July 8, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
By Audit-AZ and Bill Risner, Esq.
July 9, 2008
Valdez Main Library Downtown
Downstairs meeting room
Time: 1:30 pm promptly
Contact: Bill Risner, Esq., 520- 622-7494
EVIDENCE OF RTA ELECTION TAMPERING
TO BE DESTROYED BY PIMA COUNTY
(SWORN TESTIMONY OF CONFESSION OF TAMPERING)
New information about the planned destruction of the actual paper ballots from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and tax increase election has come to light this week. These ballots are scheduled for destruction by Pima County Treasurer Beth Ford unless immediate action is taken by Attorney General Terry Goddard’s office to preserve this important evidence.
An investigation of the RTA election by AG Goddard’s office has been generally described by election integrity groups as “a sham.” More than a few irregularities included an untrue claim that Tucson’s election reform community had approved the Attorney General’s Office’s decision to deny a hand count of the ballots from the RTA election.
BREAKING NEWS: Further evidence of tampering with the RTA results has been exposed by a former Pima County employee. He will testify, under oath, that Bryan Crane, election computer operator, feared discovery of the fact that he, at the direction of Elections Director Brad Nelson, had tampered with the data from the RTA election, materially “fixing” the election to approve rather than reject the RTA proposition.
AUDIT AZ, on behalf of the public and election integrity activists, demands a complete RE-investigation of the RTA Election by AG Terry Goddard’s office, including these steps:
1. To preserve the actual ballots
2. To do a full hand count, with witnesses, of all the RTA ballots
3. To determine whether there are criminal acts to be prosecuted
AUDIT-AZ (Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency
in Elections, Arizona)
Some Facts Related to the RTA Election
- The RTA passed by a surprisingly large margin. Polls taken before the election showed it losing. Sales tax increases for roads had lost badly in four previous elections.
- Election Division staff printed unauthorized vote total summary reports after the first day of RTA early ballot scanning.
- Before the second day of RTA early ballot scanning, Election Division staff erased the first day’s database backup by over-writing it. This required responding to two warning messages, one from GEMS and one from Windows.
- Election systems expert Michael Shamos of Carnegie Mellon advised the AG investigator of possible RTA fraud to hand count ballots, echoing advice from local election activists.
- The AG Investigator lied to Shamos in an email, saying that “local naysayers” were onboard with not looking at ballots. The opposite was true and the investigator knew it, because he had engaged in a shouting argument with local naysayers about this issue.
- IBeta tests conducted under contract with the AG investigator of the RTA election should have included looking for possible swapping of yes and no votes, but did not.
- County staff directed all aspects of the IBeta testing, and led the testers to look at irrelevant items and to disregard potentially important items.
- A whistleblower has come forward saying in a sworn affidavit that Bryan Crane told him privately that he had “fixed” the RTA election, under direction from his bosses.
- The County Treasurer has announced a plan to destroy the RTA ballots ASAP.
- A Microsoft Access manual was seen and photographed in the vote tabulation room on election night. Use of MS Access on an election computer was and is illegal.
- Democratic Party observers were prevented from investigating cables connected to the tabulation computer after the RTA on the pretext that it was a non-partisan election.
- A tape of ballot layout held by the Secretary of State for use by the Attorney General in any fraud investigation was never examined during the RTA fraud investigation where it was potentially key evidence. Instead it was returned to the suspects, who “lost” it.
- The Pima County Board of Supervisors, through their lawyers, claimed there was a substantial risk that all election employees handling the election computer would “take the fifth” and refuse to answer questions based on a fear of criminal prosecution.
- The Pima County Board of Supervisors has never requested an internal investigation of the Election Division.
- Neither Brad Nelson nor Bryan Crane nor any Election Division employee has been reprimanded for any violations of rules or procedures.
- At the end of the RTA Election Day, the database was NOT backed up, as it has been in virtually every other election. The database was not backed up until three days later, after all results had been published.
- The Pima County Election Division purchased a “crop scanner” computer-hacking tool ten months before the RTA election. This tool had no other purpose in the Election Division than to illegally alter the programming of precinct voting machines.
- Jim Berry retired from his job as the County Administrator’s assistant in early 2005 and was immediately hired by the County to do a precinct by precinct study of how Pima voters had voted in bond elections, and “other duties” as assigned. Mr. Berry collected $75,000 from the County for this contract, while at the same time collecting $12,000 from a pro-RTA group for helping them with the RTA campaign.
5947 S Placita Picacho El Diablo
Tucson, AZ 85706
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.
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