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AZ Court of Appeals Rules Against Libertarians

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Thursday, the Arizona state Court of Appeals has effectively denied Libertarian efforts to allow statewide trail judges to impose oversight procedures that would enable auditing processes to prevent voter fraud.

In November, William Risner, an attorney for the Pima County Libertarian Party argued, “Not a single ballot, for any county race or bond election is ever audited,” Risner further explained to the three judge panel led by Judge John Gemmill, that current protections contained within Arizona state law are inadequate and cannot mitigate voter fraud through machine tampering. Risner and the Pima County Libertarians were seeking a court order to access 2006 Bond election results thought to be skewed through the manipulation of voting machines in order to prove such fraud existed in Pima County.

The judges prompted Risner to take his concerns of inadequate protections in state law to the state’s legislative body and not the court. Risner quickly retorted, “I wish the Legislature would address this,” and ridiculed that the courts of Arizona possess both the power and responsibility to take corrective action and provide oversight in voter fraud matters where the Legislature was failing to respond while further calling for the court to step in and protect voter rights.

Risner and the Pima County Libertarians wish to implement “graphic scanning.” The process would make copies of each individual paper ballot, tally them through an independent third party and compare the results to the voting machine print outs.

Pima County argued that it is not the responsibility of the court to provide oversight to protect Arizona voters and that the state’s legislative body alone bears the responsibility to amend laws to allow third party audits and verifications of the voting process.

The court sided with Pima County on Thursday, deeming the responsibility lies in the hands of the state’s legislative body to take actions to prevent voter fraud. Judge Gemmil wrote that Risner had failed to prove voter fraud existed in Pima County and in his ruling blocked Risner from accessing the 2006 results that he needs to prove the 2006 Bond vote was fraudulent.

Risner is now seeking to appeal to the Supreme Court.

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