Tuesday, June 26, 2007, 6/26/2007 11:30:00 AM

Florida Court Refuses to Reverse Lower Court Ruling That Election Machine Manufacturer Doesn't Have to Disclose Trade Secrets in Battle Over Election

By Todd
In the November, 2006 election for Florida's Thirteenth Congressional District, Democrat Christine Jennings lost to Republican Vern Buchanan by less than 400 votes (see http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,230844,00.html). A company named Elections Systems & Software, Inc. apparently manufactured the voting machines that tabulated the vote count. Ms. Jennings and her attorneys sued over the certification of the election results, claiming the machines and their allegedly undercounting software programs were to blame. Ms. Jennings asked the trial court for an order compelling the manufacturer to reveal its software's source code in the discovery phase of the lawsuit; the manufacturer refused on trade secrets grounds. The trial court granted a protective order, reasoning that Elections Systems & Software need not turn over its trade secrets to Ms. Jennings and her attorneys in this action.

Ms. Jennings appealed the lower court order and the attached decision is the appellate court's refusal to reverse that ruling. We suppose this battle is not over but Ms. Jennings is surely spending a lot of money, and time, litigating the propriety of her election defeat. We'll keep an eye on this one for you.

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