FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A federal judge Monday threw out a Democratic congressman's lawsuit demanding that Florida's new touchscreen voting machines (search) issue a paper receipt.
It was the second time Rep. Robert Wexler (search) was turned back in his legal challenge of the machines. A lawsuit filed in state court was dismissed in February, and Wexler has appealed.
In dismissing the federal complaint, U.S. District Judge James Cohn said he cannot get involved because the issue is being considered by the state courts.
Also, Cohn said the lawsuit would require the federal courts to become deeply involved with election procedures, which typically are left to the states.
Several Florida counties spent millions on the touchscreen systems after the 2000 presidential election fiasco, in which thousands of punchcard ballots were improperly marked. George W. Bush beat Al Gore by 537 votes in the state after a turbulent recount.
Wexler argued that without a printout, voters in Florida's 15 touchscreen counties are being denied their right to have their votes accurately recorded, reported and recounted if necessary.
The congressman's complaint in state court was thrown out because the judge ruled that Wexler could not show that he had been injured by the voting system.