I believe it was Ronald Reagan who once said, "Trust but verify." This is the essence of what culminated at the Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, January 8th. We now have proof that our representative republic can be validated with actions taken by "We the People" and our elected officials.
The Pima County Democrat Party initiated a law suit some time ago against Pima County and it's Elections Division concerning irregularities that may have occurred in the electoral process. At issue in particular are concerns around the Regional Transportation Authority election that narrowly passed in May of 2006. During the trial, security issues were raised that question a whole host of procedures employed by staff and not addressed by County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry. These breaches of proper protocol bring into question everything from early ballot votes and who knew what when, to the possibility of vote total manipulation. Clouds like this over an election are unhealthy for the populace regardless of party affiliation or ideology.
Hat's off to the Democrat party for moving this forward. The judge ordered the county to turn over the final vote tally databases of the 2006 Primary and General election. The Pima County Board of Supervisors were scheduled to vote to appeal this decision. With bipartisan support against such an appeal, the Board originally voted against the appeal and to follow the judge's order. But those of us attending this meeting that were pushing for transparency in our electoral process were not satisfied. After some boisterous moments demanding that folks in attendance were still waiting to be heard, the Chair relented. These folks were heard, including some computer experts explaining that the County's concern of possible security issues in future elections being compromised by releasing past election data bases were baseless.
After a Board executive session, and against County Counsel recommendation, the Board overturned their previous vote and agreed to turn over the entire series of data bases to the 2006 RTA, 2006 Primary and 2006 General elections. With these data bases it is assumed that any irregularities, if they exist, can be recognized.
There are questions around the country about election fraud. There is no definitive evidence as to whether there was any committed here in Pima County on the RTA election or any other election. It is imperative however that the process be transparent. The County asks "We the People" to trust them, in return "We the People" ask them to let us verify. As Joseph Stalin said, “Those who cast the votes DECIDE NOTHING. Those who count the votes DECIDE EVERYTHING."