District Court Chief Judge Harvey Bartle III granted preliminary injunction in Cortes on October 29th, ordering Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro Cortes to direct poll workers to issue emergency ballots immediately whenever 50% of voting machines in a precinct are inoperable.
He wrote: “The right to vote is at the foundation of our constitutional form of government. Ultimately all our freedoms depend on it. Protection of this right under the circumstances presented here is without question in the public interest.” Secretary Cortes issued a release the same day stating that his office would not appeal the decision and would comply with the Judge’s order.
The lawsuit gained national attention, providing an important ruling that the right to vote includes freedom from unnecessary obstacles and fear that one’s vote will not be counted.