Call for Manual Counters

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As some may be aware, Jan Brewer, our GOP Secretary of State, has done her best to block the hand count audits required by the voter protection law passed nearly unanimously this past session. The law requires audits of a limited number of races to be performed on the election’s paper trail to ensure the integrity of our elections.

Brewer has put pressure on County Boards around the state not to follow the law, using the excuse that the law has not yet been pre-cleared by the Justice Department, despite the dilatoriness of her own office in making the Section 5 application for pre-clearance (the application was not perfected until August 7th), which prevented the Justice Department from completing the review in time for the primary. Nor has the Election Assistance Commission’s official opinion (PDF) that Prop 200 violates the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) stopped Brewer from rushing ahead with implementation, claiming that the DOJ’s pre-clearance supports her actions, despite the fact that pre-clearance only means that the law does not conflict the Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, it does not prove complaince with NVRA or any other federal election laws.

Obviously, Brewer had no problem attempting to apply Prop 200 election law changes without Justice Department pre-clearance earlier this year, and forcing its use in this primary election despite these serious doubts about its legality under NVRA. The onerous and draconian limitations on voter rights in that law were rushed into effect by Brewer and have resulted in 5% fewer voters casting votes than in the primaries of 2002 and 2004; that’s not lower turnout, that’s 5% or more of voters who were denied the right to vote by Prop 200 and Jan Brewer. Our Secretary of State has abused her office to disenfranchise Arizona’s voters.

Maricopa County forged ahead with informal counts despite heavy pressure from Brewer, but Pima County’s Board folded like a cheap suit and voted 4-1 not to proceed with informal audits.

Here is an email that is going out to Pima Precinct Committeemen on the topic:

Dear PCs:

We were told by the Pima Supervisors on Monday that they could not allow hand-count audits of the primary election because Jan Brewer had forbidden it and their lawyers told them they could not now go forward in violation of Jan Brewer’s ban.  We urged them to go ahead with informal hand-count audits of the primary as an exercise to confirm the validity of the machine counts and as a training exercise to learn how to make the hand-counts in November run more smoothly.  Despite our pleas they still voted 4-1 not to do hand-counts. Only Richard Elias voted no.  After the meeting, two Supervisors told us they were afraid of the chaos that might ensue if the hand-counts differed from the machine counts.

We have now learned that Maricopa County has been doing the informal hand-count audits that we urged the Pima Supervisors to authorize, putting the lie to their claim that Jan Brewer wouldn’t let them do such hand-count audits.  We want to alert as many people as possible to this situation and encourage everyone to contact both the news media and the Board of Supervisors to try to force a change to this duplicitous policy.

Time is very important. Once the election is certified, we can still do hand-count audits as a training exercise but it will be too late to affect the outcome of any problematic races. Please contact everyone you can and urge them to also send letters to the editor and contact their public officials.

If you are available next week to participate in a
hand-count audit (if the Board of Supervisors changes their policy — not
likely before Monday), please send an email to pollworkers@cox.net.

Mickey Duniho

I urge everyone to get involved urgently and demonstrate that we will not be denied the integrity of our elections, whatever Ms. Brewer may want.

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Michael founded BlogForArizona as the Howard Dean campaign blog for Arizona in 2003, and has been blogging ever since. Michael is an attorney living in Tucson with his wife Lauren Murata. In 2008, following some health issues and new time constraints, Michael stepped back from regular blogging and began remaking BlogForArizona into a collaborative project. Michael now contributes occasionally to the blog and provides editorial and publishing direction. Also if you want to keep up with the latest Arizona and National political news that Mike finds important, check out the BlogForArizona twitter feed, which he curates.

1 COMMENT

  1. The Arizona Credit Union System would be very delighted to have the payday advance companies wiped off the surface of the Grand Canyon State. The credit union is working up their recruiting efforts to destroy the competition and assemble all the former cash advance customers within their holdings. System will persuade voters to turn down Proposition 200 through an immense E-mail campaign that is estimate to reach as many as 1.6 million credit union customers. On the other hand, the same Proposition supports organizations such as the Arizona Community Financial Services Association that declare that this will for sure lower state loan fees, introduce flexible payment plans to eliminate extensions and reduce the number of walk-in stores in the state. These improvements will help payday loan customers and keep industry employees off the edge. Who wants to be unemployed especially in our current economy?
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  2. As a person that works with technology for a living, the whole thought of electronic voting machines scares the ever-loving shit out of me!!!! There is no way to do a true re-count! as the post above states, the machines themselves are easily altered. The people who work the polling stations, as dedicated as they are, are not technicians. Heck, the one in my precint was not functioning and they had a dickens of a time with it.

    I am far from being a technophobe, butdeciding the future of our country needs to have a much better method of accountability than technology can afford.

  3. Her Freakish Mug is plastered on every intersection in Tempe! It’s making me sick!

    I’m working on a post with vid from the Princeton Hackers who show the Diebold TS being manipulated to flip elections. They show a Grad student picking the lock on the voting machine, installing a virus to flip votes and putting the original memory card back in the machine all in about 1 minute.

    Scary shit!

  4. I think the only way for Israel to win is to pin Brewer as an enemy of democracy, which she assuredly is. I don’t know if Israel has the fire to completely destroy Brewer. He doesn’t seem terribly interested in attacking her record.

  5. Jan Brewer is a twit.

    I heard her speak for the first time in February. Not on elections or voting, but on her time in the legislature. It was clear that she is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Maybe it was all an act, because it certainly seems like she’s been busy disenfranchising voters.

    I’ve been concerned about the Secretary of State race for awhile now, because it’s not exactly the race that people go to the polls to vote it. It’s also not one that people generally understand what the SOS does or research the positions of the candidates. And Brewer’s illegal taxpayer-paid campaign ads have already given her another advantage in addition to her incumbency. I think the only way for Torres to pull it out is with a full-scale media blitz, coupled with very specific GOTV targeting tactics. We have the advantage of Brewer probably assuming she’ll coast to re-election, so we could easily catch her off-guard with an offensive blitz.