Sunnyside recall election process continues to draw criticism, questions

Blue-DevilsPima County residents on Tucson’s south side are planning to share their concerns about the Sunnyside Unified School District’s mail-in ballot only recall election with the Pima County Board of supervisors at their regularly scheduled meeting today.

In the past, residents have sat idly by while the County conducts questionable bond and office elections, but this is about the kids. Election integrity advocates, and recall supporters are urging their neighbors from all political parties across the County to demand election oversight and more transparency in the nonpartisan school board election.

The stakes are high and Pima County Elections Division is pushing the envelope to keep oversight of the election at a minimum. For years, the Sunnyside Unified and Tucson Unified have become the source of jobs and lucrative contracts for City of Tucson and Pima County cronies. Hiding behind the poorest children in the 8th poorest metropolitan area in the country, the districts’ administrations take advantage of exceptions in Arizona procurement and nepotism laws for school districts.

Recall organizers and candidates have requested to have observers at the replacement ballot site at Apollo Middle School on May 20, 2014. The Apollo Middle School site will be operated by the Pima County Recorder’s Office, and Chris Roads of the Recorder’s office claims that there is “no provision in Arizona law for observers to be present in polling places for non-partisan elections.”

Election integrity experts question that claim and will likely be heading to Court to resolve that matter. The Recorder’s office also claims that “no observers will be permitted at the Apollo Middle School location,” because the Apollo is a school that “will be holding classes on Election Day. The room that will be used is directly adjacent to space used daily by the students and we are required to maintain the secured environment of the educational institution,’ according to Roads.

However, experts argue that for the purposes of an election the school is a polling place and therefore must be treated as such. They say that if the Recorder’s office was not available to be used as a polling place in compliance with Arizona law, the County should have secured another location.

The Recorder’s office admits that the Apollo site will be “staffed entirely by employees of the Pima County Recorder’s Office and will be operated similarly to a polling place with the exception that there will not be any precinct tabulator. “ However, DRE’s, hand held voting machines for persons with physical challenges, will be in use and they do tabulate votes.

According to the Recorder’s office they have received requests for observers at that location from several different sources. They claim that facility cannot accommodate their staff and observers. However, Arizona elections are candidate-centered oversight elections and three of the candidates; Mike Polak, Beki Quintero, and Eric Giffin have agreed to have the same person represent them for purposes of oversight.

Through May 8, 2014 26,401 ballots were mailed to voters registered in the Sunnyside School District. An additional 38 ballots were transmitted electronically to registered Sunnyside voters who are registered as military or overseas voters under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act.


  1. (1) Its odd that high paid employees of the government are running the election process. NO volunteer election
    workers!!! Volunteer are paid a low stipend…and can be trusted to protect the voter’s interest.
    ( The practice of NOT using volunteer poll workers violates the 12th Right of voter’s “Full Voting Rights”. )

    (2) Also, NO hand count verification after the closing count at the polling place….Gives zero assurance of an
    accurate count. Without a verify hand count even the government employees and election officials will not
    know the true count.
    ( The practice of NO verify hand count violates the 19th Right of voter’s “Full Voting Rights”. )

    (3) Also, The practice of 100% vote by mail scheme violates the security and protection of all ballots. The
    election officials, government election workers and government postal workers CAN NOT assure the
    voter of ballot tampering of any sort.
    ( The practice of 100% vote-by-mail scheme is in violation of 7th Right of voter’s “Full Voting Rights”. )

    John and the many voters in this special school district election….keep fighting/pushing for your “Full Voting
    Rights”. These rights are your’s…not the government’s choice to ignore.

    Thanks and Good Luck,

    Frank Henry
    “Full Voting Rights” Advocate
    Tel: 928-649-0249

  2. Video link below. The plaintiff case seeks to illustrate for the judge that the elections division is unworthy of public trust, is marked by maladministration, persistent errors of judgment, and flaws and neglect in their security procedures. The purpose of Robbie Evans testimony is to give the judge specific reasons why the public interest would be better served by public scrutiny of those records that would allow confirmation of the integrity of the election process than by keeping those records confidential.

    One consistent theme in the testimony is that election summary reports, which contain current vote totals, of who’s is winning and losing and that were frequently printed before elections were closed and handled somewhat casually. Another consistent theme was Bryan Crane’s practice of taking home computer data backups for the remarkably consistent purpose of protecting the data should the building burn down. This despite the presence of the fire-proof safe in the computer room.

    The County maintains that Crane was only transporting data backups of the administrative computers, not of the separate elections system.

  3. “…and we are required to maintain the secured environment of the educational institution,’ according to Roads.”
    But the voters coming and going are not disturbing the “secure environment” of the educational institution. What a joke. This election, which hasn’t even occurred yet, already stinks of corruption. I wonder what dumpster my ballot is in right now.

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