Thursday, July 10, 2008

Save and recount RTA ballots

Without a full recount, the RTA election cannot be considered valid

TUCSON -- The election integrity issue continues to be red hot here, as wisely pushed by the Pima County Democratic Party.

There is now a sworn witness alleging the 2006 Pima County Regional Transportation Authority vote was rigged. Watch the video.

Pima County, Arizona AG Terry Goddard and all leaders must find a way to fully recount all the RTA ballots, which must not be destroyed.

The RTA is collecting millions of dollars in local sales taxes, and it affects all of us and our quality of life. Some RTA projects are controversial, and being implemented in ways not fully disclosed to the public prior to the election, especially the planned widening of Grant Rd., and 22nd St. in my neighborhood, the Kino/22nd St. grade separated interchange, and the $75-100M 1-mile extension of Aviation Highway through three north downtown neighborhoods.

Given this witness and new information on possible vote tampering, a failure to verify the RTA election will badly dog the RTA, and all its projects, for years, undercutting needed public support for transportation improvements.

I call on RTA Director Gary Hayes and the RTA board to immediately support a full recount. I don't expect this type of courageous action from RTA, but it's the only ethical and right thing to do.

Election integrity is essential to our democracy. Without it, we have nothing.

The time for change is now! And action is needed at the State Capitol.

I will work hard in the Arizona Legislature to strengthen election integrity, so that everyone can vote without hassle, so that every vote counts, and so that we can trust the outcome of all elections.

More good coverage.

UPDATE, 7/11: In a letter today to Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, RTA Director Gary Hayes supported a full recount, but did not offer to put projects on hold until when and if it can be done. Nevertheless, a good move in the right direction from RTA.

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