Barcodes Threat to Secret Ballot, Lawsuit Alleges

Posted August 20, 2009

A lawsuit filed in the state Supreme Court is aimed at blocking the use of bar codes on election ballots in Washington because they could be used to identify a voter’s choices.

The lawsuit alleges that more than 1 million Washington voters could have their secret vote preferences violated in counties that use certain ballot-tracking equipment. Elections officials say the claim is not true.

“In addition to violating statutory ballot secrecy standards, the use of ballot IDs threatens actual compromise of ballot secrecy,” declares the suit prepared by Knoll Lowney, an attorney who has filed suits in the past against targets such as Tim Eyman’s initiatives, U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick and the Building Industry Association of Washington.

Lowney estimated that one-third of eligible voters are affected in Washington, but Reed’s elections chief denied that there is any risk.

Filed under: Barcode News