Legal Action

EDA 's Long-Term Campaign to Restore Election Integrity

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EDA works to defend the vote not only at election time, but full-time, year-round. We understand that restoring transparency and public accountability to the electoral process is a major social policy change that will require long-term, sustained commitment.

Election Verification Polling

EDA has conducted and commissioned numerous independent exit polls and voter surveys in counties across the nation during the 2006 midterm and 2008 presidential election cycles, providing an independent means of evaluating the validity of official election returns generated by trade-secret software owned by private corporations. In the absence of direct citizen observation of the vote-counting, or credible election auditing practices, these polls provide a valid means for independently assessing the veracity of intrinsically unverifiable electronic voting results. We continue to refine these methods and will, with your volunteer participation and funding support, continue to conduct exit polls and voter surveys in strategically selected locations in forthcoming elections.

Election Forensic Analysis

In computerized elections, citizens are denied access to the very evidence --ballots marked by voters-- necessary to confirm or deny the validity of officially reported election results. EDA has developed methods for independently assessing reported election results by comparing official precinct and county election returns to historical election baseline data, voter registration figures, pre-election tracking polls, and independently commissioned exit polls on election day. This multifactor analysis comparing reported election results to independently verifiable external measures can identify suspect patterns and internal contradictions in the election results indicating probability of accidental mistabulation or deliberate fraud to a very high degree of statistical certainty.

Media Messaging and Public Education

The unacceptable risks of computerized voting are rising into public awareness, but much more public education and advocacy will be needed to institute change in the U.S. electoral system. EDA is building media messaging capacity to provide consistent, corrective information and to issue alarms as necessary on a national scale.

Legal Action

Election Defense Alliance advocates a proactive, pre-emptive response to pervasive breaches in election security and obstruction of the public's right to know. We are devising legal tactics and assembling evidence to support legal intervention before, during, and after elections to enforce effective security procedures and uphold the public's right to monitor electoral processes and inspect public documents without obstruction.

Support for Local Organizing

Because we recognize that all elections are local, Election Defense Alliance emphasizes electoral integrity action at the level of local electoral jurisdiction. We support those efforts by developing research, fundraising, and publicity capacity on a national level and then channeling those resources where they can be applied most effectively: at the county and township level where elections are conducted.

Legislative Policy

Although we regard decentralized electoral administration and local citizen vigilance as the best prescription for election protection, EDA recognizes the present opportunity to repair damage wrought by HAVA (the Help America Vote Act of 2002) and avert similarly misguided and harmful federal legislation now and in the future. We will warn against ill-advised nonsolutions, recommend effective measures to counter electronic voting dangers, and promote handcounted paper ballots and manual audits as the solutions necessary to restore electoral integrity.

These and other actions are carried out by an EDA staff of volunteers who depend on your support to continue and expand these protections. Please invest in electoral legitimacy.

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EDA Serves Public Records Lawsuit on Riverside County, CA

County Responses to Election Records Requests  "Not Responsive, Evasive, and Unusable"


Download EDA Complaint (PDF)

After repeated attempts to obtain election records through public records procedures were denied and evaded by the Riverside County elections department, Election Defense Alliance has filed a lawsuit in Riverside County, CA, to compel the county's registrar of voters and election department to produce all public records used to compile the officially reported voting results for the November 2008 general election.Complaint-Cover

The legal complaint, [Case No. R1C-541239] filed in Riverside County Superior Court November 13 and served on the Riverside Elections Department on December 12, is based on the California Public Records Act (CPRA) and related statutes in the California Government Code.

EDA maintains that all election records are -- or should be -- public documents, to be readily available for public inspection in a timely manner and in complete, usable form; otherwise the public right to verify election outcomes is effectively denied.

EDA is seeking these records to determine (a) whether the officially reported election results were accurate and correct, and (b) whether the elections were conducted in full compliance with the California Elections Code and state and federal requirements for the certification and use of computerized voting systems.

These laws and requirements include provisions guaranteeing the public
access to observe election processes and verify election results.

The lawsuit is the initial phase of the EDA Public Records Election Project (PREP).

Members of the
EDA PREP team collectively have experience monitoring elections and filing records requests in Riverside, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties in California, and Pima and Maricopa counties in Arizona.

The EDA-PREP team worked 8 months studying relevant public records law, preparing the records requests, analyzing responses and records received from Riverside County, and following through with subsequent requests to obtain records that the Riverside elections department either initially refused to provide, or failed to provide in usable form.

Between April and October, 2009, EDA sent four separate CPRA request letters specifying the records sought in further response to Riverside County replies. Each of the request letters are attached to this article as downloadable PDF documents.


Lawsuit Claims and Relief Sought

EDA is seeking a judicial determination as to the legal validity of any of the exemptions the Riverside Elections Department has claimed, and whether its responses to EDA's information requests have been fully compliant with the requirements of the California Public Records Act.

EDA Complaint is Served on Riverside County Elections Department


Riverside election integrity activist Paul Jacobs accompanied Tom Courbat
to the Riverside County Elections Department on Dec. 12, 2009
to serve the summons forthe EDA lawsuit, Case No. RIC-541239.



As declaratory relief, EDA is seeking a court ruling that the Riverside defendants violated the California Public Records Act by:
 __ failing to demonstrate that requested records are exempt;
 __ requiring the payment of fees not  permitted by law;  
_ failing in their mandatory duties to respond to public information requests;
 __ abusing their official discretion, by failing to respond properly to public information requests;
 __ failing to provide requested records in useful form; and by 
 __ denying requests for public records without justification.

EDA is seeking a writ of mandamus compelling the Riverside defendants to:

 __ comply with each  provision of the CPRA
 __ deliver all records responsive to the EDA CPRA requests 
 __ comply with all such election-related records requests by citizens in the future
 __ pay EDA reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of the suit pursuant to Government Code Section  6259, the Code
     of Civil Procedure section 1021.5, and other relevant statutes; and
 __ such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper.
 
Below are a listing and description of election records EDA requested in the initial CPRA letter of April 24, 2009, and descriptions of the Riverside elections department response to each request.


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