Counting Ballots Early Leaves Room For Peeking


By John Roberts Brakey

There is some important background that is necessary to understand what is going on with the counting of votes many days before elections.  With Pima County’s automated equipment ballots can be quickly counted.

The actual Sunnyside recall election ballots were counted in just over one hour.  The actual time is something like one hour and nine minutes.  The recall committee knew that the ballots could easily be counted on Election Day.  The Pima County wanted to count the ballots 5 days before election day.

That means that the Pima County election division would know many days before the election who was winning and by how much.  In a close election that would be very valuable information.  The losing side could be alerted that they needed to hustle in more votes through one means or another. The question then arises whether the Pima County Election Division could be trusted to not learn what their computer knew or to not tell anyone if they “accidentally” learned the results.

The evidence it complete that they can not be trusted.  We know because several election division employees testified under oath and in open court in Pima County that the election division has routinely been learning and printing the results days or weeks before elections.

The practice was so common that Pima County ordered a rubber stamp for the printed results so they could be labeled “unofficial returns.” Early peeking and telling was routine at the Pima County election division. Video Links to testimony 05 Testimony of Isabel Araiza Pima County Election Integrity Trial and 06 Testimony of Robbie Evans Pima County Election Integrity Trial Arizona:

There is no question about the practice.  The testimony was that such early printing has occurred during Brad Nelson’s tenure and during the tenure of his predecessor.  Such printing is a felony under Arizona law and is contrary to the law in all states that we know of.  Those well known facts are why the recall committee wanted the county to count the ballots on Election Day and not before.

It was a simple issue and one where the Pima County Election Commission could have advised the Board of Supervisors.  They did not do so nor did they formally consider the issue because it was not on their agenda.

A question was asked of Brad Nelson who volunteered that he “didn’t want” to wait to count the ballots.  That was it.  Nothing else happened. What has now just happened is very interesting.  County Administrator “Chuck Huckelberry” personally made a letter complaint to Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne concerning the question asked and answered by Brad Nelson at the commission meeting.

Huckelberry said in his letter that “Pima County takes seriously the Open Meeting Laws of Arizona” and believes “the Open Meeting Laws should be strictly adhered to by every agency, committee, or commission of the County.” The Election Division is one of the few parts of the Pima County government that Chuck Huckelberry personally supervises.  Brad Nelson personally reports to Mr. Huckelberry.  His hand on style and direct supervision is an important fact in this less than a mosquito issue where the commission members did no wrong.

It is very interesting in the history of his supervision, however.  Let’s look at one informative historical example.  During the Pima County Democratic Party’s “database lawsuit” the Pima County Attorney’s Office asked Judge Michael Miller to halt the Democratic Party’s lawsuit because there was so much criminality in his election division that they concluded that “all” the county employees would assert the Fifth Amendment and hence the county could not defend the case because they feared that none of the employees would cooperate in an investigation.  This statement was in writing in a formal motion filed with the court.  That formal statement by the County’s lawyers is unprecedented in the United States.

They were asking for a Stay Order because they couldn’t learn what was going on in the county’s own department because everyone, in their opinion, would refuse to cooperate out of fear of criminal prosecution.  A truly stunning statement.  Mr. Huckelberry later testified that he never investigated nor questioned the situation in the very division that he personally supervised. Link to Huckelberry testimony:

So the bottom line is that the election division has a well documented history of early counting and peeking but no investigation.  The County Attorney says the whole department may take the Fifth and no investigation.  When the recall committee complained that there was no reason to count the recall ballots days ahead of the election and his director Brad Nelson said he was going to do so simply because he “wanted to” Mr. Huckelberry has decided to personally make a formal complaint to the Arizona Attorney General.  Very interesting indeed.  It would be ungallant to suggest any untoward motivation to Mr. Huckelberry.

The facts come down to this.  Chuck Huckelberry is protecting his right to cheat in the future and he really likes big bond elections.


Others and I work tirelessly in Arizona with the hope that the all parties would come together on just the basic issue of integrity for election transparency and having real verifiable elections as a safeguard.  However we still  do have a problem with the concept of “Security by Obscurity”. That concept turned out to be a joke, that only kept the electors from knowing the truth, on how easy it is to commit election fraud and sadly done with impunity – (exemption from punishment, penalty, or harm) that could be committed by one person, a vendor, programmer, a virus lunched thru the Memory cards and more. See California SoS Top to bottom report on Diebold AccuVote voting System.:

The first Chairman of the Federal Election Assistance Commission Rev. DeForest Soaries, appointed by George W. Bush as the first chair of the commission created by the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) otherwise known as the “Hack America Vote Act” in the wake of the 2000 Presidential Election Debacle stated in Oct of 2006: “We know more today about how to build a machine to take pictures of rocks on Mars than we know about how to build a machine to safeguard the American right to vote.”  Read what else Rev. DeForest Soaries has to say:

It is a fact, that all AccuVote Memory cards have been build to cheat, by having Illegal INTERPRETED CODE installed This is code that is readable by humans and modifiable by humans. This is kind of code that is often used by scientists and engineers …because it is easily modifiable, and should be used only in an experimental environment. It should never be used in any device or system that requires security and [it] is explicitly prohibited by the 2002 Federal Election code.”  To see how illegally  INTERPRETED CODE works see this video that shows how the precincts’ memory cards can be pre-stuffed with votes and still produce a zero tape before the 1st ballot is ever counted:

Additional Diebold AccuVote voting machines can be hacked by remote control: Exclusive: A laboratory shows how an e-voting machine used by a third of all voters can be easily manipulated.

Finally, our best collection of evidence and detailed explanations of what is going on in Pima County and in Arizona’s Election process is found in our “statement of facts” by AUDITAZ’s attorney Bill Risner:

John Roberts Brakey
Co-founder of AUDIT-AZ (Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency in Elections, Arizona)

About Letter to the Editor 171 Articles
Under the leadership of Editor in Chief Huey Freeman, the Editorial Board of the Arizona Daily Independent offers readers an opportunity to comment on current events and the pressing issues of the day. Occasionally, the Board weighs-in on issues of concern for the residents of Arizona and the US.