Almost five years after the RTA election, a group of activists keeps fighting for election integrity
|Bill Risner: "We want an order to keep them from cheating|
in the future. This court does have jurisdiction to see
that the Constitution is followed in Arizona."
Risner said there was enough apparent foul play involved for the court to change how ballots are counted in the county.
Yes, folks: The election-integrity battle rages on.
In the May 2006 RTA election, voters approved a 20-year, $2.1 billion transportation plan funded by a half-cent increase in the sales tax, with 60 percent of voters supporting the plan, and 58 percent supporting the half-cent sales tax.
Risner and other critics questioned the results when the plan passed, citing conflicting polls and precinct reports, and pointing out that the growth lobby had a lot to gain in a $2.1 billion plan to pay for roads and improvements.
Among other things, activists asked the state Attorney General's Office to look at anomalies detected in computer software that the county used to track votes. The anomalies issue led to a successful public-records lawsuit in 2010 that gave the Pima County Democratic Party access to the computer database for the RTA election.
The next legal challenge: asking the court to allow the public to look at the RTA ballots and other elections materials still in storage. Before that hearing ended, then-Attorney General Terry Goddard had the ballots inspected and counted, and determined there was no foul play. Critics, however, contended that a forensic analysis of the ballots should be done, and that key election reports were missing.