FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The state will not be forced to create a paper record in case of recounts in elections on touch-screen voting machines, a federal judge ruled Monday.
The suit, filed by U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler (search), a Boca Raton Democrat, sought a paper record for manual recounts in close elections like the contentious 2000 presidential race. He had been seeking a way to help determine voter intent when no votes were recorded, known as "undervotes."
The state issued a new rule Oct. 14 for manual recounts to replace one thrown out by a state judge.
However, Wexler argued recounts aren't possible with the paperless machines because there is nothing to review by hand. The machines produce a form showing votes and instances where no votes were recorded.
Cohn heard three days of testimony in the trial, calling it a "case is of great public importance" and promising a written order subject to quick appeal by the losing side.
In his ruling, Cohn said Wexler didn't meet the legal burden required for issuing an injunction.