Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Citizen Transparency Wins!
The long hard battle for citizen oversight of elections and transparency was won yesterday when the Pima Board of Supervisors decided not to appeal the decision by Judge Miller to require the Board to turn over the database files since 1998 to the Democratic Party as well as any other oversight party. In addition, Pima Democratic Party attorney Bill Risner will be paid for all but $90,000 of his legal expenses (by us the taxpayers of course). The entire cost to taxpayers is likely around $1 million when you include the County Attorneys, staff, and legal fees they incurred fighting their own citizens on this. This case is a perfect example of poor government and what volunteer citizen activists can do to raise the issues and keep holding their elected officials accountable.
Had the Board of Supervisors not wasted over a year and hundreds of thousands of dollars and just turned over the data, it would have been less painful for all involved. We here at AuditAZ do want to thank the biggest obstructionists on the Board, Sharon Bronson, Ramon Valadez and to a lesser extent Ann Day. Had it not been for their "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" approach to this case, the general public, local media, and voters and volunteers from the Democratic, Republican, Green and Libertarian parties (plus independents) would not have gotten so outraged and our profile would not have been raised to the level it has. We thank you for all the added members who joined to help us out due to their outrage at the shenanigans both at the Board meetings and in court. Chair Richard Elias didn't exactly show leadership on this issue either.
We would be remise if we didn't send out a special thank you to Ray Carroll, who was the one Board Supervisor who consistently supported citizen rights by first voting "no" to the purchase of Diebold DRE machines and then subsequently voting to allow access to the database records we requested.
The Board of Supervisors are up for re-election this year. If this issue matters to you (and it should) check out the challengers in the other four races and ask their positions on election integrity and transparency. Accountability is essential to having your vote count and accurately recorded as the voter intended. You have the power to determine who the gatekeepers are, who is accountable to whom (our public officials are supposed to be accountable to us) and ultimately protect the constitution and the most fundamental right we have: the right to vote in clean, fair accurate elections. When you cast your votes in September and November, you can rest assured that the ability to defraud your vote just got more difficult with Judge Miller's ruling.
The hard work of Mickey Duniho, John Brakey, Jim March, Tom Ryan, as well as numerous other election integrity activists have made what was once relegated at a "conspiracy theorist" hobby into a huge victory for American citizens.
John Brakey's budget proposal for future elections can be found here. He does a cost benefit analysis that is a very good solution and work around to our already present Diebold machines.
Garry Duffy at the Tucson Citizen won an Arizona Press Club award for his work on covering this trial. A big "thank you" to him and his excellent coverage. The Tucson Weekly's Mari Herreras has written some excellent blog articles with links to documentation relating to the case and future proposals.
Now the tenuous task of analyzing the data that the PDP has obtained is underway. If you would like to help in future projects, please sign up and get involved. You can also DONATE since AuditAZ is all volunteer organization and our expenses come out of our own pockets (with big holes thanks to the current high gas prices).
Labels: Arizona election law, Arizona elections, Bill Risner, Diebold, election fraud, election integrity, Jim March, John Brakey, Pima County Board of Supervisors, pima county election, Pima lawsuit, RTA