Groups challenging voting machine switch gears, counties remain in limbo

The lawsuit over the ExpressVote XL had been scheduled for a Commonwealth Court hearing Tuesday.

  • Emily Previti/PA Post

HARRISBURG – More than 2 million voters in three counties will remain in limbo a bit longer after a voting machine lawsuit changed course late Friday.

Commonwealth Court Judge Kevin Brobson had scheduled a hearing Tuesday over whether the ExpressVote XL should be shelved for Pennsylvania’s nominating contest April 28, while the court fully considered the case.

But late Friday afternoon, the plaintiffs withdrew their motion for a preliminary injunction.

They say they’ll instead ask the court to fast-track the lawsuit – but not when that might happen.

The change follows a hearing Thursday where the Pa. Department of State’s lawyers said a court action intended to be temporary could have permanent effects in this case.

If counties buy and implement new voting machines to comply, they wouldn’t be in a position to switch back to the XL if the final decision later upholds the machine’s certification, attorney Michele Hangley said.

The XL is being used Philadelphia and Northampton and Cumberland counties.

One week ago, a federal judge bumped back a case over the same voting machine by one month to Feb. 18.

The other lawsuit was initiated in 2016 as a recount attempt by former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. Its settlement laid out terms for buying new voting machines and otherwise updating election security in Pennsylvania.

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