MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – In less than two weeks, the federal court of appeals will hear arguments over the Shelby County voting machines lawsuit case. The plaintiffs are trying to stop the use of the current machines being used in Shelby County elections.
Last September, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit saying they didn’t have standing to sue. At a Friday news conference, they said they hope the court of appeals sees things differently.
“These machines are very hackable and y’all know what is happening across the world as it relates to people interfering with our elections. It’s about the sanctity of our elections at the local level, the state level, and the national level,” said State Rep. Joe Towns (D-Memphis).
Towns and the non-profit group Shelby Advocates for Valid Elections known as SAVE wants a federal judge to outlaw the use of voting machines currently in use in Shelby County. Instead, they want a hand-marked paper ballot system, that way there would be a hard paper trail connected to each vote.
The current machines are 13-years-old and Shelby County plans to buy new ones, but the group says they’ve heard that before.
“They said back in 2013 they were buying new voting equipment. What year is it? 2019. Okay. Let’s say they are. We would like to see it in place before March 2020 which is the Presidential primary election,” said lawyer Carol Chumney.
“We know that computer voting machines can be hacked and therefore we should not place hackable machines with more hackable machines,” said plaintiff Mike Kernell.
Not only do they want make sure the correct new machines are purchased, they say this lawsuit is about making sure all voters in Shelby County have a fair election.
“We want processes in place to protect the vote and to make sure we don’t have, apart from just the machines, that we don’t have these things continually happening that put a burden on people rights to vote,” said Chumney.