October 29th, 2008
07:35 PM ET
14 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. Delaware County PA Resident

    Delaware County in PA is one of the worst examples of Republicans trying to steal the election. In 2004 the county Republican representatives sent out lying statements about requirements for voter ID that would help eliminate minority voters. The fine "moral" Republicans at the polls also carefully try to weed out non-Republicans and even stand on the very edge of the polling booth and tell people to vote Republican. This, incidentally, is only the tip of the iceberg, since they also pull various "legal" tactics to keep the county Republicans in power in local offices. Look for more on November 4.

    October 29, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |

    November 4th can't get here fast enough!!!!! Count EVERY VOTE.


    October 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  3. cream

    Pat PA, I'm with you...even though the Commonwealth is taking a stance on the issue, I would still like to know that MY vote is transmitted correctly. Wait! Guess what? Barack was awesome, inspiring, clear and concise. Whatever you watched on HBO or Showtime was no competition for the "infomercial" that featured Senator Obama. I am so glad that he used my campaign donation!!

    October 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  4. Scott L

    Liberals need to attend accounting 101.

    When Bush Tax cuts are expeditously expired by Democrats Pelosi and Reid, you will be wishing they were permanent.

    Kiss your $1000 per child tax credit goodbye. It automatically goes to $700 on 1-1-2011 if not sooner under Pelosi. Have two kids? That's $600 right from you to Pelosi. Three kids? $900 right to Pelosi.

    If your family member dies under Democrat and Obama plan, remember that your inheritance taxes will sky rocket about 20-35% depending on the amounts. Under Republican plans, they do NOT want to tax you after you die. Obama voted AGAINST repealing death taxes. So kiss your kids inheritance goodbye.

    Everyone so eager to trash Scott L, but none of you have done any real math on your own taxes like I have.

    DO THE MATH FIRST LIBERALS! Then come talk to me.Seriously, DO THE MATH! Pull out your taxes from last year and compare the numbers against a proposed Obama tax chart. Don't sling mud at me until you do the math.

    And YES regardless of how much $$ McCain has given this guy, McCain has never said that "Israel has no god given right to occupy the land" – so until LA Times releases the tape to refute those quotes...people like me are going to believe the leaks.

    October 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  5. Richard A. Spomer

    hopefully ACORN voter registrations will not show up in the Commonwealth of PA! A paper trail is something that should be in place across the country so individuals are identified with their vote...

    October 29, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  6. Justin

    Why is it that all Mccain can do is attack and criticize Obama? All I hear him say is senetor Obama this and senator Obama that! Talk about the issues for once dude! I wish people would be smart enough to look at the FACTS, and stop beleiving all the baseless lies! Mccain has time and time again voted against anyting that would help a hard working American like myself! And know he's acting like that's all going to change! Well i am smart enough to know that it ain't going to happen! Get used to this my friends. The next president of the United States is Barack Obama! YOU BETCHA!!

    October 29, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  7. RM

    I just seen part of Obama's presentation. As a Canadian, I have never been so proud of America! Yes you can!

    Go vote!

    October 29, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  8. mb

    Good call, that is what everyone should do

    October 29, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  9. Scott L

    And ALL of you forget that I voted for John Kerry in 2004. I am no Bush fan. John McCain has been and always will be the most independent middle of the road politician Washington has ever seen.

    If McCain represents the far right (HAHAHA) then your wonder kid Obama must really be extreme left because McCain has ALWAYS been in the middle.

    October 29, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  10. Toooo late....I voted Dem!

    Silly McCain supporters.......

    October 29, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  11. Michael watching from Canada

    Please America, don't take anything for granted.

    Go vote for Obama.

    You are very fortunate to have him to be your next President.

    October 29, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  12. Tom in Atlanta

    Demand paper ballots!

    Do the responsible thing as a voter and look into the "ownership" of our cool touch screen voting machines. If you haven't had the time let me inform you. A private company, not our government, owns the electronic voting machines we use for elections. I love our country, but I wish the voice of the people would speak louder than money someday.

    October 29, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  13. soccer mom

    To Sarah Palin the Alaskan Lobbyist,

    You are right. She seems to not have followed the primaries as she was so surprised about the "Ayers" ridiculousness. It sounded like it was the first time she had heard anything.
    She is dividing America and now her party. Her first interest is herself. The second is her state. Her husband was, until recently, in the Alaskan Independence party and they have a special place in her heart. He is also in the oil business.

    October 29, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  14. Justin

    This just in! Sean Hannity and all of Fox news are all RACISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 29, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  15. Tiff of lithia springs


    Screw Sean Hannity!!! There is a special place in HADES for that son of gun. He and Rush remind me of the radio host on HOTEL ROWANDA. Very dangerous. They are not even real journalist just people who have evolved from the KLAN know doubt.

    October 29, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  16. PL

    There a real good chance that this election will be stolen, Americans should pay attention to what's coming out of the Mccain camp. Why are state's having to go to court before we even go to the polls. Something strange is going on.

    October 29, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  17. John S

    Winnie Hussein.... in Montana, I lived the Kennedy years. John Fitzgerald was a great president that would of done greater things for America. He was taken away from us by traitors. I am blessed to be able to have seen 2 of the same kind in my life time. I truely believe Obama is even more capable of doing great thinks for all Americans.

    October 29, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  18. How do you all sleep?

    You are voting for someone who lied and then spent $750,000,000 + to buy an election. You all trash the only real average American running in this campaign. We all gripe about change, but then we won't elect anyone who is not part of the elite? It's time to change Washington that is why I have Joe Biden for my running mate? It's time for bi-partisanship LIBERAL BI-PARTISANSHIP? Change for Change sake is not always a good thing. I am not trying to tick anyone off, but does anyone actually listen to what Obama says about what will change? Does it not really matter who your friends are? Because it sounds mean to say he has some crazy friends with crazy ideas, we're going to dismiss the fact that he has crazy friends with crazy ideas because mean people suck? This is an important election- don't blow it!

    October 29, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  19. Rachel M

    yea…Obama is going to be on Rachel Maddows tomorrow night. I just love MS NBC. It is the best channel…they speak the truth unlike Fox News or CNN!

    October 29, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  20. Northwest Washington

    We need to dump all of these voting machines. They are subject to failure, hacking and abuse. All elections must have a paper audit trail. America is better than this.

    October 29, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  21. pam Eugene OR

    You are really a silly or worse. Who does Pallin give interviews to beside FAUX news!
    She would never grant an interview with any network that is not softball.
    What a wack job, Diva!

    October 29, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  22. cream

    Some of the comments regarding Senator Obama speaking from a teleprompter are so funny!! What part of GRADUATE FROM HARVARD, MAGNA CUM LAUDE, didn't you understand???? He is a brilliant, thoughtful speaker. I do not worry about him flying off the handle during a crisis and know that he will act only after much consideration. I also appreciate that he will reach out to others for their insight and he does not think that he knows it all. I love that he is DEMANDING that the American people take part in turning this country around, by our deeds and our own actions. I shook my head after hearing a stupid comment from a Pennsylvanian yesterday; she stated that she did not care what others thought about Americans – I shall presume that she was referencing Senator Obama's call to strengthen our World standing by setting the example of how a Nation shall act. As a Christian it is my belief that we are no better than anyone else and to think this way is a certain invitation to hell, BUT as Christians we are to set the example by living our lives accordingly. Funny how folks call on the Bible until it's time to live it...

    October 29, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  23. aware

    This former democrat and Hillary supporter voted for McCain/Palin 08!

    But I can wait for Palin in 2012 if Obama buys this election!

    Remember though that we are formed in community not in isolation.

    And a 20 year formation experience in one community is a pretty good chunk of a man's life! 🙁

    October 29, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  24. disappointed democrat

    Palin stinks to high heaven and McCain has squandered his good name on the McLaim desparate choice of Palin. you guys pack it in and go home and dont come back for a long time. we need some new republican blood. im voting for Obama and his spend thrift democrat buddies

    October 29, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  25. Joe the plumber

    Notice how McCains wife is allways in the background of every campaign photo. This is a subliminal attempt to lure women into voting for MCain Just like his choice of Vice president. Some people think I am just a dumb ole unlicensed plumber But I am actually just as smart as Carl Rove when it comes to politics. Politics is nothing more than a theatre to create an illusion for voters.Once elected The only task is to fill the wish list of big business.

    October 29, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
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