Sunday, August 30, 2009

We want real “Prospective Relief” not more “Election Theater” in Pima County!

By John R Brakey

What is the “Prospective Relief” we want and why are we asking for in Pima County Superior Court?

As it stands today if proof is obtained, like for instance a sworn statement that even if the computer operator had been ordered to rig the election and did so, the Pima County Superior court has decided that nonetheless it is powerless to consider that kind of evidence. It is now impossible to cite specific evidence of fraud within the narrow 5 day time-line to challenge an election result in Arizona. That is an unacceptable situation in a democracy, whether in Pima County, (Tucson), Arizona or anywhere in the world.

That's why we seek “prospective relief” to protect the integrity of future elections and prevent the possibility of cheating. History tells us there are many ways to cheat and if more ways are found we need to have the courthouse doors open to right the wrong. This case is as fundamental as it gets.

We’ve proven in the first public record court case with Judge Michael Miller that the Diebold system is “Fatally Flawed.” If you’re confused about what is going on please be with us at the Loft Theater on Speedway, September 16th at 7pm for the premiere of the documentary film about this case, "Fatally Flawed." You’ll be able to see with your own eyes that we are voting on a “Fatally Flawed” computerized electronic voting system. For more information go here:

As we moved from public counting of votes at the precincts where results could easily and openly verified by public witnesses and the press to private vendor-managed computerized electronic voting, tabulation of votes occurs inside computers on hidden microchips. The inherent secrecy of electronic elections requires a simple transparent solution--a verification method that will restore public oversight and accountability to ensure fair elections.

We are now working to implement a simple inexpensive system of transparent checks and balances making it much harder to manipulate election results, no matter what method might be used to try to cheat.

Yes, voting is a secret process; however counting and verifying our vote must be a public process. That’s why the pro-active inexpensive solution we are working towards for Pima County is graphic scanning of ballots, similar to the method pioneered in Humboldt County, California.

A short video explains how graphic scanning works to allow the public to monitor and verify an election.

Graphic scanning combined with improved accounting standards works to quickly verify election results. Here are some key elements:
  • CPA to oversee a real canvass accounting of all ballots and to sign off on the results.
  • Certain parts of the canvass board are NOT made up of election department employees as it’s done at this time.
  • Graphic scanning of all ballots starting election morning with early ballots in audited batches of at least 1,000 ballots per box with GEMS result before and after allowing them to be audited starting at 7:PM election night.
  • Election night 7 to 10% of precincts are randomly selected election day, scanned and transferred to a DVD given to political parties and then uploaded to internet with the GEMS precinct results as the process goes forward.
  • Over the next week all the other ballots are scanned.
  • All spoiled and left over ballots are accounted for.
  • Basically 100% of the ballots are made available to the public on the internet.
  • The graphic scanned images of ballot then can be processed by a computer.
  • This system done properly and independently as part of the canvas and is verifiable to the public.

Programmer Mitch Trachtenberg Discusses How the
Ballot Browser Program Works at Counting Ballots

The Ballot Browsing Program - An Open Source Solution

The picture above is a screen shot of an auditing program that was developed by Mitch Trachtenberg. This free and open source program provides the transparency that is missing from the proprietary software currently in use by Humboldt County. This program counts ballots for precincts.

Election Transparency Project


Recent Media Coverage

Brad Blog
The go-to blog for election integrity activists.

Unique Transparency Program Uncovers
Problems with Voting Software