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Lawsuit challenging election equipment tossed

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LIBERTY – A lawsuit against Liberty County concerning using electronic voting devices and tabulation systems was dismissed this week without prejudice.

The petition was filed last month in the 75th District Court of Judge Mark Morefield by Lars Kuslich, a Dayton resident. The suit named Elections Administrator Klint Bush, County Judge Jay Knight, and all four county commissioners.

“The governor, the legislature, the secretary of state has prescribed rules. They have prescribed systems that counties can adopt. The local legislature here, the county commissioners court, opted to use electronic machines years ago, and we have used machines in this county for years and years,” said Election Administrator Klint Bush following the hearing.

Those machines used by the county are chosen from a pair of options approved by the state and are made in Texas; according to Bush are in no way designed to link to the internet, which was one of the concerns in other states voting systems.

“We use a paper-based system. Yes, you do mark your ballot, and a machine does count it one time, but then after every election, you have a group of humans who have to manually hand count those ballots to make sure the machine was accurate, and we’ve done that for years and we, do that with every single election,” said Bush.

The suit is one of many filed by individuals across the state of Texas recently demanding these practices stop until a complete and thorough investigation of every election between the 2020 general election and the May 24, 2022, runoff is conducted.

These lawsuits appear to be connected to a nationwide effort by Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow, who has filed several suits contesting the 2020 Presidential election.

In this instance, Kuslich was the plaintiff and represented himself in the proceedings.

“The weaknesses in his petition dealing with electronic voting machines are all relevant to a completely different type than we have. The types he discusses are not even allowed in Texas,” said County Attorney Matthew Poston.

According to Bush and Poston, the machines in the county used to be direct recording, but that practice ended around 2018 when new devices were purchased by the office of County Clerk Lee Haidusek Chambers.

“The key word is the motion was ‘dismissed,’ and Liberty County elections are conducted free, fair and transparent,” concluded Bush.

As for Kuslich, he was praised by Morefield for his preparedness and effort, in this case, stating he too had some issues with electronic voting, but the suit failed to challenge the law as prescribed by Texas.

When asked for a comment following the hearing, Kuslich declined before quickly exiting the courtroom.