A 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered that California's special recall election be halted.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal appeals court postponed California's Oct. 7 gubernatorial recall election, ruling Monday that the historic vote cannot proceed because some votes would be cast using outmoded punch-card ballot machines.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals withheld ordering the immediate implementation of its decision, allowing a week for appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ted Costa, head of the Sacramento-based Peoples' Advocate, one of the groups that put the recall on the ballot, said an appeal is certain.

"Give us 24 hours. We'll get something off to the Supreme Court," he said.

It seems inevitable that the Supreme Court will accept the case, but I have no idea how it will rule. I don't expect the Court to be overly sympathetic with the old-voting-machine argument, considering that a majority of the justices stopped the endless recounting in Florida in 2000. Nevertheless, the drama continues.



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