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October 02, 2019

Jill Stein expected at Philly federal courthouse in touchscreen voting machine battle

The former Green Party presidential candidate is an advocate for using systems that produce paper trails ahead of the 2020 election

Voting Courts
Pennsylvania voting machines elections Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Voting machines at a polling location in the dining room of The Gold Standard Cafe on Baltimore Ave. in West Philadelphia on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is expected to be in a Philadelphia courtroom on Wednesday to ask a federal judge to block the city from using touchscreen voting machines for its elections.

Stein has been an outspoken opponent of electronic voting machines since she filed the 2016 lawsuit over vote-counting during the presidential election, which was settled, in part, by Gov. Tom Wolf's promise to buy new voting systems in Pennsylvania that leave verifiable paper trails before the 2020 elections. 

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In her 2016 complaint, Stein called the Pennsylvania election system a "national disgrace" and the state's machines "vulnerable, hackable, antiquated technology." 

Stein also writes in the suit that "the majority of machines voted for Donald Trump in Pennsylvania. But who did the people vote for?"

Despite the city's purchase of Express Vote XL machines in February 2019, which are touchscreen electronic machines that print out a paper barcode receipt, Stein and other activists still have concerns over their security because they do not provide a paper-verifiable receipt of a voter's selection.

In July, election-security advocates and voters filed a petition seeking the Pennsylvania Department of State to reconsider its approval of the touchscreen machines, which were approved in Philadelphia and several other counties.

Some claim the machines violate ballot secrecy by allowing poll workers to inadvertently see votes, lack accessibility for voters with disabilities, and do not comply with state election code. Activists for paper ballots urged officials for months not to choose the ExpressVote XL machines. 

Stein has not confirmed her Wednesday appearance in court, however she's expected to show up at a Board of Elections meeting before going to the city's federal courthouse, according to the AP. 

This article was updated after its initial publication.

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