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How PA's election security lawsuit led to the challenge of the state's top-selling touchscreen voting machine

December 10, 2019 | Emily Previti, PA Post

Three Pennsylvania counties could end up scrambling to replace brand new voting machines before the 2020 election – a situation stemming largely from the loose terms of the 2018 legal settlement that mandates new voting machines across the state.

Plaintiffs led by former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein say one system in particular never should have been certified in the first place and are asking a federal judge to force the state to decertify it.

The ExpressVote XL doesn’t meet the agreement’s requirements for paper-based systems that produce auditable results and let voters verify ballots before they are cast, they claim.

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Stein recount campaign files motion to enforce PA settlement agreement, decertify unverifiable voting machines

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday November 26, 2019

Jill Stein for President Recount Team

Contact: Dave Schwab schwab@jill2016.com

PHILADELPHIA - Jill Stein and the 2016 recount team filed a motion today in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to enforce the settlement agreement in Stein v. Cortés by ordering the PA Department of State to immediately decertify the ES&S ExpressVote XL voting machine. 

Leading election integrity experts including Dr. J. Alex Halderman agree that the deeply flawed ExpressVote XL violates the 2018 settlement of the Stein recount lawsuit guaranteeing all Pennsylvania voters the right to voter-verifiable, auditable paper ballots by the 2020 election. Recent developments such as the ExpressVote XL’s disastrous debut in 2019 local elections underscore the urgency of decertifying and replacing these untrustworthy machines as soon as possible.

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RELEASE: Stein: If PA Continues Violating Settlement Agreement on Election Integrity, Risk-Limiting Audits are "Just a Publicity Stunt".

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday November 20, 2019

Stein: If PA continues violating settlement agreement on election integrity, Risk-Limiting Audits are “just a publicity stunt”.

Jill Stein for President Recount Team

Contact: Dave Schwab 518.610.2708 schwab@jill2016.com

Jill Stein and the 2016 recount team said today that if the state of Pennsylvania continues to violate basic election integrity principles required by the Stein v. Cortés settlement agreement, then the risk-limiting audit scheduled for November 21 in Philadelphia County will be an empty publicity stunt. The Stein recount team pointed to a report by Protect Our Vote Philly, backed by abundant evidence, showing that “Thursday’s risk-limiting audit will not be able to confirm that the election results correctly reflect the intent of the voters”. 

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Stein recount campaign demands PA protect right to paper ballots, decertify unverifiable voting machines

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2019
Jill Stein for President Recount Team
Contact: Dave Schwab 518.610.2708 schwab@jill2016.com

PHILADELPHIA - Jill Stein and the 2016 recount team announced today that they have served notice to the state of Pennsylvania that the ES&S ExpressVote XL voting machine, recently recertified by the state, violates the terms of the settlement agreement in Stein v. Cortés. This 2018 settlement of the Stein recount lawsuit guarantees all Pennsylvania voters the right to voter-verifiable, auditable paper ballots by the 2020 election. Against public outcry and expert warnings, Philadelphia County has decided to purchase ExpressVote XL machines for use by all voters. The state has 30 days to respond, after which the plaintiffs can ask the federal court that brokered the agreement to enforce it.

“The ES&S ExpressVote XL violates our agreement in several ways and should never have been certified,” said Stein. “Instead of paper ballots, they use ‘summary cards’ that are difficult for voters to verify, research shows. Even if voters do verify the written text, what counts as your vote is not the text but printed barcodes, making it impossible to verify your actual vote. The state of Colorado recently banned barcodes for counting votes for the common-sense reason that humans can’t read barcodes. Even more troubling, these machines can be programmed to change your ballot after you submit it, meaning there’s no reliable paper record and no way to verify the election results through auditing.”

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11,000 Votes May Be Missing in Florida Congressional Race

November 13, 2018 | Truthout

Counties across Florida are currently under intense pressure and scrutiny as they race to complete the unprecedented task of three simultaneous statewide recounts. According to a schedule provided to Truthout by the Florida Fair Elections Coalition (FFEC), the deadline for finishing machine recounts and submitting those second unofficial results is Thursday, November 15, at 3 pm. Races that are close enough to require what is being described as a “manual” recount — where a limited number of ballots are counted by hand — must submit official returns Friday, November 16, by noon. Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher has already stated that her county will be unable to meet the deadline, calling it “impossible.” The statewide races where recounts are required are for governor, agricultural commissioner and Senate, where current Gov. Rick Scott maintains a razor-thin lead of 12,562 votes in his attempt to take a Senate seat away from his rival Democrat incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson. That lead is now less than the mysterious 25,000 undervote that was reported previously in the race.

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Voting Problems Surface as Americans Go to the Polls

November 6, 2018 | New York Times

From closed polling sites to malfunctioning machines, Election Day brought frustration for some voters in contests shadowed by questions about the security and fairness of the electoral system.

In Gwinnett County, Ga., four precincts — out of 156 — suffered prolonged technical delays, while some voting machines in South Carolina lacked power or the devices needed to activate them. There was also some confusion in Allegheny County, Pa., which includes Pittsburgh, where at least four polling places were changed in the last two days.

Voters who went to a polling place in Chandler, Ariz., a Phoenix suburb, found the doors locked and a legal notice announcing that the building had been closed overnight for failure to pay rent. (Officials later reopened the location.) In Houston, a worker was removed from a polling site and faced an assault charge amid a racially charged dispute with a voter, The Houston Chronicle reported.

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Election Day issues: Foreclosure, technology glitches, running out of ballots

November 6, 2018 | Arizona Republic

Computer shutdowns, printing problems and long lines plagued voters at polling stations across Maricopa County on Tuesday.

Complaints spiked around noon, with some voters saying they were turned away from multiple polling stations and forced to cast provisional ballots if they wanted to vote at all.

Election officials, who were flustered as computers systems malfunctioned and electronic backups failed, surmounted many of the issues by the afternoon. They avoided a repeat of the widespread turmoil experienced in August's primary election.

As the polls closed, complaints had ebbed. But there were still long lines at some polling stations, including one at Arizona State University in Tempe where people expected to be waiting until 11 pm. 

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NYC purged 200,000 voters in 2016. It wasn’t a mistake.

November 6, 2018 | City & State New York

In anticipation of voting in the April 19, 2016, presidential primary in New York, Kathleen Menegozzi checked her registration online. The Brooklyn resident, a registered Democrat since 2008, learned three weeks before the election that she had been struck from the rolls. Another Brooklyn Democrat, Casey James Diskin, who first joined the party in 2012, discovered five days before the primary that he was not registered at all.

In Manhattan, Michael Hubbard, a Democrat since 2015, checked his status online 17 days before planning to vote, only to find that he too was no longer registered. Meanwhile, in Queens, Benjamin Leo Gersh, who also had been a registered Democrat since 2015, checked on his voter status, and saw two weeks before the primary that he too had been purged.

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Broken machines, rejected ballots and long lines: voting problems emerge as Americans go to the polls.

November 6, 2018 | Washington Post

Civil rights groups and election officials fielded thousands of reports of voting irregularities across the country Tuesday, with voters complaining of broken machines, long lines and untrained poll workers improperly challenging Americans’ right to vote.

The loudest of those complaints came from Georgia, where issues of race, ballot access and election fairness have fueled an acrimonious governor’s contest between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp. Abrams, a former state lawmaker, would be the nation’s first black female governor, while Kemp, the secretary of state, who oversees elections, has faced accusations of trying to suppress the minority vote.

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Voting Machines: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

November 5, 2018 | New York Review of Books

Since the 2016 election, there has been a good deal of commentary and reporting about the threats to American democracy from, on the one hand, Russian interference by Facebook and Twitterbot-distributed propaganda, and on the other, voter ID laws and other partisan voter suppression measures such as electoral roll purges. Both of these concerns are real and urgent, but there is a third, yet more sinister threat to the integrity of the November 6 elections: the vulnerability of the voting machines themselves. This potential weakness is critical because the entire system of our democracy depends on public trust—the belief that, however divided the country is and fiercely contested elections are, the result has integrity. Nothing is more insidious and corrosive than the idea that the tally of votes itself could be unreliable and exposed to fraud. 

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