SC voting machines threaten democracy, according to new lawsuit

Lawsuit over SC voting machines

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The lawsuit alleges a threat on citizens' right to vote in South Carolina, claiming voting machines are too old to uphold democracy. The suit against the State Election Commission demands new equipment soon.

Those who filed the 45-page lawsuit, including one former state senator, say democracy is threatened. Words like unreliable, and even vulnerable are used to describe the voting machines.

Rokey Suleman is the director of voter registration and elections in Richland County. He says there are problems with the old machines with touch-screen calibration, battery life, and random shutdowns. He agrees with the lawsuit in that machines should be replaced more frequently, and that there should be a paper trail to track votes outside of the machine's memory.

"People have probably purchased four or five personal computers in the last 20 years. Imagine using the same personal computer that you purchased in the year 2000," Suleman said to explain the old technology voters use.

Former state senator and plaintiff Phil Leventis claim there could be cybersecurity threats.

"This is about protecting democracy. Who are elected and what they do once they're elected, that's up to the voters," Leventis told WIS-TV.

One of the defendants is State Election Commission Director Marci Andino. She says they are working to replace machines; the legislature pays $4 Million for it each year, and this year gave another $4 million as a one-time payment.

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