Emergency Ballots

In response, Pennsylvania’s voting commissioner issued an order stating that emergency ballots could only be distributed when every single machine in a precinct failed. For something as fundamental as our right to vote, such easily avoidable obstacles are inexcusable.

In October 2008, the Law Center, joining a coalition of Pennsylvania voters and civil rights groups led by the NAACP State Conference of Pennsylvania, filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to ensure that voters receive emergency paper ballots on Election Day when 50% or more voting machines become inoperable at any polling site in the state. With record numbers of voters expected, Pennsylvania risked widespread disenfranchisement if action was not taken, and the case was followed closely by media and voting rights advocates nationally.

Case Progress

October 2008
District Court Chief Judge Harvey Bartle III granted preliminary injunction

October 2008
We filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to ensure that voters receive emergency paper ballots

Staff on the Case
Michael Churchill