Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Improvements in voting process, refuting fraud a win-win for county

Guest Writer
Guest Opinion

The attorney general’s investigation found no hint of fraud in the 2006 Regional Tranportation Authority plan.

That finding confirmed what Pima County has been saying ever since these outrageous and unfounded claims surfaced.

It is noteworthy that the hand count of the ballots, conducted under extraordinary scrutiny, found less than a 100th of 1 percent difference from the totals reported by the machine count, and those differences are easily explained.

As Attorney General Terry Goddard remarked last Tuesday, “The machine count was astonishingly accurate.”

This remarkable accuracy is a testament to the integrity and diligence of Elections Director Brad Nelson and Computer Specialist Bryan Crane, as well as the elections staff.

It was disturbing to see the character of these conscientious county employees falsely maligned. The results of the attorney general’s investigation showed beyond any doubt the allegations that anyone tampered with election results were completely false.

It is now important to acknowledge that in our justice system, fairness and objectivity have prevailed.

The county, along with its critics, asked for the hand count, our only stipulation being that it be conducted in accordance with state law. Now that the results are in, voters can rest assured that their votes did indeed count.

As we have said numerous times in recent years, the county regards the voting process as a sacred trust.

Because of that belief, a number of measures have been implemented to improve security and enhance transparency of the election process, particularly with respect to activities at the technical center, where the election results are tabulated and summarized.

The modifications made in 2006 and later can be classified as facility modifications, process modifications, electronic countermeasures, vote device counting measures or as training and staffing improvement. All of these modifications were spelled out in detail in a report delivered to the Board of Supervisors on Oct. 19, 2007. The report is a public record.

In short, Pima County has taken major steps to improve the elections integrity process and has been more responsive on this issue than nearly any other county in the United States.

For the sake of all Pima County voters and taxpayers, and especially for the county employees whose integrity we never doubted, we are happy with the outcome of the attorney general’s investigation and believe this matter has been laid to rest.

Chuck Huckelberry is the Pima County administrator.

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