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Voters at the polls today will place their ballots in electronic voting machine which electronically reads the ballot and tabulates the votes. That could change in the Nov. 8 general election if plaintiffs are successful in their challenge of the use of the machines.

Focus on America announced Monday that it has joined former GOP gubernatorial candidate Linda Blanchard and State Rep. Tommy Hanes (R-Owens Crossroads) in their lawsuit against Secretary of State John H. Merrill (R) and the members of the Alabama Electronic Voting Committee to mandate the use of hand-counted paper ballots in the Nov 8 general election.

“We’re pleased to be able to join this suit,” said Rebecca Rogers of Focus on America. “Alabama citizens have to be confident that our votes are accurately counted because that’s the foundation of our democratic republic. Many of us here in Alabama and across the nation have serious concerns about the integrity and transparency of our elections, and this lawsuit would require a system that would offer complete transparency and security.”

Blanchard and Hanes initially filed the suit on May 19th, 2022, five days before the Alabama primary election. The complaint was amended on June 9th to add Focus on America and Dr. David Calderwood, M.D. to the plaintiffs. The suit alleges that Alabama’s current electronic voting machines are “unsecure and fatally compromised” for a multitude of reasons, and have been “wrongfully certified”. The suit further requests that officials in charge of the November election collect and count all the votes by hand.

Saranne Riccio with Focus on America said, “The suit also asks the court to establish clear chain-of-custody procedures for the ballot boxes during the entire process, to guard against ballots mysteriously appearing in the dead of night or being counted multiple times. Even countries like France require ballots to be counted by hand because of the cyber threats posed by electronic voting machines. Surely, Alabamians can do the same.'

Alabama Secretary of State John A/ Merrill has denied that Alabama’s voting machines, all of which are manufactured by Election Systems and Software (ESS), are insecure or can be compromised.

“In my time as Secretary of State I have been sued 27 times and I am 27 and 0 in those lawsuits. This one will make me 28 and 0,” Merrill told the 1819 News, arguing that the suit has no merit.

My Pillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell has been vocal about his opposition to the use of the ESS machines and claims that Trump’s voters were undercounted in Alabama in 2020.

“Mike Lindell has no credibility,” Merrill told the 1819 News.

The suit names Merrill in his official capacity, as well as State Rep. Wes Allen, R-Troy, Alabama Supervisor of Voter Registration Jeff Elrod, Chief Deputy Attorney General Clay Crenshaw, State Sen. Will Barfoot, R-Montgomery and Lee County Probate Judge Bill English.

The plaintiffs claim that a paper ballot count by humans would be more accurate than a machine count,

Merrill disagrees saying that he witnessed a paper count by poll workers in Russia and that counting the ballots by hand would decrease accuracy in the election count.

Blanchard lost her bid for governor and Hanes lost his re-election bid in the May 24 Republican primary. Lindell believes there was massive voter fraud in the 2022 election, but to this point has not had success in convincing courts of that.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.

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