"If the GEMS system had been deliberately designed to enable covert vote manipulation without detection, it could hardly be more open to undetected covert manipulation."
-Bruce O'Dell, Founder, US Count Votes
The Pima Democratic Party website is hosting an archive of case related primary materials that is a great resource. The site is maintained by my partner on this project, David Safier.
Judge Miller set a Supplementary Hearing to consider further public records releases.
If you don't want to watch the videos you can read an excellent summary of supplementary hearing that will give you a good overview of the on-going issues—or lack thereof, actually.
If you have the stomach for it, the whole sorry hearing is online to eternally embarrass the County Attorneys involved, CHuckelberry who's pulling all the strings, and the Board of Supervisors who are ultimately responsible:
PART 1 (Judge Miller's comments, 6 min.):
PART 2 (Pima Dems' oral arguments, 29 min.):
PART 3 (Pima County's oral arguments, 49 min.):
PART 4 (Pima Dems' rebuttal, 21 min.):
There is also a post with my commentary on developments.
David sat in on the latest hearing in which the Democrats asked the judge to release all the electronic records relating to elections back to 1997 and to force the county to pay their legal counsel expenses resulting from the lawsuit pursuant to Arizona procedural rules. Read the Democrats' motion (PDF download) He wrote a summary of the proceeding that give a lot more color of the increasing antagonistic tone of the county and more detail than the press coverage. A new hearing was set for April 21st at 9 a.m. to hear oral arguments on these matters.
Pima County is considering putting scanned ballot images online as an additional confidence-building measure so that anyone can audit the elections, but Arizona's Secretary of State is making a stink about the idea. SoS Brewer claims that this may be a method of counting or storing ballots needing legislative action and/or Justice Department pre-clearance under federal election law. Her position is legally dubious and politically cowardly, but Arizonans have come to expect little more than partisan hackery from our Secretary of State on election integrity issues.
The County has instructed the County Attorney to contest any revisions to Judge Miller's ruling which might expand the release of records beyond the 2006 elections the Board voted unanimously to release to the public.
After a protracted negotiation and much paranoia, the stand-off ends and the real work begins. A national team of forensics experts will be assembling to develop techniques and tools to making spotting manipulation of elections data by insiders easier and faster.
Those tools will be distributed as open-source freeware to election activists around the country. This release of data represents an unprecedentedly rich basis on which to build the capabilities of the election integrity movement and make our elections more secure, less obscure, and less prone to manipulation by elections insiders.
The Board voted unanimously to release all the election databases for the 2006 primary, general and RTA elections. The release exceeded the scope of the court-ordered release. The Board also dropped any plans to appeal the ruling of the Superior Court.
Here's an interesting look at the meeting at which this decision was taken:
Pima County Democratic Chairman Vince Rabago pleading for release of the records:
An address at the same meeting by yours truly, Michael Bryan of BlogForArizona.com:
And an impassioned plea from Democratic Party State Vice-Chair and former Congressional candidate Jeff Latas:
Judge Michael Miller issued his ruling granting the plaintiffs access to the final databases for the 2006 Primary and General elections, but denied without prejudice wider access to all database files for other elections in the possession of Pima County until and unless they are able to demonstrate the wider access would not compromise election security. This meant that the mid-year RTA election and the backups made during the multi-day process of counting ballots remained out of reach until the Board of Supervisors changed course.
The Judge's Ruling was issued 12/19. You can download the Ruling in PDF format here. Read my in-depth analysis of the ruling. Bill Risner, the Democrats' attorney has taken issue with several of Judge Miller's findings of fact as not supported by the testimony, and some of his conclusions of law as erroneous. See Democrats Motion to Amend (Download Mot_to_Amend.pdf) for more details. I will take a closer look at this when and if the County Attorney responds. In my first reading, however, Bill Risner makes a powerful case that Judge Miller would be hard-pressed to ignore that the Judge quite simply got several points wrong in his under-advisement opinion.
Closing statements were short and pointed. The rhetoric got pretty heated around the issue of attacks on the character of the parties involved. Video of Bill Risner's closing is posted below.
All witness summaries are now complete (or at least finished...) and there is an overview of the trial's aftermath and a trial wrap-up by David Safier now available. My own wrap-up is posted on the Brad Blog. There will likely be additional resources and ancillary posts about the issues compiled on this post over the next few days, so please continue to check this space.
There is also the ongoing media project of putting the footage of the trial to the best use, so expect a post about the logistics of that project, how to participate, and how to contribute financially to spreading the word about what election integrity activists have learned through this process. Video production and post-production is not cheap, and to tell this story effective will be costly, but well worth-while.
Consider this your base camp for scaling Mt. Integrity. You may also use the comment thread here as a stable place to discuss the trial and EI issues.
First, I have blogged a condensed daily summary of the trial on the Brad Blog:
- My introduction to the case
- First day summary
- Second day summary
- Third day summary
- Fouth day summary and wrap-up
- Ruling follow-up
There are some articles giving context and background on the issues and the case (suggestions for inclusion in this list are very welcome).
- My "Pima County Election Integrity Blues"
- David Safier's "Layman's View of the Election Integrity Trial"
- Steve Rosenfield's "Arizona Case a Crystal Ball into 2008 Presidential Vote Count"
- My "Trial Intro on BlogForArizona"
- A great backgrounder on the security issues in the case by John Denker
- Tucson Citizen "Record of Votes in '06 RTA Election Missing"
- Tucson Citizen Editorial "Clear, Secure Vote Counts Critical Here, Nationwide"
A quick Google News search will keep you up to date with most local news coverage of the trial. Finally, here are the summaries of testimony by witnesses and significant statements by counsels:
- Democratic Party opening (full video)
- Pima County opening
- Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law
- Testimony of Dr. Tom Ryan (full video)
- Testimony of Mr. Michael Duniho
- Testimony of Ms. Isabel Araiza, Mr. Robert Evans Jr., Mr. Chester Crowley, Ms. Romi Romero, and Ms. Mary Martinson
- Testimony of Mr. Brad Nelson, Pima County Elections Director (full video)
- Testimony of Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and James Barry (full video)
- Testimony of Mr. Bryan Crane
- Testimony of Dr. Chris Gniady (full video)
- Testimony of Paul Eckerstrom
- Testimony of Gila County Elections Director Dixie Munday
- Testimony of Mr. Merle King, Executive Director, Kennesaw College Center for Election Systems
- Testimony of Mr. John Brakey
- Testimony of Dr. John Moffatt
- Notes on the closing arguments