October 29th, 2008
07:35 PM ET
13 years ago

Judge: PA must have paper ballots ready if half of machines fail

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Pennsylvania must have paper ballots available for its voters if half the machines at a polling place break down, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

The state wanted paper ballots mandatory only if all the machines in a polling place failed.

"Emergency back-up paper ballots shall be used thereafter until the county board of elections is able to make the necessary repairs to the machine(s) or is able to place into operation," Judge Harvey Bartle ruled.

The state will not appeal the decision. In a statement, Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes said the state will work with counties to ensure emergency ballots are used consistently, and that there is a sufficient supply.

soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. linda from South Dakota

    well, lets have a positive comment here,, i think its great that they are having paper ballots avaiable in case the electronic ones dont work,, its not fair when people push one button and it jumps to the other,, so paper ballots are good, we use them where i lie and we have no problems,, and yes i know obama/binde will win,,, his commercial was super,,, if people would just listen witha open mind,, they would understand, but so many americans dont listen,, they have made up their minds and/or are soo predujice (yet),, its time to get over this and understand , its what they said from beggining to end, consistancy,, and obama has been that ,, his plan makes so much sense,,, we have had enough of the republicans way,, its time for democrats,,,,, its time for freedom of speech,,, lower prices at the store and gas pump,, its time for lower taxes,,, and higher paychecks,,, VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN,, FOR CHANGE WE NEED,,,, YES WE CAN AND WE WILL,, IN 6 DAYS

    October 29, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  2. bill

    People of PA have to get out the Vote and protect it.To make sure McShame and failin Palin DO NOT win this State.

    October 29, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  3. Texas Teacher

    IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR REPUBLICAN PAT!!!!
    It is not voter registration that we are worried about.... it is the voter fraud that YOUR party is responsible for that worries most of us! We are really SICK of the FEAR MONGERING from your side of the aisle!

    Go back under your rock! If Obama does not win, then there is a FRAUD CASE.... against your Party. You stole one election.... NOT AGAIN! We are coming out in force..... WE, the People, have a voice.... and we are using it! VOTE!

    October 29, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  4. I Can See Alaska

    hey ken

    In case you didn't notice, he traveled to meet the world leaders this summer and did just fine.

    Some advice, remove head from butt

    October 29, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  5. Texas Teacher

    Ken.... Obama is taking care of business! Not fear mongering and lying like your pair of bozos!

    The circus is in town... and McSame and McBarbie are leading the parade..... to NO WHERE! We have had enough! Vote Obama!!!!

    October 29, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  6. Dan, TX

    It was cool how Obama's informercial plugged right into the FL rally that was being shown on CNN video.

    I'm sold. Obama has my vote based on tax cuts, health care, focusing on the real war.

    October 29, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. Edward

    I just heard a comment by Obama on CNN. He stated, "John McCain may label me a communist if I say I shared my toys in kindergarten." Here the deal, Obama is either very smart, and playing on the ignorance of people, or very dumb. I think, think he may be smart. Your not a socialist for sharing your toys, sir. That's called charity and kindness. Your a socialist for making laws that require me to share my toys with others. Sad – -people don't see it – thier blind.

    October 29, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  8. Shya

    McCain is trying to win at any cost with lieing and cheating.

    October 29, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  9. So Sad

    So sad to see Palin again spend the day trying to pick herself up by knocking down Obama.

    The Republican ticket is angry and falling apart.

    McCains low road to the White House was sad.

    October 29, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  10. That Other Jerry

    We do a lot of dumb things here in Alabama, and our politics are as screwy as anyone's in the country. But somewhere along the way we managed to figure out that electronic scanners reading paper ballots provide the best combination of speed, reliability, and a verifiable paper trail. Why can't all these states that consider themselves so much smarter than us hillbillies manage to count their votes? If you Yanks need a little help, maybe we could loan you a couple of our rocket scientists for a few days.

    October 29, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  11. Griff

    Joan Of Arc???? Who are lady???? Not Sarah Palin!!!! Who are you CNN???

    October 29, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  12. LJ

    RECOUNT-RECOUNT-RECOUNT-RECOUNT-RECOUNT-RECOUNT

    MAKE SURE "THAT ONE" DOESN'T WIN.....

    VOTE MCCAIN/PALIN

    October 29, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  13. jan

    McCain/Palin 2008

    Is obama so afraid he has to do a half hour ad and use his degrading tactics against John McCain and Sarah Palin to try to win votes. Poles don't mean anything. Do you realize how many people in this country haven't even received a call to be included in a pole???? Got to go commercial is over and an old show if CSI is back on.

    October 29, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  14. SC Resident

    ALL poling places should have paper ballots for verification of the votes. I think there'd be more accuracy. Remember "W" never was elected
    in 2000, but "appointed" by the Supreme Court. That had a funny smell to it.

    October 29, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  15. John

    Why is it that the republican party always wants to stifle the electoral process? Why are they trying through the courts to disallow Americans from voting?

    Because they don't want to lose, that's why! The republican party is conducting the biggest voter fraud in history with voter suppression and voter intimidation. Collage students being told that if they vote they will lose their scholarships or telling people that if they vote the police will be there with arrest warrants for past indiscretions.

    The republican party made a big hubbub about Acorn but, what about their voter fraud across the country.

    October 29, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. Sharon

    Yeah, finally judges are getting smart!! After Republicans have kept suing and suing. Judges have warned Republicans it is very apparent they are attempting voter suppression.

    CNN WHY DID YOU NOT HAVE ABAMA 30 MINUTE SHOW ON TONIGHT??? YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FAIR IN PAST. WHY NOT TONIGHT?? ARE YOU JUST REPUBLICAN NOW??. ARE YOU APPROVING OF ALL THE HATE MONGERING LABELS OF TERRORIST, COMMUNIST, SPECIALIST ATTACKS UPON BARACK OBAMA?? ARE YOU ENDORSING REPUBLICAN ENTICING THIS RAGE THAT COULD RESULT IN RIOTS, VANDALISM, KILLING OF SOMEONE?? TODAY TWO OBAMA SUPPORTERS WERE ATTACKED BY THE MCCAIN-PALIN CROWDS AND POLICE HAD TO BREAK UP. MCCAIN SUPPORTER THREATENED TO KILL OBAMA SUPPORTER. AND THESE OBAMA SUPPORTERS WERE WHITE. WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF THEY ERE BLACK??

    October 29, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  17. Jeannie Baltimore, MD

    Wait! You sound like a hater. But that's ok, President Obama will work for your best interest anyway.

    October 29, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  18. voter

    Good decision. paper ballots should be made available. I still don't understand how states cannot prepare for a fair election by fixing the machines and having a paper trail.

    October 29, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  19. bill

    better stay on message Pat. never mind that this fiction about ACORN has been debunked 20 ways in every direction. keep spouting the party line. you and your 'team' have nothing. no ideas, nothing to say.

    October 29, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  20. Pat Pa.

    This is a good thing ! A better thing would be that every voter is given a copy of his vote. You know, just in case they have to prove who the vote was really for.
    Yeah, I know ! Paranoia ! Remember though, just because you are paranoid doesn't mean that you are wrong.

    October 29, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  21. former gop

    ken – You're such a big silly. I hope you keep that sense of humor of yours next Tuesday when Barack Obama's our next president. I'm sorry you're so bitter that your race-bating, hate inducing "friends" are losing.

    October 29, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. Annie, Atlanta

    Glad to see the judicial system still works. Maybe we can find our way back after this horrific campaign season, and start to heal the wounds McCain and Palin caused. I'm very disappointed in him.

    October 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  23. former gop

    McCain's choice of Palin lost this election.

    October 29, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  24. dizizi31

    Pennsylvania is the new Florida. Hooray for the judge you're on the Supreme Court Appointment List

    October 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. Sam

    Great ruling! Hip hip hurray!!

    October 29, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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