John Brakey

On Election Day 2004, John Brakey was Democratic Cluster Captain for four precincts in Arizona Congressional District 7, which had 80% non-Republican, predominately Hispanic voter registration, yet would be recorded as having voted 42% for Bush.

Throughout Election Day, John witnessed suspicious behavior by poll workers at three of his four precincts. An hour after the polls had closed, he caught poll workers at one of these stations in the act of altering the poll books.

Shocked, John immediately launched what would grow into a 1,000+ hour audit of the voting at precinct #324, beginning by salvaging the poll-worker-annotated “Advice to Voter” slips from the trash the next morning and then buying copies of all other pertinent public records.

John entered all of these data on Excel spreadsheets and began e-mailing them to Dave Griscom with highlighted oddities and irregularities.

Eventually, the team of Brakey and Griscom uncovered evidence of an elaborate "hack and stack" poll-worker fraud designed to alter the optical scan ballot count and evade detection in a recount. Griscom was able to calculate the probability of the seven irregularities they found being committed exactly 11 times each. The odds that these seven irregularities were random accidents due to poll-worker incompetence, were less than one chance in 20 million.

Conclusion: The poll workers did these things on purpose, and they religiously followed a formula whereby they could have swung the vote by as much as 12.8%--without being detected in a manual recount of the ballots.

John Brakey is a co-founder of AUDIT-AZ (Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency in Elections, Arizona) and the Special Task Force Leader of the Arizona Democratic Party Election Integrity Committee, in which he works with EDA Investigations Co-Coordinator David Griscom.