Brewer Vs. Huckelberry: Round 337

Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer remained cranky last week that Pima County wasn’t going to be transmitting vote counts from precincts to the county’s central tabulator.

Brewer wrote a very stern letter to Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, accusing him of “abdicating your responsibility to run orderly and efficient elections” because the county has worked with officials from local political parties to develop security procedures.

Huckelberry, in his response to Brewer, counters that “consultation and cooperation is not abdication.”

We tend to think that the security risk of transmitting the data over the phones is extremely low, but whatever. We appreciate that Pima County is attempting to show that it does care about security procedures. If that means waiting a few extra hours, we can live with that.

How hysterical is Brewer over the idea that votes cast on Election Day might not be available for the 10 o’clock news? She goes so far as to accuse Huckelberry of trying to disenfranchise the disabled because he wants to prioritize counting ballots cast on paper ballots and count the votes cast on electronic touch-screen machines after the standard ballots have been processed.

“I’m certain that leaders of the disability community would have very serious concerns about this procedures for reasons too obvious to state in this letter,” Brewer wrote.

This is an absurd assertion. Very few people use the touchscreen machines; of the 114,000 votes cast in the September primary, only 97 of them were on the touchscreen machines that Brewer insisted the county buy. Frankly, disabled Americans should be more concerned that Brewer has no problem with them using unreliable machinery with, at best, a flimsy paper trail.

Huckelberry is making the right call to concentrate on the paper ballots.

By the way, given we keep hearing about problems with touchscreen machines losing votes elsewhere in the country, we’d prefer that nobody use them. If we had our druthers, we’d melt them all down into a big wad of plastic and drop it on Brewer’s head.


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