Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Judge denies request to extend voting hours

A Montgomery County judge denied a request by the county Democratic Committee to extend voting hours by an additional hour at a Cheltenham polling site, according to reporter Margaret Gibbons.

The request was made because voters who could not use an electronic voting machine to cast their ballots until some 2 1/2 hours after the poll opened, Gibbons says.

"There is a strong likelihood that some voters were disenfranchised because of the problems there and, if by staying open one hour later, just one of those voters can vote, it is well worth any inconvenience," Norristown lawyer Joel B. Bernbaum told the judge on behalf of the Democratic Committee.

However, Judge Bernard A. Moore said that reasonable efforts, including the use of emergency ballots, were made to address the situation, Gibbons reports.

"Extending election hours by an hour is an extreme remedy and there have to be extreme circumstances for that," Judge Moore said. "That is not the case here."

No one in the courtroom could recall the county ever extending voting hours on Election Day, according to Gibbons.

Read her full story in Wednesday's edition of The Norristown Times-Herald.

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