Tucson’s John Brakey ‘Frog Marched’ Out of Counting Room After Noticing Ballot Bags With Missing Security Seals
Incident Latest in String of Embarrassments for Pima County’s Disgraceful Election Director Brad Nelson…
September 9, 2008
Pima County (Tucson), Arizona Election Integrity advocate and expert John Brakey was arrested last night while performing his job as an election supervisor, on behalf of both the Democratic and Libertarian parties, during a post-election hand-count audit of ballots.
Brakey becomes the latest in a growing string of EI advocates to be arrested and/or barred from observing (Brakey was lucky enough to merit both “honors” apparently) while attempting to assure accuracy, fairness, and transparency in voting and in the reporting of election results on behalf of citizens.
The problem erupted after Brakey had noticed a number of ballot bags being counted in the post-election audit were missing their proper security seals. He began to ask questions about those bags, which eventually led to his arrest at the demand of Pima County’s Brad “Election Director Gone Wild” Nelson, a man with whom Brakey has had a number of unfortunate (for Nelson) run-ins over the years.
After news of his arrest, “the county elections building was swarming with television news crews,” according to a report by Election Defense Alliance (EDA), of which Brakey is a member. Indeed, KGUN’s video report on the incident is very good, as the Tucson media — given Brakey’s success in lawsuits and legislation over the years on behalf of voters — has come to see him as a reliable source on such matters…
EDA reports the events this way today:
While monitoring a handcount of ballots from the September 3rd Arizona primary, in his capacity as an official election observer for the Democratic and Libertarian parties, EDA Investigations Co-Coordinator John Brakey was arrested and ejected from the Pima County election headquarters on orders of Pima County Elections Director Brad Nelson.
Brakey had noticed that several of the incoming bags containing ballots from the precincts had unsecured or missing seals. The seal failures appeared to be the result of pollworkers not knowing how to properly lock them.
Brakey then wondered whether the serial numbers on the bag seals matched the serial numbers recorded by the precinct pollworkers when they sealed the ballots. One question led to another, and Brakey ended up in handcuffs.
Here is television news video of the incident from KGUN TV, Pima AZ: