Attorney for Successful Plaintiffs Summarizes Multiple Anomalies, Alleges 'Guilty' Officials Derailed Previous AG Investigation, Requests New Investigation, Count of Paper Ballots...
By David Safier on 7/21/2008, 1:22pm PT  

Guest Blogged by David Safier of Blog for Arizona

Arizona's election watchdog group, Audit AZ, went to the state Attorney General in its efforts to learn the truth about Pima County's 2006 RTA (Regional Transportation Authority) election. Attorney Bill Risner handed Arizona AG Terry Goddard a letter detailing the evidence suggesting that the RTA election was flipped. The clearly written letter is accompanied by dozens of documents as well as video links to depositions and testimony from the 2007 court case Risner won for the Pima County Democratic Party. As a result of that case, every political party in the county has access to Diebold's database files, recording how voters voted, from previous and future elections.

In May, 2007, on the heels of questions about the results of the '06 RTA election following polls and previous elections in which similar initiatives were rejected by voters, the Arizona Attorney General's office launched a criminal investigation into the RTA election. The software quality assurance firm, iBeta, was given computer databases to look over which indicated the vote counting might have been tampered with. Though iBeta saw instances of possible tampering, it decided they were simply the result of "human error." Using tortured logic, iBeta said the signs of possible tampering were evidence that there was actually no tampering, since anyone who knew how to manipulate the data would also know how to cover their computer tracks and leave no evidence behind.

Risner's letter explains how the direction of the AG's investigation was, incredibly, set by the suspects themselves, members of the Pima County Elections Division. Those officials, Risner details, purposely turned the investigation away from the very evidence which could have proven their guilt in manipulating the results.

Those very same officials are named in a startling new affidavit from a former county employee who recently came forward to allege he was told by a Pima County election official that they had "fixed" the RTA election...

A number of anomalies indicating the RTA election was rigged are noted in Risner's letter. Most of this information has been known for months and was even reported in the Tucson press as early as June, 2007, though never in such a complete, well-documented, and easy-to-understand format as Risner now summarizes the entire sordid affair.

A new piece of evidence was introduced at a July 9 press conference, as The BRAD BLOG detailed earlier this month. A sworn affidavit by Zbigniew Osmolski was entered into the record, in which he says that Bryan Crane, the computer operator of the Pima County Elections Division, "told me he 'fixed' the RTA, or Regional Transportation Authority, election on the instructions of his bosses and he did what he was told to do. Mr. Crane expressed his concern about being indicted and said he would like to talk but couldn't trust anyone."

The question of whether the election was flipped in the Diebold vote tabulation system could be put to rest by simply counting the still-existing paper ballots. (That assumes, of course, the ballots haven't been tampered with since the election. Audit AZ is writing a list of necessary preconditions before an actual count takes place to ensure there has been a secure chain of custody and that the ballots counted would be the same ones the voters filled out.)

But getting ballots counted in Arizona isn't easy. By law, the only times all the ballots in an election can be counted are when the results are within one-tenth of one percent or when the ballots are part of the evidence in a criminal investigation. Though the Pima County Board of Supervisors has recently declared they want the ballots counted and the Tucson dailies have written editorials asking to have the ballots counted as well, only Attorney General Goddard has the power to make it happen. This means that any resolution of the questions hanging over the RTA election is dependent on Goddard's agreeing with the basic thrust of Risner's letter, then reopening the investigation and demanding the ballots be counted.

Goddard has promised to read Risner's letter and give it due consideration. However, according to John Brakey, co-founder of Audit AZ, "As of this date, no one from the AG's office has replied to the letter, and I doubt that Terry Goddard will. He hasn't responded before when we have sent him numerous other complaints and proofs of election fraud."

Risner's letter to AG Goddard, including links to evidentiary documentation, is posted in full here.