In 2004, a New Jersey state legislator, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, and others filed a lawsuit against New Jersey officials, arguing that the state’s use of vote-counting machines with no paper trail violates the New Jersey Constitution and various New Jersey election laws. On September 16, the state appellate court issued a 45-page decision, sending the case back to the trial court. Thus, a lawsuit that is already nine years old will continue. The case is Gusciora v Christie, A-5608-10T3.
The New Jersey legislature could easily have ended this case by requiring that all vote-counting machines leave a paper trail. The legislature actually did pass a bill mandating that, but since then the new law has never been implemented because the legislature suspended the new law for budgetary reasons. This lawsuit got a further new lease when, in 2011, a Cumberland County election resulted in false election returns being reported by the machines. The plaintiffs in that lawsuit were only able to prevail because they submitted enough affidavits from voters to prove that the results were incorrect. The September 16, 2013 decision is concerned about that incident, and therefore sent the case back to the trial court to determine if the state’s pre-election testing procedure is good enough to prevent such problems in the future.