"Campaign for Verifiable Voting in Maryland"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For Further Information Bob Ferraro 240-899-0263 cell 301-890-1998
May 28, 2004
SBE Proclaims Itself Above the Law In Response to
Citizen Suit on Voting Machines
Decisions Not Subject to Judicial Review
Anne Arundel County, MD. In response to a citizen lawsuit filed April 21, 2004 to force the Maryland State Board of Elections' ("SBE") to comply with state and federal election law, the SBE has asserted that courts do not have the power to review their decisions and moved to dismiss the suit based on the arcane and infrequently used "political question doctrine," which is normally invoked only in cases of war or impeachment.
"Essentially the SBE is now claiming they are above the law" said Bob Ferraro, a co-founder of the Campaign for Verifiable Voting in Maryland, also known as
TrueVoteMD.org. He added that "this unprecedented assertion of power by the SBE, which would effectively roll back decades of voting rights cases -- including a little case called Bush v. Gore and the Maryland Court of Appeals' recent review of the state redistricting cases is outrageous and offensive to concerned voters of all political stripes." The motion is also contrary to the long history of Maryland courts serving as a check on state election officials to ensure that voting rights are respected and preserved.
The SBE's 'motion to dismiss' also claims that citizens have 'no right to a voter-verified paper audit trail.' "The average citizen in America expects to be able to verify that their vote has been accurately recorded." said Bob Ferraro. "Why does the SBE want to deny citizens and candidates the right to accurate election results and meaningful recounts? This should serve as a call to action for all Maryland voters that state election officials apparently do not care about their fundamental voting rights." Today, lawyers representing the plaintiffs will file a response to the motion to dismiss in Annapolis Circuit Court.
TrueVoteMD.org is a citizen network of several thousand Maryland voters from across the state including election judges, pollwatchers, candidates, computer professionals and voters from all walks of life who are registered Democrats, Republicans, Greens and independents.
The lawsuit was brought on behalf of registered Maryland voters and candidates for public office to preserve the integrity of the November 2004 elections, and to ensure public trust and confidence in the system by which Maryland voters will elect the next President of the United States. Specifically, Plaintiffs brought this action against the Maryland State Board of Elections and its Administrator, Linda Lamone. The plaintiffs include TrueVoteMD.org co-founder Linda Schade, Republican State Senator Andrew Harris, Democratic City councilmen Marc Elrich and Kwami Abayomi, TrueVote computer security expert Paul Suh, Sharon T. Beard, Judith A. Burns, and Green candidate for Baltimore City Council Terry Fitzgerald, MD.