County Elections Office Complaints Mount


Three different individuals have come forward and made various allegations about procedural and other violations at the Coconino County Elections Office.

OBSERVERS FILE COMPLAINTS. Joe Ferguson, AZ Daily Sun

“The County Recorder’s office has been a target of a number of complaints in the last few months.”

Rob Wilson, who was my campaign’s official observer, submitted a lengthy report alleging many violations.

“Wilson also said he witnessed opened ballots being transported by one person rather (than) two and election officials making decisions about whether voter signatures matched instead of citizen election judges,” continues the AZ Daily Sun article.

On October 31st, the County Recorder, Candace Owens, delivered an official response to the Flagstaff City Council responding to Wilson’s report. She states, “I gave Mr. Wilson a copy of the Arizona State Procedures Manual. The manual is approved by the United State Department of Justice.” Owens goes on to say, “The manual was drafted as a means to ‘guide’ all users through the election process.” The response continues, “Mr. Wilson contends that this office does not strictly adhere to the procedures and his examples are colors of pens, name tags not worn and logging in and out of the facility. The procedures he refers to are written for the entire state. This means one procedure might be written very specific to allow the most populated counties, Pima and Maricopa, to insure security and compliance. Another process or procedure might be written in a broader scope so that each county can implement the procedure but has discretion on how to do so”

Wilson, in a response yesterday, pointed out Page 1 of the Arizona State Elections Manual: “The Secretary of State’s Election Procedures Manual is required by ARS § 16-452. The
procedures contained in this manual were developed after consultation with each
County Board of Supervisors or officer in charge of elections and have been approved
by the Governor and Attorney General. A violation of any of the provisions of this
Election Procedures Manual is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Wilson also wrote, “If Ms. Owens believes the manual is just a ‘guide’, I believe she is mistaken.”

Another article also asks questions about the County Election Office

COCONINO COUNTY ELECTION SECURITY IN DOUBT. Elisha Dorfsmith, Flag Independent Press

“The Coconino County Elections office was recently the subject of a report written by Rob Wilson, a vote counting observer volunteering for the Jeff Oravits for Flagstaff City Council campaign. Oravits easily won his election but Wilson found a long list of red flags and statute violations during his time at the vote counting facility.”

The AZ Daily Sun recently ran a story about Troy Troutman, a Candidate and former Coconino County Employee.

CAMPAIGN 2012: COCONINO COUNTY RECORDER SUCCESSOR CONTESTED. Joe Ferguson, AZ Daily Sun

“Troutman alleges Hansen was campaigning from her office, making comments about his candidacy within earshot of county employees — a charge Hansen denies,” according to a recent AZ Daily Sun Article.

Also in the article was information about Paul Reilly, who filed a complaint after his loss during the Flagstaff Mayoral Primary.

“Reilly filed a 17-page complaint demanding a recount after coming in a distant fourth in the mayoral primary, claiming county officials violated various election rules. Among them was the use of a USB memory stick rather than a blank CD to ferry information from one computer to another”

These are all just allegations at this point and to my knowledge, no one is claiming election fraud. With three complaints raised, though, we should take this seriously and investigate thoroughly. If changes are needed at the Elections Office, let’s make those changes. Most of all lets lessen the potential for election abuses.


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