Ohio judge rejects lawsuit against voting machine software

By David Ferguson
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 15:50 EDT
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Voting machine via Shutterstock
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An U.S. District Court judge has rejected a suit filed by a Green Party activist alleging that Ohio voting machines were using dangerously vulnerable software that would allow votes to be blocked or altered. According to SFGate.com, Judge Gregory Frost ruled that election activist and Green Party Congressional candidate Bob Fitrakis provided “zero” evidence for his claims, offering instead only conjecture as to how and why the machines could fail.

Fitrakis and his lawyer alleged that software and hardware produced by the Nebraska company Elections Systems and Software (ES&S) contain a “back door” that makes them particularly easy to reprogram and cause to produce inaccurate results. Their suit sought to force Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) to stop using ES&S products and break the state’s contract with the company.

Frost weighed evidence from Fitrakis and a software expert provided by the Fitrakis legal team, but found that the evidence “has demonstrated zero likelihood of success based on the evidence presented to this Court.”

The judge sided with the state, which argued that discarding the ES&S system and finding and implementing a new system would cause confusion and delays within an already potentially overloaded voting infrastructure.

The ES&S software is not installed on voting machines, but is actually used in counting ballots and tabulating the results.

[Voting machine image via Shutterstock]

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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