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.

U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn ruled in favor of Secretary of State Glenda Hood (search) and Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Theresa LePore (search).

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.