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CPSR files "friend of the court" support for California voter rights

CPSR supports lawsuits in Riverside and Berkeley, California calling for review of DRE voting machine materials.
"'Every vote counts' if and only if every vote is counted, and counted accurately in a manner that can be verified later in a recount. The obligation of Riverside County to ensure the accuracy and verifiability of the methods it provides for casting and counting votes is not some untethered and toothless aspiration it can ignore on a whim."

With that opening argument CPSR and six other groups made a strong case in support of voting rights in Riverside County, California. We signed on to a Friend of the Court document, called an amicus brief, in response to an appeal from the Electronic Frontier Foundation in February 2005. EFF is involved in several upcoming cases that CPSR is also likely to support.

The lawsuit against Riverside County, filed by voter Linda Soubirous, was scheduled to go before the Court of Appeals in March.  A lower court had rejected Soubirous's argument that California's recount law authorized a
review of DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) voting machine materials such as audit logs and redundant memories. 

The Court of Appeals also rejected a request for an expedited review before the
November election.  Now the Court of Appeals will finally hear the full (and non-time-pressured) argument, which includes why the requested DRE
materials amount to "relevant materials" under the statute.

The arguments are similar to those in amicus briefs CPSR signed onto last fall.

In another upcoming Voter Rights case, CPSR is supporting a lawsuit calling for a recount of votes in Berkeley, California. Proponents of a medical marijuana measure on the November ballot filed for a recount when the measure was defeated by less than 200 votes out of approximately 50,000 cast.  During the recount, Alameda County officials refused to provide relevant DRE materials -- exactly as Riverside County did earlier in the year in the Soubirous case. 

As the issues raised by the Measure R litigation are virtually identical to the ones raised in the Soubirous case,  the amicus brief CPSR plans to support will have similar language.

An amicus brief procedure  allows groups that are not parties in the lawsuit  to file statements of support. CPSR has consistently supported such cases for voter rights.

Common Cause, California Voter Foundation, People For The American Way Foundation, America's Families United, Center for Constitutional Rights, and Voters Unite! also signed the amicus briefs.

See draft of amicus brief filed by CPSR and six other organizations.
(This is a Word document.)

More information about co-signers

CPSR expects to also join EFF in supporting a Rutgers legal clinic's lawsuit against the State of New Jersey. In  this case we will be challenging the state's use of paperless e-voting machines as well as their outdated recount laws.
Created by nbrigham
Last modified March 11, 2005 06:00 PM

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