Home > Elected Officials, New Media, Politics > Coconino County Election Security In Doubt

Coconino County Election Security In Doubt

By Elisha Dorfsmith

As November 6th quickly approaches, voters across the country are expressing concerns about voter fraud and ballot security on election day. States with early voting have already produced several examples of voting irregularities and voting machine malfunctions. With the 2012 presidential race promising to be very close, voters in some parts of the country are understandably nervous that their vote may not get counted.

While it should be expected for people in battleground states to be on edge during a heated election cycle, the integrity of vote tabulation should be a priority for every engaged American citizen. The presidential election receives the bulk of the press but it’s the small races that are often decided by a handful of votes.

Concerns have recently been voiced by several citizens and candidates in Coconino County who have produced examples of what they see as holes in the security of the vote counting process.

The Coconino County Elections office was recently the subject of a report written by Rob Wilson, a vote counting observer volunteering for the Jeff Oravits for Flagstaff City Council campaign. Oravits easily won his election but Wilson found a long list of red flags and statute violations during his time at the vote counting facility. Wilson turned his report over to Councilman Oravits and Oravits presented it to the Flagstaff City Council, Coconino County Board of Supervisors and the County Elections office.

The full report can be found here:

http://www.flagindiepress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Voting-Issues-for-EDs-publishing-1.pdf

Some of Wilson’s findings include:

1. Page 107, Political Party Observer Guidelines, Paragraph 4, states :

“Political party observers may take notes at a polling place, central counting place or sample hand count but must use a writing implement of a color designated by the office in charge of the election or procedure”.

“During the in briefing, this requirement was not identified.  Numerous observers were present with a variety of writing implements which could have been used to mark a ballot.”

Wilson tells Flagstaff Independent Press:

“Since observers ARE affiliated with a candidate/party, they may be inclined to make a few ballot marks themselves.  This rule would prevent observers from having a black writing instrument that would allow them to tamper with ballots.”

2. Page 108, Political Party Observer Guidelines, Paragraph 5, states:

“At a central counting place, all political party observers must check in with the county recorder or officer in charge of elections prior to being admitted as a political party observer, and log in and out of the facility each time they enter or leave.”

“None of the observers were required to log in or out of the facility.”

Wilson tells Flagstaff Independent Press:

“Basic security rule, in a secure space (which the vote counting area is supposed to be) you have to know who is there that requires supervision.  Any observer should not be left alone in that area and the only way to know who is and is not in the area is a log.”

4. Page 152, Live Video of Ballot Tabulation, first paragraph states:

“The live video recording shall include date and time indicators and shall be linked to the Secretary of State’s website.”

“The time indicator on the video was incorrect by approximately 4 minutes.  Note: The quality and refresh rate of the streamed video is so poor that it does not meet the intent of providing online monitoring of the vote counting process.”

Wilson tells Flagstaff Independent Press:

“This was implemented to provide the public with a way to observe what is happening.  If the time code on the video isn’t accurate, how do we know what we’re observing?  The video is also recorded and since it’s time and the time of the counting system is different, it would make it difficult to find the video of suspect events identified in the computer system.  This was one I pointed out to them and they didn’t care, did nothing to remedy.  Example of the lack of concern about the overall integrity of the process.”

7. Page 153, Early Ballot Board, first paragraph states:

“If the County Recorder or other officer in charge of elections who is making the signature comparison makes the initial determination that the signatures on the early ballot affidavit and the voter’s registration were not made by the same person, the County Recorder shall furnish a copy of the voter’s voter registration form to the early ballot board. The early ballot board, if time permits, may attempt to contact the voter to ascertain whether the voter actually voted the early ballot and any reasons why the signatures may not match.”

“Ms. Owens informed me that she personally and others on her staff research inconsistencies of signatures and make the determination to include or not include the ballot in counting, not the early ballot board.”

Wilson tells Flagstaff Independent Press:

“This leaves the decision on what ballots to accept and reject up to Ms. Owens versus the Election Board as directed in the rules.  She could choose to pursue resolving problems with some ballots (of a particular party) and not others.  The Election Board is supposed to be non-partisan and made up of at least 4 people so that won’t happen.”

12. Ms. Owens stated that during polling place elections, she has specifically authorized a single individual to transport Ballots from a remote polling place to the Election Warehouse in violation of State Law.  She stated that this is done as a cost savings measure.

Wilson tells Flagstaff Independent Press:

“Control of those voted ballots is critical.  Ms. Owens admission that she authorized this makes it even more troubling.  Neither she nor Ms. Hansen should have EVER allowed this to happen.  There is no way to ensure the integrity of those ballots when only one person has custody.”

16. Both Ms. Owens and Mr. Grassmuck explained to me that although they knew that a USB Memory Stick was not part of the State of Arizona certified computer hardware, they were none the less going to continue using it for the sake of convenience.  While using this device may save a few moments of time, it is also possible to completely corrupt the system or introduce a virus by doing so.  

Wilson tells Flagstaff Independent Press:

“By continuing to use a USB device knowing full well it violates the integrity of the vote counting system, they jeopardize the entire election result.”

In all, Wilson identified 16 major problems at the Coconino County vote counting facility.

For further reading on election rules and regulations please see the Arizona Elections Manual:

http://www.azsos.gov/election/Electronic_Voting_System/manual.pdf

Councilman Oravits takes the findings of Wilson’s report very seriously. In a statement to Flagstaff Independent Press he said:

“I am very concerned about the alleged violations Mr. Wilson observed while monitoring the Coconino County Elections last May. We need to ensure the integrity of the election process and make sure the system and those in charge of it are accountable so that every vote counts.”

If a casual untrained observer like Wilson can find so many problems with only a few hours of observation, it is easy to imagine what might surface with a full scale investigation into the integrity of our vote tabulation process in Coconino County. Many believe a full investigation is long overdue.

Coconino County is no stranger to accusations of questionable activity and election problems at their vote counting facility. On April 18, 2012, forensic elections professional Jim March prepared post election analysis on behalf of Flagstaff mayoral candidate Paul Reilly who had a very poor showing in the primary. Many claimed that Reilly was simply being a sore loser for not accepting the election results at face value but at least some of his concerns appear to be valid and deserve a more thorough investigation.

Ballot security and accurate vote counts are essential in a free society. Election concerns in Coconino County need to be looked into and addressed as quickly and openly as possible in order to restore the faith of the voting public in the election process. County voters should contact the City of Flagstaff and the County Board of Supervisors and demand that our voting system be above reproach.

flagstafflibertyalliance.com

Advertisements
  1. Rob
    October 28, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Update: The issues letter was sent to the Arizona State Elections Commission with a request that they investigate. They refused saying that it’s a county issue so it’s outside thier responsibility. What that likley means is that in the 10 weeks that officials have been aware of these problems, nothing has been done to address them. Additionally, the Coconino County Elections Supervisor is Ms. Patty Hansen. She is currently running for office so her name is on the ballot. Makes you wonder….

  2. October 28, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    The Coconino County Elections Office still has not responded to questions about Patty Hansen’s apparent conflict of interest that were brought up here:

    http://flagstaffvoices.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/4283-early-ballots-returned-so-far-in-coconino-county/

  3. October 28, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Arizona and Florida have a lot in common, Election Fraud. Watch these short investigate video clips.

    CBS Miami Series 1 of 6 Video CBS Miami – For many voters Ion Sancho’s words hold weight. He was the first elections supervisor in America to dare a “look under the hood” of a voting machine, to see if the machines were recording votes properly and if they could be hacked. ” I sanctioned the first investigation of a voting system without the vendor’s authorization,” Sancho recalls.
    http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/10/02/cbs4-investigates-does-your-vote-count/

    CBS Series 2 of 6 10/09/12 – Does Your Vote Count? Flips are real! “As a result, the wrong winners and losers were called.” Same machines Maricopa Election uses. http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/10/09/cbs4-investigates-palm-beach-countys-2012-ballot-debacle/

    CBS Series 3 of 6 10/16/12 – That’s called an overvote, and your vote may be thrown out. http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/10/16/cbs4-investigates-does-your-vote-count-the-overvote-worries/

    CBS Miami Series 4 of 6 10/23/12 – Investigates: Does Your Vote Count? The Recount Test: http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/10/23/cbs4-investigates-does-your-vote-count-the-recount-test/

    More Info go to: http://www.RiggedNoMore.com

  4. October 28, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Arizona and Florida have a lot in common, a powerful “Growth Lobby” and “Election Fraud”.
    These short investigative video clips will help one understand what we’re fighting against and working for:

    ****CBS Miami Series 1 of 6 Video CBS Miami – For many voters Ion Sancho’s words hold weight. He was the first elections supervisor in America to dare a “look under the hood” of a voting machine, to see if the machines were recording votes properly and if they could be hacked. ” I sanctioned the first investigation of a voting system without the vendor’s authorization,” Sancho recalls. http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/10/02/cbs4-investigates-does-your-vote-count/

    ****CBS Series 2 of 6 10/09/12 – Does Your Vote Count? Flips are real! “As a result, the wrong winners and losers were called.” Same machines Maricopa Election uses. http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/10/09/cbs4-investigates-palm-beach-countys-2012-ballot-debacle/

    ****CBS Series 3 of 6 10/16/12 – That’s called an overvote, and your vote may be thrown out. http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/10/16/cbs4-investigates-does-your-vote-count-the-overvote-worries/

    ****CBS Miami Series 4 of 6 10/23/12 – Investigates: Does Your Vote Count? The Recount Test: http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/10/23/cbs4-investigates-does-your-vote-count-the-recount-test/

    ****Pima County had purchased the same hacking tool used to program the memory card before voting so that it would print the results they wanted as opposed to the actual votes showed in the CBS Miami series on “Does your Vote Count? Here is a copy of the invoice http://electiondefensealliance.org/files/crop_scanner_invoice.pdf

    ****This video clip of Attorney Bill Risner Explaining in court How Election Fraud Works in Pima County.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE0kOvFjn_0&feature=colike

    Public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility.

  5. October 29, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Reblogged this on Flagstaff Voices.

  6. Balthazaar
    October 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Oh look, it’s people in the position to cheat, who don’t want any measures to be taken that might prevent a person from cheating. How mature and responsible of them.

  7. ghost
    October 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    havent read whole report or post, but who is williams guy running vs hansen.
    hansen is from nebraska, a false flag state relative to machine fraud.
    later.

  8. ghost
    October 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    #2,108–you could use video also ,with log., altho it could be edited. #1, why not big window for any observer to view count procedure?j#4,strongly agree, I have seen time discrepancies on maricopa site. #7-wow, no wonder owens retired? 12–ditto. 16,triple ditto.
    maybe this is why she’ll leave town.

  1. October 31, 2012 at 9:55 am
  2. November 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm
  3. November 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm
  4. June 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: