Complaint Filed Against Registrar Mikel Haas in CA's Court of Appeals on Behalf of Plaintiff by Busby/Bilbray Election Contest Attorney Ken Simpkins
Suit Funded by Velvet Revolution's 'Election Protection Strike Force' Effort...
By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2006, 10:35am PT  

A lawsuit naming San Diego County Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas as defendant has been filed in the California Court of Appeals seeking to compel Haas --- whom we've previously described as one of the nation's worst Elections Administrators --- to follow the orders of the California Sec. of State and supply Paper Ballots to all voters who request one. Further, the suit demands that Haas actually count those ballots on Election Night, in accordance with the State order, rather than create an "unequal class of voters" by reporting only touch-screen voting results that night.

As The BRAD BLOG reported yesterday, Haas has announced that he plans to defy the SoS order to count such paper ballots as "normal ballots" by refusing to count them at all until the Thursday after the election. He has also instructed poll workers not to inform voters of their right to vote on paper if they so choose and, according to the lawsuit, has failed to ensure that an adequate supply of paper ballots will be available for voters who wish or need them.

As well, the lawsuit --- funded by the VelvetRevolution.us Election Protection Strike Force --- seeks in its third action a peremptory writ regarding the current "sleepovers" of Diebold electronic voting machines, now underway in San Diego where poll workers will have kept the pre-programmed, election-ready touch-screen systems in their homes and cars for a full three weeks prior to the November 7th election.

-- Download the full complaint here [PDF]...
(Link fixed! The complaint is very very good, btw, and charges, correctly in our opinion, that Haas has failed in and abused his role as Registrar of Voters.)

Carlsbad attorney Ken Simpkins's suit, filed on behalf of San Diego County voter Kathy Peterson, seeks appropriate security logs and precautions to be instituted, since Haas has failed to do so via his "sleepovers," which lack apppropriate security measures. A recent blog item at Velvet Revolution (VR) has described Haas as "apparently preferring plausible deniability of scattering the voting machines to innumerable volunteers" over actual accountability.

The "sleepovers" are also in violation of both state and federal laws and security requirements, effectively decertifying them for use before the election even begins. San Diegans should have no basis, at this time, for confidence in any results reported from San Diego's election on November 7th, due to Haas's failures.

Haas, in an article on the lawsuit in the North County Times, says that complying with the SoS order to count paper ballot votes as "normal ballots" would be impractical.

"We can't count these ballots on election night," he told the NC Times. "They will be counted during the canvas period, which allows us 28 days. We can't count two things at the same time. We'll have our hands full just uploading the results from the precincts where people will be voting on touch screens."

By refusing to count paper ballots on Election Night, "Mr. Haas risks skewing the early visibility of San Diego election results, which could impact public perceptions and lead to premature concessions by candidates," according to a statement by Ken Simpkins.

The NC Times quotes Haas as saying there is no reason for candidates to concede prematurely. "It isn't over until I certify the election, and that's usually around 28 days after an Election Day," he said. "What any candidate does within those days is their business."

Haas' claim that "it isn't over until I certify the election" is in direct contradiction to the facts on the ground, revealed by last June's U.S. House Special Election to replace disgraced Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham in San Diego. In that matter, a contest was filed after certification of the election, as per state law, but was thrown out by a San Diego judge who ruled the U.S. House, not the courts or voters of California, had jurisdiction over any election challenges or recounts once the "winner" in the race, Brian Bilbray, had been sworn in by the House just seven days after the election. At the time of the swearing-in --- a full two weeks prior to Haas's certification --- thousands of ballots remained wholly uncounted.

By law, no contest or recount could be filed until after Haas's certification. And yet, Superior Court Judge Judge Yuri Hoffman found the plaintiffs no longer had the right to challenge or recount the election results in any way.

Simpkins was one of the attorneys who filed the Busby/Bilbray lawsuit last summer along with attorney Paul Lehto. In that case --- as The BRAD BLOG originally broke on June 7th, followed with extensive special coverage thereafter --- Haas had also sent home both optical-scan and touch-screen voting systems made by Diebold on poll worker "sleepovers," despite new emergency security mitigation requirements made by both State and Federal oversight bodies after it had been discovered that Diebold voting systems contained a type of programming code making them particularly susceptible to tampering. That type of programming code, known as "interpeted code," is also in violation of both state and federal law.

During the June contest it was discovered that Haas's chain of custody security logs were virtually non-existent. The dismissal of that case is currently being appealed.

As we reported on Tuesday, the Democratic Sec. of State candidate, Debra Bowen, released a short video ad on her campaign website revealing the extraordinary dangers and, indeed, the serious national security threat presented by such "sleepovers."

A request has been made for an expedited decision from the court in the latest case due to the pending election. Hopefully decisions on these matters will be forthcoming.

Your help in fighting for accountability in such cases around the country is paramount. Please donate to the VR Strike Force effort so we can help hold the bad guys accountable and fight for clean elections! Our work is funded entirely by "we the people" so your support is crucial!

The VR Election Protection Strike Force website can be found at: http://VelvetRevolution.us/ElectionStrikeForce. Please pass that address around!

As well, the VR Strike Force is offering a $250,000 reward for tips concerning Election Fraud (details here, tip-line here: 888-VOTE-TIP)

The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us. We hope to announce news concerning a special VR Strike Force Radio broadcast on Election Night, in conjunction with a number of other individuals and organizations. More details on that, hopefully, very soon...