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2006 election results fixed, some Democrats say

Written by Subject: Voting: Vote Fraud
 
 
 
 
 
 
2006 election results fixed, some Democrats say (VIDEO)
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Press Release
Conclusion from yesterday’s Press Release: A POSSIBLE FRAUDULENT CONCLUSION TO THE PIMA COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY'S PUBLIC RECORDS SUIT?
 
Contact: Bill Risner, Esq. 520 622 7494
             Mickey Duniho  520 731-3157
 
By Jim March,  Mickey Duniho and John Brakey
September 16, 2008
 
On Monday, the Pima County Democratic party was stunned to find out that its hard disk containing electronic databases from past elections was missing from the Superior Court's vault in violation of a court order.  Fears that the hard disk had vanished calmed after a county employee turned over the disk after keeping it in his office for two weeks. Lax security and poor oversight by the Clerk of the Court broke the chain of custody rules set by the Court that required both sides to be present before the disk could be removed from the vault. Initial concerns about data integrity have diminished somewhat after the signed seals appeared intact. 
 
The electronic data won after the Pima county Democratic Party’s hard-fought year-long public records lawsuit with Pima County, established a landmark ruling that electronic voting databases are public records. The release of records represents the largest turnover of electronic voting databases in history.
 
The scenario began when Mr. John Moffatt (Pima County IT and "election security/troubleshooter specialist") told people (verbally and by E-mail) connected with the lawsuit that our hard disk had been removed from the court's vault by Attorney Bill Risner. Bill denied this.

As best we can make out having been present for most of it, this is the chronology of events:
 
The day before the court's order to release all data files simultaneously in the presence of representatives of the Democratic party and the County made its way to Bill Risner, on or about the 26th of last month, the next day John Moffatt walked in and grabbed a single sealed cardboard box containing BOTH hard disks.  He claims he just asked for his, and somebody so-far-not-known in the court archives room told Moffatt that Bill Risner had already been by to collect the Democratic Party's box and hard drive.  The hard disks had been sealed since January '08 when copies were made of portions of the data (covering all three major 2006 elections, RTA/Primary/General).  Moffatt sat on the sealed box right up until today, without breaking the seals, a bit over two weeks.  He claims it sat locked in a file cabinet the whole time.  Moffatt brought this sealed box back to the court archives today.  A rather heated discussion ensued; county attorney Chris Straub was yelling that it should be re-sealed into the court's vault and we all go back and talk to the judge.  Everybody else just basically looked at him like he'd grown tentacles...we ALL wanted proof right there and then as to what was going on.  Mohur Sidhwa (Pima Dems 1st Vice Chair, basically 2nd in command) berated him in fine fashion over the waste of time and money proposed.  We finally agreed to open the box.  Inside we found signed sheets from earlier this year with the external box seal numbers written on them (proving authenticity of the seals).  The two hard disks were in two separate sealed bags, each signed and sealed.  All seals appeared to be perfectly intact (and we never found a damaged seal anywhere in that box or on the outside).  One disk is owned by the Democratic Party, the other by the county; both are supposed to contain identical data. On mutual agreement, the box was put back together with the county's hard disk still inside, to go back to the court archives and stay there a while, until we know for sure that our disk is OK. A parade involving two pro-grade cameras (one owned by Channel 13, the other by JT at Sound'n'Fury) followed myself, Mickey Duniho, Dave Bilgray, Bill Risner, John Brakey, John Moffatt, a couple of reporters and various others over to Bill's office a block away.  Mickey carried the still-bagged Democratic Party hard disk. At Bill's office we unsealed the Dem hard disk in front of cameras and witnesses, connected said hard disk to a factory-fresh Dell laptop Bill Risner owns, and copied the contents of the external disk to that laptop hard drive.  The copy went perfectly, indicating that the drive was likely NOT exposed to a serious magnet - my biggest fear as that would probably look like "whoops, drive failure" without need of breaking seals. The hard disk was then re-sealed, signed and put in Bill's office safe.  Tomorrow David Euchner of the LP will come and get a copy of that to a hard disk he's providing, for safe storage in his gun safe.  Meanwhile we have three copies of our own of the data, one on Bill's laptop, one on mine and one in John Brakey's hands (he's borrowing my 80gig external drive).
UPSHOT:
1)       It appears we're OK as to data integrity.
 
2)       What Moffatt was thinking is harder to figure.  One possibility is that he was hoping to cause either myself or John Brakey to go ballistic.  We didn't fall for that.  We were pretty damn stern with him but we didn't descend into anything untoward and certainly not anything illegal (threats, etc.).
 
It's worth noting that the court order said clearly that both drives should be removed simultaneously by both groups, probably to avoid even the appearance of this situation.  Had our drive failed for any reason, we might have suspected it had been taken to visit an MRI machine or something; if we had then referred to the county's drive and gotten the same poor result, we would have been certain this was fraud.

As is, this was either a screwup made mostly right, or possibly an attempt to antagonize or discredit us.  Remember, Moffatt never so much as breathed funny without legal counsel during this entire case, yet all of a sudden he goes totally maverick, fails to read with comprehension a ONE PAGE court order...?  This isn't like him.  Hence Bill believes it was deliberate antagonism and the more I think about it, the more in line with that thinking I am.

Another possibility is that they were looking for a headline, to the effect of "NO TAMPERING FOUND".  It would be...somewhat of a desperation move, but then again there have been enough blunders (the illegal arrest of John Brakey) out of that elections agency that people may be desperate to keep their jobs.  The rate of paperwork error (mismatched, missing or broken seals) on paper ballot bags in the most recent election approached 50% when election director Brad Nelson told a video cameraman that the rate would likely be no more than 5% at worst.  Attorney Chris Straub's attempt to push us back to court would have boosted such a "NO TAMPERING FOUND" OCTOBER SURPRISE; Mohur Sidhwa was instrumental in beating that plan down.

One more thing.  This incident reveals VERY poor security at the court's archives.  No paper trail was created by Moffatt's checkout!  They figured that since the drives had been checked out and back in once already, no additional tracking would be needed.  I hope we complain formally to Judge Miller about this bizarre incident.

*30*
 
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Sent: Monday, September 15, 2008 10:28 AM
Subject: PRESS RELEASE - A POSSIBLE FRAUDULENT CONCLUSION TO THE PIMA COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY'S PUBLIC RECORDS SUIT?
 
      PRESS RELEASE
 
A POSSIBLE FRAUDULENT CONCLUSION TO THE PIMA COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY'S PUBLIC RECORDS SUIT?
 
For immediate release: Monday, September 15, 2008
 
Contact: Bill Risner, Esq.  520 622-7494
                 John R Brakey    520 250-2360
 
Today, Monday the 15th at 11:30am, members of the election integrity community involved in the recent litigation will be at the main courthouse vault (1st floor) to pick up the hard disk purchased by the Democratic Party back in April of 2007 and (allegedly) containing the data we won in court... records of elections going back many years.
 
We are told it's not there.  (see John Moffat e mail Below)
 
In preparation for what we thought would be a routine process, we E-mailed county staffers.  In response, county computer security expert John Moffatt wrote back:
 
The drive [referring to the one owned by the Democratic Party] was apparently retrieved some time ago. 
The Clerk of the Court indicated he thought Bill Risner had picked it up.  When I got there Monday afternoon, the only drive left (there were originally two in a large sealed box returned January 11th after that turnover process) was our drive still sealed in it's individual box.  As far as I am concerned, the drive designated as belonging to the Democratic Party was released into unknown hands - the chain of custody was broken.  Check with Bill as to where the Democrat's drive is located.
 
Bill Risner didn't pick it up, and neither did anyone connected with the case on our side.
 
If Mr. Moffatt's information is correct, the data that we fought a year and a half's court battle over has been stolen or taken into the possession of someone with a motive to pollute the data."

Court Order: "IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Clerk of the Superior Court of Pima County, shall transfer possession to the Plaintiff of the data storage device owned by the Plaintiff and presently in the custody of the Clerk of the Superior Court. The Defendants may take possession of their separate hard drive at the same time."
 
The court order is clear. Neither the county nor the Clerk of the Court could have made a "mistake."
 
                                                                   *30*
 
 
 
On Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 12:37 AM, John Moffatt <John.Moffatt@pima.gov> wrote:
 
The drive was apparently retrieved some time ago.  The Clerk of the Court indicated he thought Bill Risner had picked it up.  When I got there Monday afternoon, the only drive left (there were originally two in a large sealed box returned January 11th after that turnover process) was our drive still sealed in it's individual box.  As far as I am concerned, the drive designated as belonging to the Democratic Party was released into unknown hands - the chain of custody was broken.  Check with Bill as to where the Democrat's drive is located.

Steps 1-6 of your procedure are almost exactly the same as proposed in writing  to Bill when he returned from vacation.  The difference in 7 was that we would each connect our respective drives to our own laptops as I was told one of the objections to my first proposal was that the County laptop might contaminate your party hard drive. 

The answer we received to my altered proposal  was Bill's submittal of an order for the judge to release the hard drives back to their respective parties - no mention of hashing.  We countered with references to nearly ALL the expert witnesses in the trial calling for hashing of any files that were to be turned over.  The judge acknowledged the hashing argument but granted Bill's Motion so as far as I am concerned, it was over - especially when there was only one disk drive remaining when I went to the Clerk's Office.

I do not have the reference for the SHA-1 Hash code at home but will send it when I get to the office.  I have a meeting out of the office early then another one at 10 so it will be around lunch when I can get it to you. 

John

-----Original Message-----
From: "Mickey Duniho" <maduniho@cox.net> Sent: 9/14/08 10:26 PM Subject: Pickup of Democrats' Disk Drive at Court
To: "'John Moffatt'" <John.Moffatt@pima.gov> Cc: "bill@risnerandgraham.com" <bill@risnerandgraham.com>; "'Tom Ryan'" <twmjryan@cox.net>; "'John Brakey'" <auditaz@cox.net>; "'Jim March'" <1.jim.march@gmail.com>; "'Sandra Spangler'" <sanspang@gmail.com>

John:

We have been discussing among ourselves how the retrieval of the Democrats' disk drive from Judge Miller's vault should proceed. We have decided on the following procedure and we plan to begin the retrieval process at 10 am Monday (tomorrow). You are invited to meet us at the Courthouse and to participate in the process. I would like to bring a copy of the same SHA-1 hash code program that you have been using. Would you let me know the name and source of the program you use for hash code calculations?

 Planned Procedure for Retrieving Our Disk Drive from Judge Miller's vault:

1. We will invite John Moffat to meet with us at Judge Miller's vault.
2. We will ask John Moffatt to name his proposed hash code software, and we will acquire our own copy to use. 
3. We will remove the Democratic Party's disk drive from the vault. 
4. With a video camera recording the proceedings, we will connect the Democratic Party's disk taken from the vault and a new disk drive, which will be removed from its carton on the spot, to a new laptop computer also newly removed from its carton, and we will copy the vault disk to the new disk. 
5. We will write-protect the new disk to make it read-only. 
6. We will run our hash-code program on the new disk drive's files and exchange hash code lists with John Moffatt to confirm that our list is identical with the hash codes he obtains from the County's disk drive. 
7. If John Moffatt is agreeable, we will connect our write-protected
disk and the County's disk to our laptop computer and compare all the election database files bit-by-bit (for each file X on OurDrive --  diff OurDrive/X CountyDrive/X > X.diff) to show that the corresponding files are in fact identical.
8. We will store the new, copy-protected disk and the hash code list in ma vault (location TBD).
9. We will use the disk taken out of the vault as the source/reference disk for copying files to be analyzed. That disk will be kept safe but readily accessible in an undisclosed location.

 Please let us know whether to expect you (or, if you are not available, your designee) Monday morning. Thanks.

 Mickey
 
 
 
John Brakey, co-founder of AUDIT-AZ (Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency in Elections, Arizona) & Co-Coordinator Investigations for Election Defense Alliance http://www.electiondefensealliance.org/about_john_brakey
5947 S Placita Picacho El Diablo 
Tucson, AZ  85706
        520-578-5678
Cell 520-250-2360
John’s AUDITAZ@cox.net
 
EDA & AUDIT-AZ’s Mission:  to restore public ownership and oversight of elections, work to ensure the fundamental right of every American citizen to vote, and to have each vote counted as intended in a secure, transparent, impartial, and independently audited election process.
 
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."   Margaret Mead

 

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