Click the link below for a shocking photograph:
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The above photo was taken by Jim March, a Black Box Voting board member, at 7:04 pm on March 10, 2009. It shows doors closed and locked, shuttered and blocked, at the sole polling location for the city of South Tucson Ariz., just after poll closing.
I urge you to connect with one or more of the following reporters and authorities to add your voice to demand consequences for this voting rights infraction. KEY COMMUNICATION POINTS are provided for you right below this list:
- Chuck Gray, Majority Leader in the Arizona Senate email@example.com
- Senator Jorge Garcia firstname.lastname@example.org
PIMA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:
Ann Day - Ann.Day@pima.gov
Ramón O. Valadez email@example.com
Sharon Bronson firstname.lastname@example.org
Ray Carroll email@example.com
Richard Elias firstname.lastname@example.org
PIMA COUNTY MEDIA
FAX NUMBERS - (some items on this list may be out of date):
5202978510 Explorer Newspaper
5203199148 KHRR-TV / KQBN-TV
5203877505 Ajo Copper News
5205730714 Metro Networks News
5205734107 Arizona Daily Star
5208063560 Arizona Daily Star
5205734557 Associated Press
5205734569 Tucson Citizen
5206201309 Eyewitness News
5207922096 Tucson Weekly
5207928382 Tucson Observer
5208815388 The Desert Leaf
5206258046 Green Valley News and Sun Publishing
5206219105 KUAZ-AM / KUAS TV
5207445233 News 13
KEY COMMUNICATION POINTS:
- There's no place for secrecy in elections. It's an offense and an outrage against democratic principles.
- Pima County Elections Director Brad Nelson's office has counseled and persuaded poll workers and town clerks to act in violation of the most basic principles of democracy, hiding poll-closing activities behind closed doors with shuttered windows.
- We seek remedy. We seek consequences. Such actions violate our rights, such actions violate basic principles of democracy, and these actions violate Arizona law.
- Without consequences, laws become meaningless.
- Local citizens are asked to help invoke consequences on public officials who violate our rights.
Really, it's a simple matter. We all understand that ballots cannot be handled in secret without public oversight.
(All you need is above. If you want more details, here they are): BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Jim March is also a member of the Pima County Election Integrity Committee, set up by Pima County commissioners, and he is a credentialed party observer. The blinds were rolled closed in response to his request to exercise his lawful right to observe.
A REVIEW OF CORE PRINCIPLES:
Citizens have the inalienable right to self-government. No one has yet made a convincing argument that counting votes in secret can co-exist with self-government. You cannot control what you are not allowed to see.
ARIZONA IS "PARTY-CENTRIC"
Arizona allows only political parties (and not the public) to observe elections, which violates your rights. This is something we want to see changed. And until recently there was a huge loophole -- "non-partisan" elections at the local government level received no scrutiny at all. New legislation, SB1053, should have taken care of it – but Pima County officials are still dodging the law.
PIMA COUNTY: DODGING ARIZONA ELECTION OBSERVATION LAW
Brad Nelson, Pima County elections director, holds the opinion that non-partisan elections are subject to no outside oversight at all because independent election observation in Arizona is deemed the function of political parties.
In all states, according to our founding documents, conducting all aspects of elections in public is an inalienable right, because the public cannot self-govern if government insiders conduct our elections in secret. Arizona prohibits public observation, violating this right.* But in Pima County, even Arizona's undemocratic and limited observations by political parties were not permitted on March 10.
* You cannot remove an inalienable right by legislating against it; fundamental rights, like freedom and self-government, can be obstructed with laws but laws cannot take away these rights.
PIMA COUNTY ANTI-OBSERVATION DECISION VIOLATES STATE LAW
Pima County's elections chief, Brad Nelson, claims that "counting center" does not include what goes on in polling places after the polls close. Basically, he claims that the only portion of the observation process is the central tabulator -- the system that adds up all the polling place results. Nelson has pressured the town clerks to adopt his position, coaching them on their positions, phrasing their language for them.
This flies in the face of any number of statutes; for the record, ARS 16-601 is an old bit of code laying down a general public transparency principle.
FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR A LETTER FROM TED DOWNING, citing a detailed analysis of Pima County's obstruction of election law. (Scroll to portion in blue text) http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/1954/79612.html
But really, Nelson's parsing of the law doesn't matter. The principle that ballots must not be handled in secret or behind closed blinds is universally understood.
Legislators who supported the prior reform effort will be outraged at Nelson's nit-pick dismantling of their intent, and we hope that the Pima Board of Supervisors, who employ Nelson, will decide that he simply cannot be trusted with the engine of democracy.
As it stands now, Pima County elections violate the rights of the public. If there are no consequences, Pima County will continue to have non-public elections. Because we are fighting for our inalienable rights, which are under attack from certain politicians, we recommend that you bring this to the attention of multiple layers of authority.
Germany has now ruled that votes counted in secret on computers controlled by government insiders are undemocratic and unconstitutional. Such processes represent a transfer of authority from the people to a group of insiders. We obtained and analyzed a copy of the English translation of this important German legal decision. Application to USA election principles will be the subject of our next BlackBoxVoting.org blog.
* * * *
This is nothing more than a power grab, and it will require a fight by citizens of courage, and we should be prepared to continue the fight for as long as it takes.
Black Box Voting
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