FAQ: Why Bother Auditing Referendums & Questions?

The Connecticut post-election audit exempts, among other things, all referendums and questions. This is a mistake.

Referendums and questions may be the most vulnerable election items open to human attack via programming – often all the elected officials of both parties want the referendums passed – they may go through multiple, failed, low turn-out, budget referendums and say to themselves “if the majority of the voters turned out it would pass” and be tempted to make sure it passes. Or one tax-averse ballot programmer, a high asset individual, or even a single election official may want to make sure a new or higher tax does not pass.

Now we have an example from Puma County, AZ of a potentially corrupt election, possibly changed by the actions of a single individual ordered by an election official. Via BradBlog since the underlying link to the original article seems broken <read>

According to Osmolski’s affidavit :

During that conversation Bryan Crane told me he “fixed” the RTA, or Regional Transportation Authority election on the instructions of his bosses and he did what he was told to do. Mr. Crane expressed his concern about being indicted and said he would like to talk but couldn’t trust anyone.

The affidavit is the latest in a series of red flags concerning the RTA election. Other red flags include: (1) This was a sales tax increase, the type of vote that usually fails, and it looked like it was going down in the days prior to the election; (2) The database on the vote counting computer was erased and replaced a day into the early ballot scanning; (3) Unauthorized vote total summary reports were printed during the counting; (4) A tape of the original ballot layout stored with the Secretary of State — which could have indicated if the vote was flipped — was sent back to the County, which lost it; (5) An investigation into the election completed by the Attorney General’s office was cursory and inconclusive.

I’ll hold judgement on the merits of this particular case at least until the votes are counted, the chain-of-custody broken, or the ballots destroyed, whichever comes first.

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