Sunday, January 29, 2012

Arizona Election Fraud: Pima County's Desperate Arguments Against the Court's Protection of Evidence

 J.T. Waldron


Whether they are denying statements made in a hearing four days ago or they are claiming that the Libertarian party's motivation for prospective relief  is to "make a movie", Pima County appears to be in a state of panic.   After the Arizona Libertarian Party won their appeal for prospective relief for rigged elections, last week's initial hearings were prolonged by the county's absurd arguments against rudimentary measures to protect evidence and to learn how evidence was previously handled.

The evidence in question rests in cardboard boxes at an Iron Mountain storage facility, which is holding poll tapes, summary reports, ballots and other paperwork involving the 2006 Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) election.

Pima County's private attorney Ronna Fickbohm claimed last Friday, "Pima County has never said, 'we object to simply asking Beth Ford to get a certified statement from Iron Mountain listing who's accessed the records since the day they came to them and show it to you.'"   Fickbohm contradicts her own testimony from the previous Monday.   Bill Risner, an attorney working with the Libertarian party,  promptly reminded Judge Kyle Bryson last Friday, "At the last hearing, where we were talking about deposing Iron Mountain and Ronna Fickbohm was arguing, Pima County was arguing against that.   Her argument  talked about how 'in front of Judge Borek, she was successfully able on behalf of Pima County to prevent us from obtaining information about what happened to those boxes. '"

Pima County's other private lawyer assigned to represent Treasurer Beth Ford, John Richardson, introduced a procedure making Beth Ford an inextricable part of the process designed  to protect the ballots.  Rather than making ballot custody an impartial process by removing all parties and leaving any orders to the judge, both Richardson and Fickbohm presented arguments about how such a court order could potentially implicate Beth Ford by suggesting there is good cause to protect the ballots. 

As Bill Risner states last Friday, "The good cause is that it's important evidence that needs to be protected. That's the good cause...it was stunning what was done with this court's vault, which simply heightens the need for it to be clear to Iron Mountain...much better than a complicated order that relies on Ford's communication ... They repeatedly say that 'Gee, Ford's done this really great job', but if she did such a great job, how come Iron Mountain says 'No one ever told us'."

On May 18th, 2007, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry (who sets the county treasurer's budget) issued a memorandum instructing his legal team about the need to secure all evidence involving the 2006 RTA election.   Later testimony confirmed, however, that no actual action or enforcement was implemented.  According to testimony by an Iron Mountain employee, no specific instructions concerning the handling of the ballots were delivered to Iron Mountain.   Pima County's private attorney Ronna Fickbohm goes to great lengths to dispute Bill Risner's reference to the memo as a press release.  She says, "It wasn't a press release.  It wasn't directed to Mr. Risner somehow Mr. Risner got a hold of it.  It doesn't matter.  It wasn't a big secret." 

Fickbohm is correct in stating that it wasn't a big secret because that 'memo' was released to the local press at the end of the day.  Reading the memo, the public's last impression comes from the final sentence, "We need to take action to ensure that all documentation, ballots, electronic files and other information sources  are secured so they cannot be altered, tampered with or destroyed as I am sure an accurate independent review of this material will verify that the allegations made by Mr. Risner are absolutely untrue."  This document can formally be labelled a memo, but it was clearly an exercise in public relations. 

Initially, Pima County's refusal to disclose electronic public records for the RTA election sparked a lawsuit by the Democratic party.  Pima County spent over one million dollars in their failed attempt to prevent public disclosure of election data, which eventually was released to the Democratic party. 

This release, however, was marred by Pima County employee John Moffatt's violation of the court order requesting the transfer of the data to both parties at the same time.  Moffatt managed to gain possession of the data from the county vault prior to the Democratic party finding out about the order.   This acquisition occurred with no signature or paper trail. 

In the following trial for prospective relief, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard grabbed the boxes of ballots the moment it was established that the Democratic party would gain access to the poll tapes that are included in the boxes.  The Democratic party had experts ready to examine them for fraud.  In addition to grabbing the poll tapes, Goddard's apparent purpose was to count the ballots in an attempt to vindicate Pima County. At this point, the Democratic Party abandoned their legal pursuit of prospective relief, but continued to fight for access to the poll tapes.

The Libertarian Party remained and succeeded in obtaining a precedent-setting ruling on behalf of prospective relief for elections so the court can intervene once there is a failure of existing laws and law enforcement (Goddard's investigation) to protect election integrity.   

In the previous records case, Pima County admitted that software security is so bad, altering the outcome of an election is easy.  In fact, the county is estopped from arguing otherwise in this current case for prospective relief.  The county may eventually find itself in a similar position if they continue to make statements inferring that the RTA election was not rigged.

The Libertarian party intends to get a forensic examination of the RTA ballots to determine whether the cardboard boxes have been 'stuffed' with ballots generated by an ink-jet ballot-on-demand printer owned by Pima County.  Terry Goddard refused such an examination despite the fact he was aware of the incident with John Moffatt and the Pima County vault.  Another peculiar omission in Goddard's very public recount of the ballots behind glass was his refusal to incorporate basic auditing procedures.  No sufficient audit took place because there was no comparison of the ballot totals to the precinct totals or poll tapes.

The Democratic party battled on for another year of litigation to gain access to the poll tapes.  Over one third of the tapes were missing.  Another 10% of the the poll tapes do not match the precincts they were supposed to match.   The missing and errant poll tapes correspond to the precincts that had problems with memory card uploads.  Problems with memory card uploads indicate attempts to reprogram the cards using an industrial farmer's crop scanner, a device that the Pima County Elections Division possessed during the RTA election. 

"What this is really about, Judge, is the creation of new film footage for their commercial enterprise." said Ronna Fickbohm to Judge Bryson last Friday,   "If you go online and Google fatallyflawedthemovie.com you will see a documentary that Mr. Brakey had asked you to film today put together starring Mr. Risner that was commercially available over the internet for twenty bucks a pop and it was even screened at the Loft."

John Brakey of CARE and AUDITAZ was operating the camera for the press pool footage of last Friday's hearing embedded at the end of this article. 

Edited together with no narration or talking head interviews, the completed documentary, "Fatally Flawed"  enables its audience to relive the experience of those who cared about the integrity of elections in Pima County.   It has proven to be an important tool for the public interest to help educate viewers about what transpired between Pima County and election integrity advocates in pursuit of election transparency.   It also contains important video evidence, like the footage of John Moffatt's county court shenanigans.   This type of documentation makes the revision of past events much more difficult.

In addition to what's in the movie, there is footage of an array of tables behind glass at Goddard's recount.

Continuous running footage of one table's entire process of counting the RTA ballots shows identically sized cardboard boxes filled to the top edge with approximately 1600 ballots.  Additional footage shows another table's complete count filling the same-sized box to the same level with approximately 1000 ballots.   One of the crucial specifications in any print job is the paper thickness, especially when ballots are involved.  This could be a troublesome dilemma for any last minute attempts at 'correcting the situation' by accessing the boxes a second time and replacing ballots for the purpose of passing a forensic exam.   A successful switch would require ballots of the same quantity of different sizes to fit in the same number of equal sized boxes in exactly the same way they were filmed during Goddard's recount.

Referring to the boxes of evidence, Bill Risner tells Judge Bryson, "Whatever's in them needs to be protected.  We certainly can't trust Pima County.  The games in terms of that sort of stuff need to stop... It's hard to have faith, really, in any storage in view of what Pima County did to the vault of this court.  That is out of my comprehension that someone can simply walk in and walk out, but they did it and that was a demonstration of incredible authority and power within the system.  Demonstration of who's in control.  Phenomenal. "

Pima County's desperate measures will not distract from the Libertarian party's primary goal behind this litigation - to ensure fair transparent elections for the future and prevent cheating by Pima County in upcoming elections.  This case for prospective relief through the courts is a major milestone that could help with election transparency across the nation.  Hopefully, Pima County will abandon or exhaust all delaying tactics and approach a timely outcome within this election year.  There is far too much at stake.



Arizona Election Fraud: Pima County Loses Bid to Stop Ballot Custody Depositions

J.T. Waldron

Citizen's Agains Rigged Elections
Left to Right:  John Kromko, Gayle Hart, Dick Kaiser, Gigi Nitka, Ralph Ellinwood Esq,
two dudes. Sherry Mann, John R Brakey, Mary DeCamp,  Arlene Leaf, Ben Love,
Bill Risner Esq., New member, "the connect The Dots Lady"  Andrea Witte,  New member,
Raymond Graap, Jim March, Radio show host Jack Fitzgerald
Photo by Lee Stanley
The Libertarian party may depose employees at the Iron Mountain storage facility in an effort to determine who in Pima County had access to the ballots for the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) election since 2006.

Previous depositions indicate that Pima County employees were able to access the RTA ballots since they were delivered after the election in 2006. The depositions were part of the hearings that ultimately led to the Libertarian party's successful pursuit of  prospective relief for rigged elections. This court case was first triggered by the Pima County Treasurer's pursuit of a declaratory judgement over the ballots for the 2006 RTA election. 

Originally, Pima County attorneys advised County Treasurer Beth Ford to sue the political parties (those charged with monitoring elections in Arizona) to "get a decision on what to do with the RTA ballots". The original idea was to provide an opportunity for Pima County to destroy the ballots before true auditing or a forensic examination of the ballots could take place. This idea backfired when the Libertarian party made a successful counterclaim for prospective relief from the courts.

A favorable ruling for prospective relief means the courts can intervene when there is a failure of existing laws as well as a failure to enforce existing laws designed to keep elections transparent and accurate.

Fighting Tooth and Nail over Rudimentary Disclosure

Pima County has taken elaborate, evasive measures that exceed what is legally customary when requests are made for public records, discovery, depositions and other seemingly innocuous items that could provide a clearer picture of election security.




RTA Ballot Custody Still a Major Concern

The county's most recent efforts at blocking disclosure involved the request by the Libertarian party to depose employees of Iron Mountain, the storage facility that held the ballots since 2006. 

What reason did the county provide?  Concern over the costs of the depositions.  An ironic position given the exorbitant private attorneys hired by Pima County to litigate the case initiated by their Treasurer's office.  Previously, Pima County attorneys handled the electronic records lawsuit over the RTA's database files.  In addition to cost, Pima County's private attorney Ronna Fichbohm claims that the Libertarian party hasn't shown good cause for the need to find out what happened to the ballots.

Pima County employee John Moffatt, however, was all the cause needed to justify this line of inquiry.  During the RTA records hearing, Moffatt had managed to take possession of a box in the county vault that had a court order specifically instructing that both parties be present when the box is released.  This box contained two hard drives: one intended for the county and the other for the Democratic party.  In violation of the court order, John Moffatt obtained possession of both hard drives before the Democratic party was aware they were available. 

The Democratic party had publicly announced its intention of using software developed to pick up certain anomalies in the electronic database files soon to be released through a court ruling.  Apparently, the county wanted a little 'extra lead time' with both hard drives while they were still in the process of developing their own software aimed at detecting what the Democratic party might detect.

The following clip shows the precise moment when John Moffatt was caught with his hand in the evidence cookie jar.  Notice the free pass provided by AZ Daily Star's obedient reporter, Erica Meltzer:


Unfortunately, it's not just the county that disrupts the chain of custody of crucial evidence.  The very same RTA ballots were removed from Iron Mountain's facility in February of 2009 by Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard for his criminal investigation of the RTA election.   While his appearance of upholding the law was initially appreciated, Terry Goddard played the unfortunate role of demonstrating why prospective relief is needed through the courts. In addition to the refusal to conduct a proper audit or a forensic investigation of the ballots, the chain of custody seems to be completely unaccounted for during the ballots' 5-6 week hiatus with Goddard's staff. 

 John Brakey, Co-founder of AUDIT-AZ and CARE (Citizens Against Rigged Elections) was on location at Maricopa's Elections Division as the ballots were rolled out in a cart to be counted.

" The boxes were an absolute mess, Boxes were already opened, tape looked like it was removed and reused.  I kept asking myself and others 'How could the Attorney General take evidence without securing it?'"

Around this time, John Brakey gained notoriety for being falsely arrested through the request of Pima Elections Director Brad Nelson.  Brakey discovered mislabeling of ballots earmarked for a hand-count audit and was promptly arrested when he brought the discrepancy to the attention of the Pima Elections Division.  Charges were dismissed once it was made clear in the courts that Brakey did not disrupt the process.

This court case is set to continue this Friday, because Pima County is delaying the hearing to determine if the courts should obtain custody of the ballots during the case.  Those familiar with this case know the answer to that question.  The following initial disclosure statement is a great comprehensive statement of facts: http://tinyurl.com/LPFiling

All are invited to attend this historic hearing.

Friday, January 20th, 2012- 11:00 AM
Judge Kyle Bryson’s Courtroom
Fifth Floor, Pima Superior Court: 110 W. Congress
Tucson, Arizona USA


Election Fraud: Arizona's Ticking Time Bomb Set to Reverberate throughout the Nation

Precedent setting court case could improve election transparency in the United States.

The Libertarian party's pursuit of a remedy against Pima County's criminality and incompetence can have nationwide implications for disenfranchised voters throughout the country.  The Arizona Supreme Court ruled favorably on behalf of the Libertarian party, who argued that the courts must intervene when there is a failure of existing laws as well as a failure to enforce existing laws designed to keep elections transparent and accurate.

Today's press conference marks the beginning of the Libertarian party's request through the courts for changes to Pima County's election procedures, which have been found to be woefully inadequate.

Like most voting districts throughout the country, Pima County uses electronic voting machines now infamous for their numerous security flaws and errant outcomes.  Unique to Pima County is the mounting evidence of election fraud surrounding one specific election that took place in 2006.  This was a taxpayer-funded road construction measure worth two billion dollars.   This Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) initiative contained two "yes/no" questions which was part of a simple ballot design that contained only a total of four "yes/no" questions.  Part of the initial suspicion was fueled by this simple ballot initiative's unusual number of anomalies and malfunctions during the tally process, which was unmatched by any of the other more complex ballots counted in Pima County.

Bill Risner helped set the foundation for
prospective relief in this case.
The means, motive and opportunity for election fraud was clearly established by a previous court case over an electronic records request by the Democratic party.  Pima County refused to release the electronic database files for the 2006 RTA election.  Their resistance cost taxpayers approximately 1.5 million in legal fees in its failed effort to prevent the legal transfer of public records to political parties.  The Democratic Party eventually lost interest in the pursuit of prospective relief for election integrity once it became apparent that Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Terry Goddard was complicit in the criminal investigation of the 2006 RTA election.   Fortunately, the Libertarian party continued with the lawsuit to win the appeal over prospective relief. 

This case eventually demonstrated the failure of existing state laws to enable a timely challenge of election results due to a five day limit.  This problem seemed to be complemented by the failure of law enforcement, which was highlighted by the incompetent criminal investigation conducted by Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard. 

In short, Terry Goddard refused to conduct an audit by comparing one set of numbers (the ballots) to another set of numbers (the precinct totals or the poll tapes).  Goddard's team refused to conduct a forensic check of the ballots (which are still in existence) despite the suspects' (Pima County's)  access to them throughout the period of litigation.

Today's press conference is marked by the filing of the Libertarian party's initial disclosure statement, which contains the most comprehensive and comprehensible list of facts, legal theories and evidence surrounding the rigged 2006 RTA election.

Additional discovery will take place in this suit to complete the picture of election fraud and to further understand the shortcomings of existing election procedures in Pima County.  Apparently, Pima County is offering stiff legal resistance to the plaintiff's request for a list of people who visited the storage facility for access to the ballots in question during the period of litigation. 

Since HAVA (Help America Vote Act) election fraud is rampant throughout the United States.  The Libertarian party's victory in obtaining prospective relief through the courts means that a court can issue orders that effect the transparency and accuracy of elections.  This case is precedent-setting and may be applicable to other election court cases throughout the country.

J.T. Waldron

Here is the press release info (which has a livestream link):

Press Conferences: The Pima County Election Fraud Case Heads to Back to Court

Just released; will be filed Thursday morning. “Statement of Facts”  Election Fraud Pima County: http://tinyurl.com/76lgzvy

Contacts: John R. Brakey, 520 339 2696 AUDITAZ@cox.net, Bill Risner 520 622 7495, bill@risnerandgraham.com, Jim March, 1.jim.march@gmail.com


When: Thursday January 12th, 2:30 pm
Where: Armory Park Senior Center
220 S. 5th Avenue, 220 S. 5th Avenue, Tucson AZ

Tucson, AZ: Since our saga began over five years ago, more and more people across America are becoming aware of the serious security flaws in computerized voting systems. They are systems designed to cheat, and they are everywhere. As the political scene heats up with the Presidential election, all eyes will be on Tucson as ground zero for exposing these flaws in open court and proposing reasonable checks and balances in the system. We must protect the purity of elections and public confidence in election results — a cornerstone of our democracy. That’s what this case is ultimately about.

BACKGROUND: AUDIT-AZ, the Pima County Libertarian Party and other interested citizens of multiple parties for years have been investigating election processes in Pima County. In previous actions, the Democratic Party took the lead in winning public records lawsuits and revealing the extent of the problems, including poor security practices on "designed to cheat" systems, election results that consistently did not add up, missing or falsified paper, and election officials and staff who continuously flout the law.

The Democratic and Libertarian Parties jointly filed suit years ago to ask a court to order reforms to the process. One local judge decided that his court was unable to do so no matter how obvious the problems might be. After that, the Democratic Party dropped out. The Libertarian Party did not: They appealed and won. Pima County appealed that decision to the AZ Supreme Court and lost. The courts have now ruled that if it can be proven that elections are being handled poorly, a local judge can indeed order Pima County to institute reforms.

IT’S GAME TIME: So after years of effort, we are “game on.” We plan to prove wide-ranging abuses of basic election security in Pima County Arizona and to obtain court-mandated improvements in the election process that could serve as a national model for how to do electronic voting properly and securely.

We have connected the dots into a 10-point quick summary of the fact pattern in this gripping saga of power and deceit. And we propose a remedy that is easy, inexpensive and doable. Let us share that and more with you. We promise a very interesting time.

***30***

·        RTA Fraud Slides for Press Conference 1/12/12 .pdf: http://tinyurl.com/872o8sn

·        Flyer for Press Conference 1/12/12 pdf: http://tinyurl.com/85ddblt

      ·        Just released: “Statement of Facts” http://tinyurl.com/76lgzvy

·        For more info: http://audit-az.blogspot.com or: http://seekingjusticeauditaz.blogspot.com

Occupy Rigged Elections with C.A.R.E

If you can’t make it you can hopefully watch on line: starting at 2:30pm tomorrow you'll be able to watch it online at: Occupy Rigged Elections Tucson:
 http://www.livestream.com/occupyriggedelections
You may have to sit through one short ad first, after that we're on.

Hope, Peace and Occupy with C.A.R.E.  Care stands for Citizens Against Rigged Elections

John R Brakey


We are "news blind" - Tucson media ignore news

William Heuisler
Tucson Crime Prevention Examiner

1) Neither the Arizona Daily Star nor local TV news has demanded to know who is responsible for the hundred million dollars missing from “Rio Nuevo” projects.

2) Neither the Arizona Daily Star nor local TV news has mentioned Superior Court case # C 20085016 where Pima County admitted under oath to wrongdoing and security lapses in the two billion dollar Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) election.

3) No media outlet has bothered to mention how Brian Crane, chief computer tech for Pima County Elections, admitted buying “election flipping” software, called Crop Scanner, prior to the largest, most expensive bond election in Pima County History.

4) No one reported when Pima County affirmed in testimony that the RTA election was a, "discrete incident of past wrongdoing” (Ford v. Dem. etc, 2010).

5) No one questioned Attorney General Goddard who first had “sufficient cause to investigate” but changed his mind a week later. Not one reporter wants to know why Attorney General Horne, “…declines to initiate another (?) investigation”.

Our Constitution protects press freedom. Shield laws in 30 states protect journalists from compelled production of confidential/unpublished information. The press is protected. What about the press’s duty to protect the public with information?

Garry Duffy, the Citizen reporter who
actually did report about the missing data
tape at Pima Elections.
And newspapers knew about the corruption back in 2007. Garry Duffy, reported for the Tucson Citizen: “No one seems to know what happened to a computer tape record of the May 16, 2006 (RTA) election… The county elections director made the revelation in his testimony Wednesday in a Pima County Superior Court trial... The case goes to the heart of the democratic process – the security of voting and vote counting…” (Duffy, 2007)
Advertisement

The Citizen is gone. The “heart of democratic process” story is forgotten. Not a printed peep now about an ongoing civil suit and Pima County’s admissions of “wrongdoing”. Nothing is reported about a two billion dollar fraud on the taxpayers of Pima County.

Two billion is how much from each county taxpayer?

Do local TV and newspapers have a duty to inform their public when millions and billions of tax dollars are lost, or when official corruption occurs? Are the news media in Tucson malingerers? Are they willfully blind, or have they just taken sides against taxpayers?

Duffy, G. (2007. Tucson Citizen. Record of votes in ’06 RTA election missing.

http://tucsoncitizen.com/morgue/2007/12/06/70793-record-of-votes-in-06-rta-election-missing/

Ford v. Democrat Party of Pima County (2010). Justia.com US Law. Arizona Court of Appeals, Division two, unpublished decisions. Case # C 20085016

http://law.justia.com/cases/arizona/court-of-appeals-division-two-unpublished/2010/cv20100001memo.html


Arizona Election Fraud: Attorney Bill Risner Interviewed by Tucson's Radio Host, Jack Fitz 1/16/12

Includes interviews with John Brakey of CARE and AUDITAZ.



Attorney Bill Risner Interviewed by Brad Friedman on on the Mike Malloy Show over Missing RTA Polltapes


Brad Friedman breaks RTA Missing Polltape Story on the Mike Malloy Show. Interviews Bill Risner and provides great coverage of the RTA saga:


Watch for more coverage on BradBlog.com

Goddard: A Compromise We Cannot Afford


Terry Goddard has failed in his most important case as an Attorney General. Why should we promote him to governor?

You might have been aware of an investigation his office conducted into the 2006 RTA election Question 1 and 2 in Pima County. Here, investigators discovered that the current elections division in Pima County manipulated the electronic database files for this May 2006 election. This discovery ultimately led to the successful three-year lawsuit against Pima County that reaffirmed electronic database files as public records and collected a very large amount of evidence suggesting that the 2006 RTA election was rigged.

Attorney Bill Risner represented the Pima County Democratic Party in this case. When a substantial amount of evidence was discovered, he fulfilled his duty as an officer of the court by reporting this potential crime to Attorney General Terry Goddard.

A reasonable expectation one has when reporting a crime is for law enforcement to contact the person filing the report to find out what happened. This elementary step is especially helpful in complex white collar crimes like the manipulation of data in an elections system.

In the spring and summer of 2007, Terry Goddard chose to do precisely the opposite. Instead of talking to the people who made the discovery so that he could find out what happened and where to look, he began working with the suspects - Pima County. Interviewing the suspects and collecting facts from the suspects is essential. Allowing the suspects to suggest what to investigate, however, invites a huge conflict of interest with a strong potential to manipulate the outcome [pdf].

Did those who first discover and report this situation have an opportunity to point out what they found and explain its significance? Absolutely not. In fact, the results of the first investigation were withheld from the people who made the complaint until the day of the press conference. The suspects, however, were informed of the results of the investigation and given an advance report.

At the press conference, Attorney General Terry Goddard stated that the resulting report exonerated the Pima County Elections division. This was patently false. It was excruciatingly clear that Terry Goddard participated in an exercise in public relations designed to falsely reassure the public about the reliability of the Pima Elections Division and the RTA election itself. It was also evident that, in coordination with local corporate press, a campaign began to undermine the efforts of the election integrity movement by confusing the public further about the issues surrounding this case and casting members of the election integrity group in a negative light.

It was at this moment in time that the Democratic Party was made well aware of what had taken place and of Terry Goddard's role in this activity. There was ample time to choose a more ethical candidate for Governor of Arizona.

Adding insult to injury, Terry Goddard behaved in a similar manner when he finally exercised his authority to examine the RTA ballots in 2009. After years of dragging his feet and denying his authority to examine the ballots in this white collar criminal investigation, Attorney Bill Risner informed Terry Goddard by mail that the Pima County Democratic Party was currently in a civil case to retrieve the poll tapes from that election. These poll tapes are significant because they offer a snapshot signed by poll workers of what the results should be by each precinct. In this letter (pdf), Risner informs Goddard that his client has obtained an expert willing and able to examine the poll tapes for their authenticity and that these poll tapes are with the ballots.

At this moment, before the Pima County Democratic Party can retrieve the poll tapes and examine them, Terry Goddard obtains a secret court order and whisks the ballots away from the secure local Iron Mountain storage facility to an undisclosed location. This chain of custody is monitored by and depends solely on the Attorney General's office for a full month. The public is still uncertain about where these ballots were stored prior to the examination.

Despite countless pleas to examine the poll tapes, Terry Goddard refuses to examine the poll tapes.

Despite countless pleas for Terry Goddard to provide a rudimentary, no-cost, non destructive forensic check of the ballots to see if any were generated with a laser printer, Terry Goddard refuses to perform this forensic check. On the day of his press conference, Goddard acknowledged to the public on the John C. Scott show that he was aware of Pima County violating a court order by compromising evidence in the county vault, so he admits to having probable cause for a forensic exam.





Despite countless pleas for Terry Goddard to perform a precinct-by-precinct analysis of the ballots, Terry Goddard refuses to perform this analysis.

Instead, Terry Goddard hires Maricopa County to perform a "recount" to determine whether the ballots indicate the same results as in the election. No other meaningful audit or examination took place.

Once again, it was painfully clear that Terry Goddard participated in an exercise in public relations designed to falsely reassure the public about the reliability of the Pima Elections Division and the RTA election itself. The poll tapes were then resealed and sent back to the Iron Mountain Storage facility in Pima County. Attorney Bill Risner is continuing to work on behalf of the Pima County Democratic Party to retrieve the poll tapes which are now hung up in the Pima County Treasurer's newly introduced obscure and expensive protocols for examination. It is clear that the Democratic Party is, to this day, being discouraged from looking at the poll tapes, which were very recently and easily acquired from other past elections.



So the recent mass emailed solicitation on behalf of Goddard is problematic. Some elements of the Democratic Party seem to have this idea that it's "better to have our crook in there than their crook". That's not good enough.

It's ironic that Terry Goddard is collecting money for a clean elections campaign when, thanks to his efforts, we will never know for sure who will win his own election. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Poll Tapes, Other Evidence Discovered Missing in Long-Disputed, 'Fixed' Arizona Election

Brad Friedman
Material sought by Election Integrity advocates from Pima County's 2006 RTA election no longer in 'secured' facility
AZ AG Terry Goddard failed to examine evidence during his criminal investigation hand-count of ballots last year...
- Special investigative report by Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG
The mystery surrounding a long-questioned and allegedly "fixed" non-partisan 2006 Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) bond election in Pima County, AZ continues to deepen as troubling new details have now emerged. The resolution in this matter --- should it ever come --- could spell trouble for supporters of paper-based optical-scan electronic voting systems, since indications are that if the election was rigged, it was done with insiders via the electronic central tabulating computers.

Late last week another new twist was discovered in the years-long election fraud investigation by Democratic and Libertarian Election Integrity advocates in Tucson. The revelations come to light in what was thought by many to have been a settled election, at last, following a long-sought hand-count of paper ballots carried out last year by the office of AZ's Democratic Attorney General Terry Goddard. The AG had announced in April of last year that his criminal investigation hand-count had "affirmed" the original results of the election were correct.

As it turns out, The BRAD BLOG, which has been covering this bizarre matter for years, plays a small role in this latest development, as a promise that Goddard's office made to us last year concerning the "poll tapes" --- remarks which he was asked about during a press conference at the end of the hand count [see the remarks on video below] --- may have now boomeranged on him.

Given that Goddard is now the likely Democratic nominee to face Republican Gov. Jan Brewer in this fall's Gubernatorial race, this revelation couldn't have come at a much worse time for him.
After many years of litigation, Election Integrity advocates have now finally been allowed to review the long sought-after poll tapes in question. What they've discovered is disturbing and, so far, without legitimate explanation.

Out of 368 precincts, 112 poll tapes are completely missing. Moreover, 102 of the "yellow sheets" --- certified precinct reports, signed by poll workers, detailing corresponding summary information, such as numbers of ballots received, cast and spoiled, as helpful for important auditing functions at the precinct level --- are missing as well.

Furthermore, of the poll tape records that are not missing, 50 of them do not match the results as recorded in the final canvas of the election, according to the Election Integrity advocates who have compared them to the original electronic database numbers...




The background, the anomalies, the whistleblower and the 'fixed' election

Some background is in order to explain the significance of the rather disturbing new discovery in the case, which we revealed in an on-air exclusive late last week during an interview with Pima County, AZ attorney Bill Risner while guest hosting the nationally-syndicated Mike Malloy Show. [Audio of the complete interview with Risner is available at the end of this article.]

Without getting into too many of the weeds --- and there have been many along the way --- the RTA bond measure, or ones like it, had been on the ballot several times in Pima, and had always been defeated. In 2006, however, the initiative was said to have finally passed. Ironically, at least in hindsight, the Democratic Party had actually supported the measure at the time in order to help see new roads built in the Tucson area.

The election was run in Pima County (Tucson) on Diebold's paper-ballot based optical-scan machines, the same ones seen being hacked in HBO's Emmy-nominated 2006 documentary Hacking Democracy (video of that hack here). Election Integrity advocates from AUDIT-AZ (Americans United for Democracy, Integrity and Transparency in Elections - Arizona) and BlackBoxVoting.org became suspicious about the election results after the measure had passed, and set about investigating various red flags in the contest.

Missing Poll Tapes

Tucson Weekly

Frequent commenter J.T. Waldron has this to say about the poll tapes from the RTA election:
The Tucson Weekly has afforded me this opportunity to post on The Range about the missing RTA poll tapes. What are poll tapes and why do they matter? Poll tapes are receipts that are printed in each precinct at the end of the election night. They contain the vote totals that indicate the results for that particular precinct. Once printed, election workers verify the authenticity of the poll tape and its totals by signing the bottom of each poll tape. For this reason, poll tapes could serve an important auditing function, especially in conjunction with examining the ballots.

Earlier posts and national media news sources report that a number of poll tapes from the 2006 RTA election are missing. Here are the actual numbers:

Out of 368 memory cards representing 409 precincts, there are 112 poll tapes missing, which represent 122 precincts. This is approximately 30 percent of the precincts counted.
102 additional supporting documents (yellow sheets) are missing.

50 of the polltapes that were found do not match the final canvas.

Why is this significant? Because it utterly discredits Attorney General Terry Goddard's investigation, it renders the RTA investigation incomplete and it underscores the lack of confidence in Pima County's elections.

Attorney General Terry Goddard contradicted himself numerous times over activities involving the RTA poll tapes.

Bill Risner said that prior to Goddard swooping in to take the ballots out of Pima County last year in advance of the hand-count, he had explained to him the significance of reviewing the poll tapes. "We told the attorney general's office that if we look at the poll tape, there would be clues on it that would tell us whether they had used the machines to fraudulently program [the election]. ...That's when he grabbed the ballots."


A quick look at the timeline of events supports Risner's claim. In an article dated Feb. 13, 2008, Terry Goddard told the Arizona Daily Star that he didn’t intend to examine the ballots. Five days later, Bill Risner informed Goddard that the Democratic Party will examine the poll tapes. Then eight days later, Goddard’s staff is in court announcing their “secret court order” to take the ballots and poll tapes as part of a criminal investigation.


During the course of this investigation by Goddard's staff, the Democratic Party repeatedly requested that Terry Goddard examine the poll tapes, because they would provide a valuable “precinct snapshot”. In addition, they can easily be identified as fake or regenerated, and so would have evidentiary value. Election integrity activists and the Democratic party were assured by the AG's office that Terry Goddard's investigation would include examination of the poll tapes. This was not done.

Contradicting himself again, Terry Goddard reveals in his press conference following the hand count that he had not examined the poll tapes and saw no value in examining them. At the time of the press conference, Terry Goddard knew of the significance of the poll tapes. His statement "Why would we count a poll tape? I mean, I don't see how they are relevant to the hand-count." is either disingenuous or a flat-out lie.

Once Goddard finished his hand-count debut with the RTA ballots, he packed them up with the poll tapes and passed them back to the Iron Mountain Storage facility in the custody of Treasurer Beth Ford. This move saddled the Democratic party with another year of litigation, seeking access to the poll tapes, which is why the missing poll tapes are being reported one year later.

What is known is that the ballots and poll tapes had been stored at various times at unknown locations in Maricopa County, Maricopa Elections Division and the Iron Mountain storage facility.

Testimony in the most recent poll tape litigation established that Iron Mountain was not a secure facility when it came to the RTA ballot boxes. Despite evidence at trial that the County Manager had instructed the County Attorney to tell Iron Mountain that no one could approach those boxes, the Iron Mountain representative stated under oath that "no one ever told us that, and our customers, the county, could always come in to these boxes."
The fact that the County had access to those poll tapes at the Iron Mountain facility at all times makes forensic analysis of the ballots imperative. After all, anyone from the County could apparently have been granted access to those ballot boxes. Yet, during the press conference, when questioned by Jim March, Goddard said he had no cause to perform the nondestructive no-cost forensic examination of the ballots.

Shortly after the press conference, Terry Goddard was a guest on the John C. Scott radio show reiterating once again his contention that the hand count established that the RTA election results were proper and there was no need for further probing. I called in to the show and asked Terry Goddard if he was aware of the problems with custody of the hard drives that were in the Pima County Vault. I was referring to the Sept. 14, 2008 discovery that despite a court order for release of unaltered election data to the Pima County Democratic Party, the designated Democratic Party's database containing the hard drive had gone missing from the Pima County vault. It was only upon Bill Risner's visit to the County Clerk's office that the box of hard drives reappeared: in the hands of John Moffat, who had only a garbled explanation for why he was illegally in possession of the hard drives. Goddard replied: "Well I meant that's part of what I'm talking about. I was aware that that had happened...those are part of the very disturbing combination of events which ultimately said let's not depend upon as we did initially in our first past to review the electronic records."

If he didn't believe there was cause to examine the ballots for their authenticity then, there is definitely cause now. This investigation is incomplete.

Probably the most disturbing aspect of the missing poll tapes is the blow to the already poor confidence in the Pima County Elections Division. Despite efforts to improve procedures, issue self published report cards and oversee a hand-picked Election Integrity Commission, nothing can distract the public from the fact that the same people are operating within the elections division with impunity.

Now we have a recent mayoral election in Oro Valley sporting very peculiar numbers.
For this Oro Valley race, vote by mail consisted of 66.68 percent of the total vote. Within the 66.68 percent of the mail-in votes, Mike Zinkin was ahead by approximately 53 percent to Satish Hiremath's 47 percent. Within the remaining 33.32 percent of the votes, Hiremath was in the lead by 55.87 percent to Zinkin's 43.77 percent.

This makes the spread between vote-by-mail and all the rest of the votes as large as 9 percent. A spread that has never been seen before in Pima County's election history. With this difference, Hiremath won the Oro Valley Mayoral race.
Is an anomaly just an anomaly? Given what I and many others know about the Pima Elections Division, there's likely more to this story

More Details Emerge About Missing RTA Poll Tapes


Note: Read AUDIT AZ's Statement about early ballot counting here.

Not only did Pima County employees have access to the RTA ballot boxes, it appears that the Democratic party was mislead by Pima County about the records being protected. In the Democratic Party's most recent Motion for Deposition of Iron Mountain Company, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry is quoted as follows:

In addition, we need to protect, secure and seal any information related to Division of Elections actions regarding not only the November 2006 election, but also the May 2006 RTA election. Even thought the ballots/returns for the RTA election are eleigible for destruction puruant to A.R.S. 16.-624, please ensure that all ballot and election returns for this election now stored at our contract records management facility are retained, with specific instructions not to destroy these documents. Further, since the allegations are against an official of the Division of Elections, it would be appropriate to ensure that there are very specific instructions approved by the County Attorney to the contract records management firm that Division of Elections personnel, including you as the Director, and myself as your immediate supervisor, are not granted any independent access to said records without independent oversight and supervision. This will ensure that County Administration and the Division of Elections cannot be accused of having independent access to the ballots and altering same.

Mr. Huckleberry concluded:

We need to take action to ensure that all documentation, ballots, electronic files and other information sources are secured so they cannot be altered, tampered with or destroyed as I am sure an accurate and independent review of this material will verify that the allegations are made by Mr. Risner are absolutely untrue.

As Bill Risner puts it:

In spite of Pima county's strong statement that "all documentation" and "other information sources" would be secured and Iron Mountain would be so instructed based upon "specific instructions approved by the County Attorney" the Iron Mountain manager testified that such instructions were never made.

At the moment that Terry Goddard and his men took possession of the ballots and poll tapes, workers at the Iron Mountain facility could have been asked about who had access to the boxes containing the RTA election materials. What they would have learned at this moment should have been enough to inform them of the need to forensically check the ballots to determine if they are genuine.

AZ Attorney General Terry Goddard's actions surrounding the poll tapes involves Bill Risner's letter to Terry Goddard informing him of the Democratic Party's pending agreement to obtain the poll tapes from the RTA election. In this letter, Bill Risner informed Terry Goddard that the poll tapes would be inspected by an expert who can easily detect a specific type of foul play. This form of cheating involves the reprogramming of flash memory cards. Each precinct recorded their specific result onto their own flash memory card. The Pima County Elections Division is suspected of reprogramming a portion of the cards to create results that reflect something different than actual results of their corresponding precinct's vote totals. When this form of cheating is successful, poll workers would simply print out the corresponding poll tape and sign the tape for verification without suspecting any foul play. An expert with a hand lens, however, can detect imperfections attributable to a reprogrammed flash memory card. Once the poll workers have finished, the flash memory card is then delivered to the main elections office for the central tabulator. At this point, it's important to note that even when the flash card reprogramming is unsuccessful, end of day poll tapes would still be generated at the precincts.

Remember, the Pima County Elections division is suspected of reprogramming these flash memory cards for three main reasons (out of at least 20):

1. Electronic data won by the records lawsuit indicate that many flash memory cards had to be re-uploaded numerous times at the central tabulator's office. Reprogramming a flash memory card can be difficult and the typical errors that occur involve problems in uploading to the central tabulator. It is estimated that up to 140 cards had to be re-uploaded to the central tabulator and a large portion were re-uploaded repeatedly. These problems are symptomatic of poorly programmed flash memory cards and provide stark contrast to 2004's election in which only 4 cards were re-uploaded. When such a massive number of failures occurred in the 2006 RTA election, the Pima County Elections Division chose not to inform their vendor of these issues.

2. During the 2006 RTA election, Pima County was found to be in possession of the precise, obscure tool used to reprogram the very type of flash memory cards used in Pima County's election machines. The excuse by the County for having such contraband was that the computer technician wanted to find out whether such reprogramming of flash memory cards was possible with that specific device. This explanation contradicts Pima County's contention that security threats can only come from outside of the elections division.

3. A whistleblower has come forward with a sworn affidavit testifying that Bryan Crane told him privately while at the Boondocks Lounge that he had “fixed” the RTA election under direction from his bosses. Two additional people signed affidavits placing Bryan Crane at the Boondocks Lounge at the time of this confession, despite Crane telling the Arizona Daily Star that he'd never heard of the Boondocks Lounge.

Attorney General Terry Goddard's decision to take the poll tapes with the ballots appears to have been made after it became clear to him that the Democratic Party was close to obtaining the poll tapes and that an expert could detect foul play by looking at those poll tapes. This is logical behavior for somebody wishing to prevent the discovery of foul play through the poll tapes.

Another new piece to this puzzle is evidence that Terry Goddard's office was made aware of the legal struggle that the Democratic Party would be forced to endure if the Attorney General's office did not inspect the poll tapes and/or made them inaccessible again by putting the poll tapes back in the ballot boxes. Terry Goddard had the specific choice to examine the poll tapes or to participate with the Democratic Party and allow their experts to inspect the poll tapes. His choice was to keep interested parties from inspecting the poll tapes, to prevent access to the poll tapes, and to saddle the Democratic Party with another year of litigation to obtain access to the poll tapes. Again, this is logical behavior for somebody wishing to prevent the discovery of foul play through the poll tapes.

There is very strong circumstantial evidence that Terry Goddard is an accessory to the crimes likely committed by Pima County's elections division during the 2006 RTA election. Terry Goddard clearly had a choice to follow the straight and narrow in his investigation and examine all of the evidence. Instead, he opted to perform an exercise in public relations by presenting the illusion of an investigation. Why else would a seasoned white collar crime investigator go to the trouble of counting ballots behind glass and announcing his "findings" to the public yet leave so many stones left unturned? 
 

AUDIT AZ: Say "No" to Early Ballot Counting by Pima County in Upcoming General Election

Background:

Oro Valley Town Clerk Kathy Cuvelier was shown summary reports on a past Election Day before the polls closed. This activity is in direct violation of state law A.R.S. Sec. 16-621 (a), where it states: “there shall be no preferential counting of ballots for the purpose of projecting the outcome of the election”. Despite this illegal activity, the same people are in charge of the Pima County Elections Division, which is under the direct control of Chuck Huckelberry, who remains the county administrator.

AUDIT AZ Released this Statement:

Pima County wants to start counting Early Ballots August 18th! That is 7 days before the election. This a very bad idea. From the litigation and their own records we learned that they have a long tradition of peeking into the "who's winning and losing" by illegally printing the election results report. Of the data before every election from 2004 to 2006 (when we busted them) based on their own system's audit logs. They were doing it before then based on eyewitness testimony in court, but the log system didn't track it back then.

This data is incredibly valuable, both politically and financially. It can be used as a "Zogby poll from hell", far more accurate and detailed than any big-bucks polling system and therefore also very useful if you need to know how much fraud to do before each election.

Tell your member of the Pima Board of Supervisors that you reject this plan to facilitate fraud in an agency known for fraud in this area.

Your supervisors are here: http://www.pima.gov/bos/bos1.html
Here is the proof. The testimony of Mr. Robbie Evans Pima County Election Integrity Trial Arizona in December 2007

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3065842076090526996#
The plaintiff case seeks to illustrate for the judge that the elections division is unworthy of public trust, is marked by maladministration, persistent errors of judgment, and flaws and neglect in their security procedures. The purpose of Robbie Evans testimony is to give the judge specific reasons why the public interest would be better served by public scrutiny of those records that would allow confirmation of the integrity of the election process than by keeping those records confidential. One consistent theme in the testimony is that summary reports, which contain current vote totals, were frequently printed before elections were closed and handled somewhat casually. Another consistent theme was Bryan Crane's practice of taking home computer data backups for the remarkably consistent purpose of protecting the data should the building burn down. This in spite the presence of the fire-proof safe in the computer room.

Speak up, folks Elections matter!

John Brakey, co-founder of AUDIT-AZ (Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency in Elections, Arizona) http://www.audit-az.blogspot.com/

EDA & AUDIT-AZ’s Mission: 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. 

Election Integrity Pursuit Abandoned by Democrats Wins Appeal


J.T. Waldron

PDF of Ruling

The Libertarian party, the last group continuing the pursuit of prospective relief from rigged elections in the Arizona courts won a major legal victory last Thursday. The Court of Appeals reversed Judge Charles Harrington's dismissal and remanded the case for further proceedings.

The Democratic party backed out of this RTA court case when Judge Charles Harrington denied those who were seeking prospective relief in the courts to improve election integrity. The rationale provided by the Democratic party to abandon the case was concern of the costs for litigation. Election integrity activists believe that the Goddard political machine wanted as little attention possible over his handling of the RTA investigation.

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard demonstrated how the executive branch failed to provide adequate remedy when he investigated the 2006 RTA election. Goddard refused to perform elementary auditing procedures including a check of the ballots' figures against the poll tapes from that same election. After a year of litigation, the public learned that thirty percent of the poll tapes were missing.

In Arizona, election challenges can only take place within the first five days after the election is held. Five days proves to be an impossible time frame given the complexities involved with obtaining and examining electronic data and relevant records. Barring a change in statutory law, the legislative branch fails to provide sufficient remedy in an extremely suspicious election.

For the citizens of Arizona, the courts were the last hope in providing some measure to ensure that future elections are not rigged. Unfortunately, Judge Harrington threw this case out by accepting the county's argument that criminal activity cannot be discovered in a civil case trial. Despite the absurdity of this argument, the Democratic Party dropped out of the case after Harrington's decision. However, the Libertarian party was on board from the beginning and elected to continue pursing the matter in appeal.

Below is a clip that set the tone in the previous trial with Judge Harrington admonishing Bill Risner, the attorney for the Democratic party, for suggesting to the court that it "can't just wash it's hands of this matter". This, of course, took place just before Judge Harrington washed his hands of the matter and let it go to appeal.