'There Are Too Many Problems, and They Keep Happening,' Notes County Supervisor After Voting to Approve the Hand-Audit Canvass, Even Following Discovery of Missing Ballot Bag Seals...
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2008, 9:50am PT  

Following up on the arrest last week of Pima County (Tuscon), Arizona, election integrity advocate John Brakey... You'll recall, he was arrested after noticing that some 7 out of 10 bags of ballots being counted during a post-election audit last week were missing their proper security seals.

As an election observer representing both the Libertarian and Democratic parties during the hand-count audit of a Sept. 2nd state Primary, Brakey began to ask questions about the bags --- which had supposedly been chosen at random the day before --- prompting Pima's Brad "Election Director Gone Wild" Nelson to call the sheriff on him.

Despite the missing seals (which even Nelson admitted to himself, as seen in the Channel 9-KGUN video report we posted with our original coverage of the incident), the Pima County Board of Supervisors went ahead and certified the election canvass anyway, "over the objections of activists who wanted the county to wait until an additional hand audit could be conducted over the weekend," according to the Arizona Daily Star.

"The supervisors said they were very concerned about persistent problems in the Division of Elections, but they could not legally postpone the canvass," the paper reported over the weekend. That, despite a news conference that Brakey and the other activists held late in the week to call for a new audit, using properly sealed ballots, "and focusing on contested supervisor races, of which there were three."

They have also called for the removal of the beleaguered, hot-headed and perhaps even criminal Nelson, after years of problems and obstructions from the Pima Election Director. According to the Daily Star, at least one of the Supervisors agrees it's time for Nelson to to be removed...

Supervisor Ann Day said after the meeting that she thought Nelson needed to go.

"We've taken a lot of security precautions, but there are too many problems, and they keep happening," she said. "I think we've reached a point where we need a change in leadership. There needs to be trust between the public and the Division of Elections."

Finally, in the video at the right, John Brakey (whom we regard as a hero for his tireless, non-partisan work as a citizen patriot and election integrity advocate) makes an impassioned --- if ultimately unsuccessful --- plea to the County Supervisors on Friday, asking for a new audit, and detailing some of what happened during the audit that led to his arrest.

Brakey and the other trans-partisan Pima advocates have had a number of successes of late, including a recent court victory which resulted in the release of previously-proprietary Diebold databases, documenting how voters voted in a number of recent (and questionable) local elections. The release of those databases came over the objection of both Nelson and Diebold, who had claimed they needed to stay under wraps for "security" reasons. The activists believe there was fraud in at least one of those elections. The judge ultimately ordered what is said to have been the largest release of such material in the history of the nation.

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