the use of a certain electronic voting machine in Texas.

The high court without comment declared moot an appeal of a ruling against Dallas County, Texas. That county was sued by the Texas Democratic Party over the use of iVotronic machines.

They allow people to vote straight-party tickets, but if the voter subsequently touches any of the candidates in that party on the screen, their vote for that person is rescinded.

Officials say the Justice Department approved the machines, but federal courts in Texas say the straight-line voting change was not explicitly approved. Chad Dunn, the lawyer for the Texas Democratic Party, said now the county must get preclearance from the Justice Department before using the machines.

The high court declared the case against the machines moot since the Justice Department has now cleared the machines, and ordered another part back to court to decide a fight over attorney fees.

Before machines, Dallas County used paper ballots. If a voter selected a straight ticket, and that party's candidate, his or her vote for that candidate would count.

The cases are Dallas County v Texas Democratic Party, 10-755 and 10-1183.