Ballot Buster

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Blog reader bonus! TW contributor Dave Devine shared a nugget with us that we were unable to fit into The Skinny this week, but those of you who are plugged in get it anyway:

For some time, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard's staff has been investigating allegations of vote flipping in last year's Regional Transportation Authority election conducted by Pima County.

The AG's office isn't commenting on the investigation, but the state agency and Pima County teamed up to hire the firm iBeta to analyze the election results. The company has prepared a draft report, which has been reviewed by John Moffat of Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry's office.

Moffat recently said he's still waiting to see the final report, which he called "pretty imminent."

Someone who hasn't seen the draft report but would sure like to: Bill Risner, attorney for the Pima County Democratic Party. Risner first raised the flipping charge.

Even though he expect the report to be a "whitewash," Risner has filed a public-records request to obtain a copy of it.

Risner remains skeptical of the entire investigation into the election.

"The suspect (Pima County) and the prosecutor (Attorney General's Office) jointly finance a part of the investigation and keep it a secret between them," he complains.

In a recent letter to the AG, Risner also asked: "Does your office share information with other suspects in other criminal investigations? We think not."

Risner raises two other points about the AG's investigation. He says Pima County officials have asserted that employees in the Elections Division may invoke their Fifth Amendment rights to avoid self-incrimination if they are questioned in the investigation. He also says a what may be a key piece of evidence--which even the AG's Office calls "of interest"--can't be located.

The entire AG investigation, says Risner, is "rather curious."

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