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A team of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney attorneys including Shawn Gallagher, Robert Fitzgerald, David Schumacher and Cheri Pearce were noted in a Law360 article for securing a unanimous Pennsylvania Supreme Court Opinion that Pennsylvania’s direct recording electronic voting systems satisfy the requirements for safety, accuracy and security set forth in the Election Code. The Court also held that the use of the voting systems does not violate anyone’s fundamental right to vote.

The challenging parties – a group of 24 voters – filed suit in Commonwealth Court in 2006 and asserted that six voting systems failed to comply with state law requiring that electronic voting systems should produce a permanent record of each vote cast, reports Law360. The Buchanan team explained that each of the voting systems at issue had been thoroughly examined by federal and state experts and that the systems had been certified as having all the required capabilities. Moreover, the teams noted that no voting system is immune from manipulation or cheating, but the electronic systems are, if anything, especially safe as no recorded instance of fraud or vote loss had been reported in using such systems.

Law360 reported that the Commonwealth Court rejected the challenging parties’ suit in October 2013. On appeal on February 17, 2015, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed.

“Appellants cannot point to any provision in the Election Code requiring an electronic voting system to print a paper ballot for each individual voter to view,” the Opinion said. “The Legislature’s selection of the phrase ‘provide for’ is consistent with the Commonwealth Court’s interpretation requiring DRE’s to have the ability to generate or supply the required records on demand.”

The Opinion also states: “We agree with the Commonwealth Court’s finding that the mere possibility of error cannot bar the use of a voting system, as the unfortunate reality is that the possibility of electoral fraud can never be completely eliminated, no matter which type of ballot is used.”

Read the full article – “Pa. Supreme Court OKs Electronic Voting Machines” (Law360, February 18, 2015) Subscription required.