Arkansas Court Validates State Voting Machines

 April 8, 2024

The Arkansas Supreme Court delivered a significant decision in a state where every vote counts.

The court ruled that electronic voting machines are lawful, ensuring continued use in upcoming elections.

According to USA Today, the case reached the state’s highest court after a group of plaintiffs raised concerns about the machines' compliance with Arkansas law.

Arkansas Supreme Court Upholds Controversial Voting Machines

The lawsuit, instigated by the Arkansas Voter Integrity Initiative, Inc. and its CEO, Conrad Reynolds, challenged the machines on the grounds that they did not adequately allow voters to review and change their votes before final submission. This claim was at the heart of the legal battle to redefine how Arkansans voted. However, the Pulaski County Circuit Court and the Arkansas Supreme Court have determined that the machines meet the necessary legal standards.

These machines, which generate a paper ballot with text and barcode, have been scrutinized for how they allow votes to be reviewed. Critics, including the plaintiffs, argue that because the machines read only the barcode and not the text, voters cannot be sure their votes are recorded accurately. Despite these concerns, the Supreme Court has found no evidence to suggest the barcodes do not accurately reflect the voters' choices.

Testimony and Evidence Influence the Court’s Decision

During the proceedings, testimony from Daniel Shults, director of the State Board of Election Commissioners, played a crucial role. Shults affirmed that the machines display all of a voter’s selections clearly, allowing for careful review.

Shults also addressed the contentious issue of barcode accuracy. He confirmed the reliability of the barcodes and noted that while the average voter will read the text, the accuracy of the barcodes could be confirmed, dismissing the plaintiffs' concerns. This testimony helped to fortify the defendants' case, which included Secretary of State John Thurston, the State Board of Election Commissioners, and Election Systems and Software, LLC, the Nebraska-based manufacturer.

The defendants demonstrated that the machines are certified by the State Board of Election Commissioners and the Federal Election Assistance Commission. This certification process is not taken lightly and assures voters that the machines can accurately capture their intent.

Responses and Reactions to the Court Ruling

The ruling was met with a variety of reactions. Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin expressed satisfaction with the outcome. In a statement, he praised the decision, emphasizing its significance for the integrity of the state's electoral process.

This is a win for the voters and taxpayers of Arkansas. The State Supreme Court affirms what we’ve already known to be true: The voting process and machines used in Arkansas comply with state law.

On the other side of the aisle, the plaintiffs, particularly Conrad Reynolds, advocate for a return to hand-marked paper ballots and hand counts, increasing transparency and voter confidence in the electoral process. Despite their efforts, the Arkansas Voter Integrity Initiative did not offer any comments following the court's ruling.

The Supreme Court’s decision has solidified the immediate future of voting in Arkansas, with electronic machines set to be used in the upcoming midterm and local elections. While Justice Barbara Womack Webb dissented, the majority opinion, led by Justice Shawn A. Womack, stood firm without additional commentary.


The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld the use of electronic voting machines, affirming their alignment with state law. The decision follows a lawsuit that raised concerns about the machines' ability to allow voters to review and alter their votes as per state requirements. The court's ruling draws on testimony and certification evidence to assert the machines' accuracy and reliability. Despite dissent and continued advocacy for hand-marked paper ballots by some, the state is set to proceed with using electronic machines in the forthcoming elections. Attorney General Tim Griffin's remarks encapsulate the sentiment of those who stand behind the court's decision, highlighting the ruling as a triumph for the electoral process in Arkansas.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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