Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law Litigation

Taylor v. Onorato

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(page last updated November 1, 2007 at 1:45 PM)

Case Information

All Courts: U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania (Case 2:06-cv-00481-GLL)
Topic(s): Voting Technology
State: Pennsylvania
Date Filed: April 12, 2006
Date Ended: June 5, 2006

Status: Voluntarily dismissed by plaintiffs 6/5/06


In this case Plaintiffs, registered voters in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and People for the American Way, are seeking an injunction to prevent the use of new voting equipment in the May 16, 2006 election. Plaintiffs allege that this new voting technology: (1) can not be accessed by people with disabilities; (2) has failed repeatedly in other jurisdictions; and, (3) does not provide an effective manner for monitoring the accuracy of the recorded votes. Plaintiffs further claim that there is not sufficient time to educate voters and election officials in the new technology involved, leading to machine breakdowns and set-up errors. Aside from these problems, only one machine will be available per polling place, each able to be used for a maximum of 300 voters. As Allegheny County has approximately 877,000 voters in 1,314 voting districts, the county will be required to use paper ballots and an optical-scan voting system as a back-up; Plaintiffs allege that this back-up system is also inaccessible to voters with disabilities and will require election officials and voters to deal with an additional new voting systems with which they are not properly trained.

Plaintiffs state that election officials were aware of these deficiencies, and have made public comments to the fact. Still, the technology was adopted allegedly due to threats from the Department of Justice regarding the need to return approximately $12.0 million dollars should new technology not be adopted in time for the May election. Accordingly, Plaintiffs seek an injunction preventing Defendants from purchasing and implementing the new technology, as well as an injunction against the Department of Justice to prevent litigation or the threat of litigation for failing to implement new technology by the May 16, 2006 election.

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