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Trial Set for March 14 in Constitutional Litigation Clinic Challenge to Use of Electronic Voting Machines

March 13, 2006 – 
A trial begins tomorrow concerning thousands of electronic voting machines used in New Jersey. Clinical Professor Penny Venetis of Rutgers School of Law–Newark will argue on March 14 in the Mercer County Courthouse that the use of electronic voting machines without a voter-verified paper record is unconstitutional, as the machines cannot be entrusted to count votes accurately. Oral argument will be heard at 10 am by Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg. The judge will determine, among other things, whether the State’s electronic voting machines can be equipped with a voter-verified paper ballot component by 2008 – the deadline set for such devices by the Legislature.

Venetis, associate director of the Rutgers Constitutional Litigation Clinic, is lead counsel in the lawsuit. It was filed by the clinic in 2004 on behalf of several individuals who encountered computer malfunctions when attempting to cast their votes electronically and on behalf of the Coalition for Peace Action. Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include State Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (Legislative District 15), an early proponent of the voter verified paper ballot.