Monday, December 18, 2017

The Tucson Connection in the Alabama Election

Posted By on Mon, Dec 18, 2017 at 3:52 PM

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Last week's big political news was the upset victory of Democrat Doug Jones over Republican Roy Moore in Alabama's election for U.S. senator. There was also an important but not widely reported drama behind the drama of the election itself: the question of whether digital records of the voters' paper ballots should be saved. Featured in that drama was John Brakey, the Tucson head of AUDIT-AZ.

Jones' win was sizable enough—about 20,000 votes, a 1.5 percent margin—that everyone accepts his victory except Moore and some of his most ardent supporters. But if the margin had been narrower and a recount was called for, the digital records question could have been a significant part of the story.

In Alabama, as in Arizona, voters' paper ballots are fed through optical scanners, which then count the votes electronically. The scanners can easily save the ballot images. It's just a matter of flipping a switch. But in Alabama, when the scanners are turned off, the images are destroyed. Brakey, working together with a group of Alabama voters and a lawyer with vast experience in election recounts, fought to have the images preserved. Dec. 11, the day before the election, a judge agreed and ordered that the images be saved. Later that day, the Alabama Supreme Court stepped in and blocked the lower court ruling.

Arizona's scanned ballot images used to be destroyed as well. However, according to Brakey, "In Arizona, it's no longer permissable because we sued Pima County and won the case." The decision to save the images was adopted in ten other Arizona counties which use the same machines.

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Tis the Season: KXCI Hosts Sonic Solstice Tonight

Posted By on Mon, Dec 18, 2017 at 1:53 PM

Joey Burns (right) of Calexico will treat KXCI listeners to a new Christmas song tonight.
  • Joey Burns (right) of Calexico will treat KXCI listeners to a new Christmas song tonight.
It's the most wonderful time of the year (for awesome local music, that is).

KXCI Community Radio is hosting its yearly Sonic Solstice celebration, running from 6-9 p.m. tonight at their studios on Fourth Avenue.

The 16th edition of the show will feature six local artists over three hours, broadcast live on the independent radio station, with Locals Only DJ Matt Milner and other staffers hosting.

Calexico's Joey Burns will be first up on Monday's event, debuting an original Christmas song, while Brian Lopez, Jane West, Eb Eberlein, Juju Fontaine and the Chaparral Kirtan Band will be performing as well.

The program can be heard at 91.3 FM or streamed online at

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Staff Pick

Tucson International Mariachi Conference

The Tucson International Mariachi Conference was created to pass mariachi traditions to the next generation. 4/26 @… More

@ AVA: Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheater Thu., April 26, 6-8 p.m., Fri., April 27, 7-9 p.m. and Sat., April 28, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Casino del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road.

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