Friday, August 28, 2009

Pima county RTA Ballot Case Back in Court Friday, Aug. 28, 2:30pm

RTA Ballot Case back in court tomorrow Friday August 28th
Bill Risner Will Ask Judge Harrington for Stay to Preserve Ballots During Appeal.

Attend Hearing Friday August 28th2:30pm
Pima County Superior Court
110 West Congress, Judge Charles Harrington’s Court room- 4th floor, room 472.

The Hearing topic is the Pima County Republican Party's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. The lawsuit is Beth Ford v. Democratic Party of Pima County that also includes the Libertarian and Republican Parties and the RTA. It is a Declaratory Judgment action where Beth Ford, Pima County Treasurer and custodian of the RTA ballots, has asked the court for "direction" as to whether she is required to destroy the RTA ballots.

The Democratic Party through their attorney Bill Risner, and the Libertarian Party, will ask the judge to "stay" his order until we appeal his earlier decision where he claimed that Arizona courts did not have subject matter jurisdiction to consider allegations of fraud in any election. Basically, the only issue that will be of interest is the decision on the stay question. The legal issue is extremely important but would be moot if the ballots were destroyed.

What’s At Stake

The real issue is whether our courts have any role in guaranteeing honest elections. Judge Harrington ruled that he is unable to consider that an election was rigged. The procedural ruling said that the court did not have jurisdiction of the very subject. It was assumed for the decision that the election was fraudulent and the result "rigged" to give a false result. Nonetheless, the Judge said Arizona's courts could not hear or consider such a case. He said that a voter has five days only to challenge an election after the election canvass is approved. It is impossible to challenge an election within five days because a challenge must allege specifics that prove the outcome was actually different. Such evidence can never be obtained.

If proof is obtained, like for instance a sworn statement that the computer operator had been ordered to rig the election and did so, the court is nonetheless powerless to consider it. That is an unacceptable situation in a democracy, whether in Arizona or anywhere in the world. We want to appeal. An appellate court needs to rule on this issue. We think it is clearly wrong. If correct, we want it in writing from an appellate court that our courts are powerless to consider fraudulent elections. That is the issue. If the ballots are burned then a court of appeals could not consider the case.

We are seeking “prospective relief” so they cannot cheat in the future. However, history tells us there are many ways to cheat and if more ways are found we need to have the courthouse doors open to right the wrong. This case is as fundamental as it gets.

Add to this all the other problems previously exposed, documented and yet not answered leaves the public questioning whether our votes are being secured and accurately counted in Pima County. The previous case in Judge Miller’s court room proved that Pima Count’s voting system is “Fatally Flawed”. When counting and processing of the ballots is concealed from the public, the only solution is transparency, transparency and more transparency at all times, not election theater.

Yes, voting is a secret process; however counting and verifying our vote must be a public process. That’s why the solution we are working towards is graphic scanning of ballots as done in Humboldt County in California. Link:

If you’re confused about what going on please be with us at the Loft Theater on Grant Road September 16th at 7pm. A documentary about this case and you’ll be able to see with your on eyes that we are voting on a “Fatally Flawed” voting system. For more information go here:


John R Brakey

Co-founder of AUDIT-AZ (Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency in Elections, Arizona) & Co-Coordinator Investigations for Election Defense Alliance 5947 S Placita Picacho El Diablo Tucson, AZ 85706 520-578-5678New Cell 520 339 2696John’s

AUDIT-AZ and EDA is a nonpartisan organization whose mission is to restore public ownership and oversight of elections, work to ensure the fundamental right of every American citizen to vote, and to have each vote counted as intended in a secure, transparent, impartial, and independently audited election process.

Additional Background and links:

Another reason for a stay of an order to destroy ballots is to resolve a previously filed public records case requesting copies of the election poll tapes (precinct election results on a paper tape) and the pollworkers end of day certified report, both generated election night at the precincts and signed by the pollworkers. These documents are public records boxed with RTA ballots subject to an destruction order. This critical evidence was ignored in the Attorney General’s hand count of RTA ballots conducted by Maricopa Elections Department. Reconciling ballots with the signed poll tapes is always standard procedure in hand auditing of ballots to verify that the ballots being counted are the same that were cast at the precinct.
Additionally, there are unresolved questions about why one box would hold 1,200 ballots and another exact same size could hold 1,500 ballots. Are there two types of ballot thicknesses?
Furthermore, the copy of the Attorney General’s Excel report of hand count results raises questions that signal alarm:

· Why were 4 complete precincts worth of ballots missing?
· The precinct ballot error rate is 1 error in 45 ballots. Why would the error rate per precinct be high when HAVA mandates the accuracy rate 1 mark error rate in 10 million. Note: To get a recount in Arizona the result between two candidates must be with in 1/10 of 1%.
· Because the error rate is so high, wouldn’t it have been prudent to use the poll tapes and also check the ballots forensically to verify that these were the original RTA ballots?
· We know that the legitimate 2006-era ballots were printed on offset printers, while by 2008 both Pima and Maricopa counties had the ability to print ballots on demand on high-end laser printers. We also know that a microscope can tell the difference between offset and laser printing processes as laser printers leave a smattering of “stray toner particles”. We brought a microscope to Phoenix; why wouldn’t the Arizona Attorney General’s office let anyone take even a moment’s glance at the ballots through it?

Timeline and Questionable Chain of Events Leading to RTA Criminal Investigation:

 2/13/09 A must read: AZ Daily Star “Goddard: Recount for 'curiosity' not allowed” "If they can bring us viable information we would continue to investigate it. They haven't. They've brought us what I can only describe as a wild story," Goddard said.
 2/18/09 Bill Risner informed the AG that he had reached agreement to finally get the Poll tapes. “The Democratic Party expects to be able to access the poll tapes in the coming weeks. We, of course, need to get these before Beth Ford, the Pima County Treasurer, destroys the ballots. We are concerned about the retrieval process itself, however, because we want to make sure that the evidence is not contaminated. Since your office is conducting your own investigation, we invite you to participate in the poll tape retrieval. Your participation would serve to preserve the integrity of that evidence, should it ultimately be needed.”
 2/20/09 Bill Risner is told by the Attorney for the Treasurer’s office that the AG Office is now interested and is going to seize the ballots
 2/23/09 in court AG office presents a secret court order to take the ballots.
 2/25/09 the ballots are moved from a secure facility “Iron Mountain’ by AG office to a secret location. Video Where are the Ballots?:
 4/06/09 We can see at the hand count that the AG Office compromised chain of custody; the ballots were not securely handled; boxes were not secrecy-taped; the AG gave no accounting for the location of the ballots from 2/25/09 until they arrived at Maricopa Election Department.
Transparency requires that the public be advised of the ballot chain of custody, where the ballots during that time. After ballots are counted their packed back in the boxes, sealed, signed, proper chains of custody is done and that what should have been done when they took the ballots out of Iron Mountain a secure storage facility.

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