A federal appeals court on Monday revived a lawsuit seeking a paper trail for that state's new touchscreen voting machines with only five weeks left before the presidential election.

The court told a federal judge to reopen the case affecting the 15 Florida counties that use voting machines that don't create paper copies.

Three judges from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that the judge improperly decided not to get involved in the lawsuit filed by Rep. Robert Wexler (search), a Florida Democrat.

A state appeals court ruled last month that a paper trail of ballots was not required, ruling that voters are not guaranteed "a perfect voting system."

Wexler had argued that the paperless voting system makes manual recounts impossible. He sued state elections officials, arguing that constitutional promises of equal protection would be violated by a voting system that varies from county to county.

"This is a huge win," Wexler spokeswoman Lale Mamaux said from his Washington office.

Florida Department of State officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.