Brad Roach comments on arrest of election observer.

     We covered last weekend’s news that Pima County Elections Director, Brad Nelson, had an election observer arrested. Brad Roach, candidate for Pima County Attorney, was present at the Pima County Department on Saturday and has issued the following statement:

An effective democracy needs two things: 1) Accurate counting of valid ballots cast and 2) the perception by the public that accurate counting of ballots occur. During last Saturdays manual recount of Tuesday’s primary results, as many as 7 of the 9 precincts being recounted showed signs consistent with tampering. When an accredited Democrat election observer noticed this trend and began questioning the Election Department – he was arrested and tossed out. Rather than respond to real and important questions about the integrity of the election process, the County used the cover of legal authority to quash all inquiry.

This is yet another example in a long line of failures by the County, and specifically by the County Attorney, to protect our democracy. First, The County Attorney should have been involved in outlining the process and procedures so fundamental questions like this could be addressed as they occur. Second, the County Attorney should have designated an attorney to be available, on-call, to consult before such radical and inflammatory decisions are made such as arresting any party’s accredited election observer.

Let me be clear – I am not saying that these 7 precincts were tampered with. I don’t believe anyone is making that accusation. What I am saying is that the condition of the ballots was such that tampering could have occurred. By arresting an observer who discovered the problem, rather than addressing it, significantly weakens the public’s perception of election integrity. Do not shoot the messenger – deal with the message! The citizens of Pima County deserve better.

The county attorney has failed at every turn to investigate significant election problems in 2004, 2006 and now. The county attorney has obstructed any inquiry into these elections. The county attorney has failed to provide adequate legal support to prevent these glaring problems. Without adequate investigation, it is impossible to tell if these continuing election problems are the result of gross incompetence or fraud.

I again call on the county attorney to investigate the integrity of elections here in Pima County and restore the public’s trust. If she will not , let her answer to the voters on November 4. and If I am elected to replace her, rest assured I will investigate these issues and I will make sure adequate county attorney support resources are available.


  1. Sounds like its time for a new County Attorney!

  2. Its also time for a new Elections Director!

  3. At least the whistle-blower in the State GOP Convention voting (May 10, 2008) has yet to be arrested.

    I guess the State GOP feels that discrediting him is enough.

    We shall see.

    It is disapointing [to say the least] to watch this happen……over 12,000 “extra” votes, and not even the suggestion of an audit.

    And we are REPUBLICANS?? Shame on us.

  4. Interesting side issue(?) in a Texas paper that states (like AZ) which have required by law that voters be citizens have experienced a 10% drop in Hispanic voters. Well maybe not in Tucson.

  5. Brad Roach is going to have my vote. Election integrity is not a partisan issue.

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