Good news: New Jersey's acting governor recently signed into law legislation that will require all voting machines to produce a voter-verified paper record by 2008. But New Jersey citizens shouldn't have to wait until then to be sure their votes count.
Last week, EFF and a broad coalition of organizations with proven dedication to voting rights issues filed an amicus brief in Gusciora v. Codey, a lawsuit demanding that New Jersey update state laws to reflect its increasing use of electronic voting machines. The suit was filed by the Rutgers Law School Constitutional Litigation Clinic on behalf of New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora. They originally sought to stop the use of the machines in the November 2004 election, but their pursuit of long-term relief continues.
With the state implicitly acknowledging the weakness of its voting laws, the importance of the Gusciora lawsuit is clear. "We applaud the legislature and governor for protecting future New Jersey voters, but today's voters remain at risk," said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "Under the current law, voters will for the next two-and-a-half years be forced to cast ballots on a voting technology that was programmed in secret, that does not preserve a tangible record of the voter's intent, and has a troubling performance history. Today's voters and the democratic process deserve better."