Yesterday was a good day for folks like John Brakey, a Tucson Democrat who's been involved in election-integrity issues since 2004.
Judge Michael Miller's rulling--that forces Pima County to hand over election files--came just after Brakey found out he was a new grandfather to a baby girl.
"This gives me lots to celebrate," Brakey said over the phone yesterday. "This is an amazing win. It's a big deal for us."
The Superior Court public information office e-mailed Miller's rulling on Dec. 18 at 3:49 p.m., just as we went to deadline, meaning we couldn't get very much info regarding the ruling into the story in this week's issue about the folks behind the fight for the databases--Brakey, Black Box Voting activist Jim March and attorney Bill Risner.
In an interview on Monday, Risner said he was optimistic Miller would rule in the party's favor. The 2006 general and primary election data was needed, he said, to be able to analyze previous election data and compare it to the 2006 Regional Transpirtation Authority election data. Some election-integrity activists believe vote-flipping may have happened during the RTA election.
In a press release sent out today, Pima County Democratic Party chair Vince Rabago said the ruling was a major victory of national importance for public oversight of elections.
“The judge specifically found that the Democratic Party’s involvement has helped make elections more secure and that the public will benefit from our continued involvement--including our involvement in 'reviewing election management software,'" said Rabago. "This is a victory for the public which should never accept anything less than transparency and accountability in the conduct of its elections.”
But wait a minute, Vince: The data files remain in Pima County's hands. Evidently, the county is planning an appeal, and the Board of Supervisors has put the files on the agenda at the Jan. 8 meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. Board members are slated to discuss whether they will give the files up, or of they will appeal the ruling. The meeting could end up being one of those Ray Carroll vs. Everyone Else meetings--and this doesn't even have anything to do with taxes.