Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Battle Over Ballots

Tucson Weekly
Mari Herreras

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."
Tucson attorney Bill Risner stood before a Pima County Superior Court judge earlier this month and asked the court to take another look at the 2006 Regional Transportation Authority election.

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.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Arizona Election Fraud: Attorney Bill Risner's Argument Reaffirms the Need for Election Integrity

In Tucson, Arizona, today's hearing had two remarkable features.  First, the lack of substance  behind Pima County's motion to dismiss and, second, Bill Risner's argument reaffirming the purpose and significance this court case has for future elections.   Here's is Bill Risner's argument on behalf of the trial itself:

The whole point of the appeal won by the Libertarian party was that courts do have jurisdiction to issue orders to ensure fair, transparent elections when the legislative branch and the executive branch fail to do so. In an obvious stall tactic, Pima County decided to make the same arguments that were lost in the appellate court decision.

"You don't have subject matter jurisdiction for that" argued Pima County's private attorney Ronna Fickbohm in reference to ballot scans, a remedy proposed by the Libertarian party. Currently practiced in Humbolt County, California, ballot scanning is the measure making optical scans of the ballots available for public perusal.  Fickbohm continued to argue against the appellate court decision by insisting that proposed remedies can only be handled by the legislature.  The Libertarian party already established the failure of the legislative branch to offer a timely remedy and won the appeal based on that argument.

Additional points made by Pima County seemed to involve technicalities where none really existed.  Ronna Fickbohm  makes the argument that the plaintiff doesn't "say there's an ongoing problem of election fraud in the future." The judge may not appreciate this argument given the fact that removing Pima County's ability to cheat was the basic, implicit underpinning of the case for prospective relief.

Finally, Pima County attempted to rewrite recent history by suggesting that previous statements recorded in their last records trial are taken out of context and never meant to indicate that their software system was a security issue.

Here is Pima County Attorney Chris Straub (replaced by the pricier private counsel, Ronna Fickbohm) clearly making the argument on behalf of the plaintiff. You can decide whether it's taken out of context:

Here is today's entire hearing:

Video shot and edited by John Brakey

Friday, March 2, 2012

Arizona Election Fraud: Access Tucson Breaks Media Blackout

Dear Citizens Against Rigged Elections:

PLEASE, be in court with us, we need a big presence to show that this is a critical case and “we the people” are paying attention and we expect the judge to do the same.

Monday March 5th- 11:00 AM
Judge Kyle Bryson’s Courtroom, Fifth Floor,
Pima Superior Court: 110 W. Congress, Tucson, AZ

For those who can’t make it, we will be video recording and will upload to our AUDITAZ’s YouTube channel.

Last Friday we did Stewart Thomas TV show (above) called World Harmony: Can It Happen? (a program that tries to bring more peace and human harmony into our world)


Our guests:

- Bill Risner, Attorney

- Jim March, Board Member of Black Box Voting

- John Brakey, Election Integrity Activist with AUDIT AZ stands for “American United for Democracy Integrity and Transparency in elections Arizona