Sep 202016
CA Secretary of State Argues for Sham AuditsAll rationale in the letter are based on bad logic and inaccuracies,
leaving huge holes in the audit process, green-lighting rigging in the November election


WHAT: Press Conference with Ray Lutz and COPs participants
WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 11 am
WHERE: At the ROV office in San Diego, 5600 Overland Ave, San Diego, CA 92123
(Note: We may move across the parking lot if there is excessive construction noise)
WILL BE LIVE STREAMED ON FACEBOOK on the page of Citizens’ Oversight Projects

SAN DIEGO (Sept 20, 2016) — Citizens’ Oversight, Inc. (also known as Citizens’ Oversight Projects, or “COPs”) announced a press conference in front of the Registrar of Voters office in San Diego on Sept 21, 2016 at 11am. All Election Integrity volunteers are invited to attend to show their support and rally for election integrity and to halt election rigging.

The subject of the press conference will be the letter from California Secretary of State Chief Counsel Steven J. Reyes which was sent to all California election officials, and the response by Citizens’ Oversight, sent to the Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, and the top two dozen counties in the state (representing more than 92% of the electorate.)

Ray Lutz, National Coordinator of Citizens Oversight, explains, “This letter by the Chief Counsel representing Alex Padilla, the California Secretary of State (SOS) is a disgusting example of continued rigging of our elections process in California. This letter directs the county officials to continue to violate the state election code, particularly with regard to the audits which can catch election fraud.

“We sent this letter to the top two-dozen counties to underline the fact that the SOS letter should not be viewed as a get-out-of-jail monopoly card that will allow them to flout their responsibility to conduct meaningful audits that will indeed accomplish the purpose of verifying the automated count.”

Reyes mentioned the Citizens Oversight vs Vu lawsuit in an embarrassing attempt to provide cover to counties that want to ignore elections code 15360, which mandates an audit process including “all ballots cast.” It is the position of the SOS that validated provisional and Vote-By-Mail ballots need not be included in the audit process.

Both letters can be found at this URL:
(and they are attached to this email)

The trial in the case is scheduled for Oct 3 through Oct 6 in San Diego Superior Court, Dept. 73.

“If you exclude 37% of the ballots from the audit — as San Diego Registrar Michael Vu did in the June election — it is easy for compromised employees or hackers to “fix” the election. The spread between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was less than 4%,” said Lutz. “Padilla is continuing the pattern of blatant partisanship in an office that is supposed to be nonpartisan and fair.

“Our lawsuit is all about getting a clean audit from the San Diego Registrar of Voters. Without a complete audit, it opens the door for election fraud. The Registrar, Michael Vu, decided to leave out about 285,000 ballots from the audit procedure.”

Full information about the lawsuit can be found at this link:

This lawsuit does not prove election fraud is occurring. Instead, it proves that elections officials are conducting incomplete audits, exactly what fraudsters need to fix an election.

San Diego Registrar of Voters (ROV) Michael Vu said he would include ZERO Vote-By-Mail (VBM) ballots processed after election night and ZERO provisional ballots in the state-mandated audit process, thereby excluding 285,000 ballots. “They’ve had a habit of short-cutting this audit procedure for years. It is time to follow the law and include all ballots cast in the audit,” Lutz said.

Citizens Oversight is seeking volunteers in other election districts in California, most particularly the big three: LA, SD, and OC, which account for about 50% of voters in the state. The top dozen counties in California are (in order): Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Bernardino, Sacramento, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Fresno, and Ventura. These 12 counties account for 76% of the electorate and we must have oversight teams trained and in place in each county by October. Also, we want to extend the Snapshot Protocol — a procedure to carefully monitor the audit process — to any other states that mandate a post-election audit for the November election as well.

Volunteers can sign up at:
Donations are accepted at

Please do not get fooled by copy-cat sites. CitizensOversight is the group doing the heavy lifting and will be offering training to teams in election districts so we will be effective in combating election fraud.

Citizens Oversight is a 501(c)3 Delaware corporation with primary offices in California and is a nonpartisan organization.

Madge Torres
760-613-7035 or 760-753-1886  /

Ray Lutz,
619-820-5321  /


Ray Lutz
Citizens' Oversight Projects (COPs)
Aug 302016

Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency in Elections logo
We had a very brief hearing this election day, but

Pima County agreed not to destroy the ballot images in the current election until this lawsuit is resolved.

Litigation for this case will continue in October, so stay tuned for the date and time of the next hearing. In the
interim, we are exploring other opportunities and litigation to ensure that ballots and ballot images are public records.

A big thanks to all who showed up in the courtroom! After years of election lawsuits, we appreciate more than ever the effect a packed courtroom has in emphasizing the importance behind the issues we bring to the judge.

Pima County had filed an answer to our initial complaint and a motion to dismiss. You can read their document here (pdf).

Pima County claims:

“Public records may be withheld from a public records request where the best interests of the government and the people justify nondisclosure. The Arizona Legislature has even criminalized the showing of a voted ballot to any person so as to reveal the contents.

All voted ballots are securely retained “unopened and unaltered” for a specific period of time after
an election. Ballots may only be brought out in public upon a court order in the specific context of a mandatory recount or election contest under A.R.S. § 16-624(D).

If a ballot image copy were released to the public, it would accomplish the same thing as showing the voted ballot as to reveal the contents and could potentially subject Pima County employees to criminal liability. While it is true that a ballot does not directly identify the voter, there are scenarios that can lead to identification of the voter and enable election fraud and intimidation.

A voter could intentionally mark a ballot in such a way as to identify themselves to facilitate vote buying. A voter could also be coerced into marking a ballot in such a way as to identify themselves. This would defeat the clear public policy of a secure secret ballot.”

We have some initial remarks about the complaint:

This complaint’s history lesson recalling all of the various circumstances leading up to our current voting system makes for an interesting narrative, but has nothing to do with whether those named “scenarios that can lead to identification of the voter and enable election fraud and intimidation” take place in our current voting system.

Pima County will be very hard pressed to demonstrate how fraud and intimidation are feasible or even demonstrated in other states that permit the use of ballot images to help verify elections.

If Pima County’s verification mechanisms and the level of election integrity were sufficient today, we wouldn’t have had such a disastrous primary election. John Brakey wouldn’t have caught a Pima County Elections worker breaking security seals on the central tabulator before last fall’s bond election.

In fact, the concerted, consistent efforts
to avoid transparency and verifiability is of grave concern for voters which far outweighs Pima County’s fanciful risks, which were never realized in states that legally consider ballots public records.

Where is the criminal liability in the states that already allow for ballots and ballot images as means to check the integrity of their elections?

Pima County may try to argue that the elections record case in 2008 is not at issue or relevant, but their arguments against disclosure are exactly the same. It resurrects ‘mayhem and chaos’ by suggesting some cloak and dagger code could be applied as a scribble on a single ballot among thousands, which potentially subjects Pima County to legal liability.

AUDITAZ co-founder John Brakey sees this argument as problematic for vote-by-mail ballots:

“According to Pima County Attorney Daniel Jurkowitz’s argument, vote-by-mail should be illegal. That is 85% of the vote. It appears that
Jurkowitz’s job is to make sure that these ballot images never see light of day and are destroyed. God forbid if ‘We the People’ had transparent and verifiable elections.

Additionally, how do you spend close to $ 800,000 on a good election system and then destroy it’s built in audit system? Why?

Is it because someone wants to protect the right to cheat with impunity now and in future elections?”

John Brakey shot a video of today’s hearing:

AUDIT-AZ has been working for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency in our Elections since 2004.

We are in need of your support.

Contact John Brakey for more info: 520-339-2696

Attorney fees are mounting in this crucial case to protect our data:

– Make a donation, large or

– If you’ve already donated, donate again
– Ask friends and family to donate
– Hold a fundraising event (be creative!)
– Or … ?

Many thanks to those who have already donated!
We have $3,750.00 left to go.

Can you help us with a donation today?


Donate Online

If you’d rather write a check than donate via PayPal, make your check out to AUDIT-AZ and send it to us at:


P.O. Box 26361

Tucson, AZ 85726


Aug 282016

The legal fight to preserve election ballot images is ironically scheduled to commence on election day, this Tuesday, August 30th at 10:00 AM.

All are encouraged show support by attending the hearing in Courtroom #568, 110 W. Congress St., Tucson, AZ.

Federal and state laws should have kept Pima County from destroying key elections data, but it took a lawsuit by Richard Hernandez, Rocky De La Fuente and AUDIT AZ to keep them from continuing this practice, at least for the time being.

The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order:

“prohibiting Pima County from deleting or destroying any Ballot Image Files generated in tabulating early ballots submitted by voters in the August 30 Primary, and granting such other relief as the Court deems just under the circumstances.”

Last fall, new voting machines were introduced to a number of Arizona counties, including Pima. These machines are called ES&S DS850’s and they have a very helpful auditing feature that involves graphically scanning the ballots while they’re being counted. A ballot image is made from each physical ballot that is run through the machine.

The physical ballot is marked with a serial number and the resulting ballot image is encrypted with that same number. The ballot images are what the machine actually uses to count with, so it becomes an integral part of the ballot chain-of-custody.

The lawsuit was initiated after Pima County’s Election Integrity Commission learned that their eight months of deliberation over the predicament of ES&S ballot images was futile because Pima County Elections had already deleted the images, including those belonging to this year’s federal primary election.

Federal law requiring retention of election materials provides a penalty of up to $1,000 fine and one year in jail for premature destruction of that material, was formerly 42 U.S.C § 1974, is now 52 U.S.C § 20701.

As AUDIT AZ Co-Founder John Brakey says, “Have you ever seen any other public official other than an elections official destroy automatically created records and refuse to verify their work?

Approximately 40% of the voting machines used to count ballots in the United States generate ballot images. This lawsuit is important because it’s the first act in a growing movement advocating constructive use of ballot images as a means for verifying approximately 40% of the vote in the general election.

The Wisconsin Grassroots Network demonstrates how ballot images can be used to verify elections:

Complaint: Hernandez Vs Pima County Elections

Link to Public Records Request to Pima County Elections that started the suit:

Link to letter to Huckelberry from Chair of PCEIC Tom Ryan Ph.D sent 8.23.16:

To learn how you can help improve election transparency, please


Contact: John Brakey, Phone: 520-339-2696

Aug 242016

Presidential Candidate Rocky De La Fuente joined plaintiff Richard Hernandez, a Tucson School District Chairman and election integrity advocate, in the lawsuit aimed at preventing Pima County from destroying the ballot images in newer ES&S voting machines.

During the primary election cycle, De La Fuente discovered many instances when people were thrown off the voter roles, forced to vote on provisional ballots and unable to vote at all due to the drastically reduced polling locations. After seeing this happen during his presidential primary campaign in the Democratic Party, De La Fuente has stated that he will make election integrity a key issue as he runs for a senate seat in Florida.

Activists in Florida are equally concerned about the predicament of ballot images as 75% of the state will use the same machines in the general election.

While hand counted paper ballots are the best way to discourage cheating in elections, true graphical scans of the ballots can be an alternate means for verifying elections, especially when they are cross referenced with the actual ballot.

Newer models of the ES&S voting machines acquired last fall by Pima County have an added capability of generating ballot images which are created while the machine counts the physical ballots.

According to Pima County Elections Director Brad Nelson, there is not enough space to save the images during the election, so they delete them after each time they count a batch of ballots.

Arizonans close to this issue doubt Pima County Elections lack the basic computer acumen to manage image files. Some have suggested they drive Mr. Nelson over to the nearest electronics store to buy him a terabyte hard drive. Instead, they’re filing a lawsuit to protect the ballot images, which are actually used by the machines to tabulate the election results.  That makes them part of the chain of custody.

Hernandez and De La Fuente filed suit today with the help of John Brakey of AUDIT AZ.

Here is the complaint(pdf).

AUDIT AZ needs to recover $4,500.00 in legal fees. Your donations could help. Due to the generosity of those who saw the first notice, we have received over $300.00 in donations to bring the cost below $4,200.00.

Please consider a donation to AUDIT AZ. Help them cover their legal costs.

Democratic Presidential Candidate “Rocky” De La Fuente Acknowledges Primary Election Fraud

Richard Hernandez Encourages Election Integrity Commission “Don’t Be Bullied, Don’t Be Threatened”

Aug 192016

J.T. Waldron

Arizona election integrity advocates learned that the biggest lies are found not in the lie itself, but in what was purposefully left out.  They learned this through Pima County and its elections division.

Those following Arizona’s infamous election shenanigans may remember the story of how Pima County’s Election Integrity Commission (EIC) spent a great deal of time and effort establishing the importance of physically separating vote-by-mail ballots into their precincts before commencing with their legally required one-percent hand count audit.

Prior to all of this effort and discussion taking place, a memo had surfaced during litigation that showed how Elections Director Brad Nelson had secretly solicited a waiver from the Secretary of State excusing Pima County from taking this very step.  At that time, AZ Secretary of State Ken Bennett had already agreed to this waiver, so Pima County was the only voting district not required to do this separation before the audit.

After this waiver was quietly requested and granted, Pima County’s representation in these meetings was taped as they feigned ignorance about the waiver and continued to sit in and listen as the EIC deliberated for hours over the importance of that very same waived procedure.


AUDIT-AZ founder John Brakey addresses the EIC. (Video below).

This behavior is abhorrent enough, but if you imagine an entity engaging in this sort of deception for eight months, you may get a sense of how flippant and disrespectful Pima County acts towards its own commission as well as the electorate.

Last fall, new voting machines were introduced to a number of Arizona counties, including Pima.   These machines are called ES&S DS850’s and they have a very helpful auditing technology using graphical scans of the ballots counted.  A graphical scan is made of each ballot that is run through the machine.  The resulting ballot image is what the machine actually uses to count with, so it becomes an integral part of the ballot chain-of-custody.

Pima County’s Election Integrity Commission, a volunteer organization that Pima County developed as a result of litigation surrounding a rigged bond election, meet regularly to discuss various issues involving election transparency.  The goal of most of its members is to improve the integrity of elections in Pima County.

This time, members interested in election integrity saw a great opportunity in the ballot images generated by these new voting machines. The images, as a public record, could be used to help verify the count.

During the process of finding the best way to proceed with verifying elections that took place this year, EIC Chair Tom Ryan, a computer professor from the University of Arizona, begun working with the county to host talks by ES&S Vice President Ken Carbullido and statistician Dr. Phillip Stark. In lengthy deliberations lasting through two elections, the commission recommended incorporating any one of three options for a reliable technique to use ballot images as a means of verifying the count.

That’s when Pima County Elections employee Tom Quigley let slip that they have destroyed all the ballot images. They had been destroying them regularly after each day’s count during the elections.

The ballot images themselves are crucial to the chain of custody for all of the elections that took place since last fall, including the Arizona Primary election. So a Federal election had its chain of custody destroyed.

The excuse? Director Nelson tried to claim that the images where too memory intensive to fit in a 40 gigabyte partition. This was quickly dismissed by members as it was determined that all the ballot images in a Pima County election require approximately 24 gigabytes.

So, once again, Pima County misled their own Election Integrity Commission by failing to disclose that those ballot images they were deliberating about for eight months had already been destroyed.  John Brakey filed a public records request covering a variety of documents and files surrounding ES&S and Pima Elections.

When Secretary of State Michelle Reagan was alerted of this dilemma, she put forth the specious argument that she can’t approve of using ballot images to verify elections without legislation creating a law that permits her to do so. As Jim March Simpson from BlackBoxVoting puts it:

That’s not how public records laws work.  If the stuff exists and the legislature has NOT exempted it, it’s wide open.

The AZ SoS has it exactly backwards.

Jim March Simpson was an integral part of the litigation against Pima County that yielded the largest batch of electronic elections data in U.S. history.

In the EIC meeting that followed, John Brakey addressed what he had observed and heard since last December and why there was no valid reason for destroying the ballot images.

Below is an audio clip of Pima Elections employee Tom Quigley’s revelation that the ballot images are destroyed.