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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

The Glendale city council held its regular voting meeting on September 13, 2016. Sammy Chavira was absent again…gasp. He did participate telephonically. In a Hillary Clinton-esque move he claimed he has pneumonia. If he is ill, I wish him a speedy recovery. Yet, one can’t help but wonder. Pneumonia seems to be the current rage in illnesses since presidential candidate Clinton’s diagnosis.

All items but two were on the Consent Agenda and were voted upon in one motion, quickly. The next agenda item was a land planning issue and was also quickly dealt with. The last agenda item was the Canvass of Votes, a formality without legal standing which directs the City Clerk to record the results of the election, those results having already been approved by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (which does have legal standing).

The backdrop to this agenda item was Sammy’s request to the entire city council requesting that they vote to delay acceptance of the Canvass of Votes. In a September 13, 2016 story entitled Chavira asks council to delay canvass of votes by Darrell Jackson of the Glendale Star, he reported, “Yucca District Councilmember Samuel Chavira is attempting to get other councilmembers and the mayor to stop the canvass of votes at the Sept. 13 council meeting after losing his seat in the Aug. 30 primary. Chavira, who lost his seat on the council to former councilmember Joyce Clark by 46 votes, sent an email to fellow councilmembers obtained by The Glendale Star asking them to ‘delay official canvassing of the election results’.” Here is the link to Jackson’s story: http://www.glendalestar.com/news/article_55d713b0-79d5-11e6-8a39-5f815c2ea5eb.html .

Jackson goes on to say, Chavira also may have violated Arizona State Statues on open meeting violations by sending the email as the statute states that councilmembers ‘may not send or verbally communicate with (any) councilmembers requesting their assent on a council meeting agenda action item’.”

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office in its handbook on the Open Meeting Law states the following:

7.5.2 Circumventing the Open Meeting Law.  Discussions and deliberations (in person or otherwise) between less than a majority of the members of a governing body, violate the Open Meeting Law when used to circumvent the purposes of the Open Meeting Law.  See Ariz. Att’y Gen. Op. 75-8; Town of Palm Beach v. Gradison, 296 So. 2d 473 (Fla. 1974).  Public officials may not circumvent public discussion by splintering the quorum and having separate or serial discussions with a majority of the public body members.  Splintering the quorum can be done by meeting in person, by telephone, electronically, or through other means to discuss a topic that has been or later may be presented to the public body for a decision.  Public officials should refrain from any activities that may undermine public confidence in the public decision making process established in the Open Meeting Law, including actions that may appear to remove discussions and decisions from public view.   

For example, Board members cannot use email to circumvent the Open Meeting Law requirements.  See Ariz. Att’y Gen. Op. I05-004 at 2.  “[E]ven if communications on a particular subject between members of a public body do not take place at the same time or place, the communications can nonetheless constitute a ‘meeting.’”  See Del Papa v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. and Cmty. Coll. Sys. Of Nev., 114 Nev. 388, 393, 956 P.2d 770, 774 (1998) (rejecting the argument that a meeting did not occur because the board members were not together at the same time and place).  Additionally, “[w]hen members of the public body are parties to an exchange of e-mail communications that involve discussions, deliberations, or taking legal action by a quorum of the public body concerning a matter that may foreseeably come before the public body for action, the communications constitute a meeting through technical devices under the [Open Meeting Law].”  See Ariz. Att’y Gen. Op. I05-004 at 1.  This may be true even if none of the members of the public body respond to the email.  Id. at 2-3.  If the one-way communication proposes legal action, then it would violate the Open Meeting Law.  Id.  However, other one-way communications, with no further exchanges, are not per se violations, and further examination of the facts and circumstances would be necessary to determine if a violation occurred.  Id. at 3.” 

If you believe, as I do, that Sammy has clearly violated the Arizona Open Meeting Law, you may go to the State Attorney General’s website and file a complaint. Any citizen can do so. Here is the link to the site which contains the Complaint Form: https://www.azag.gov/sgo  .

The Canvass of Votes was approved unanimously by the city council but it was not without comment. In the same Darrell Jackson article cited above, he reported that Councilmember Bart Turner prior to the council meeting said, “I have concerns about several irregularities about the election and I feel that by canvassing the votes, we are just accepting the numbers presented by the county and not confirming them,” Turner said by phone. “By canvassing and passing the vote, that, then opens the door for any candidate to challenge the procedure. Our duty is to be sure that to the best of our ability, the election was fully fair and respects the manner of all voters,” Turner said. “If I were to challenge the canvass, it wouldn’t be for one candidate of the other, but on policy and procedures that may not have been completely followed. As far as challenging results, that is the responsibility of the candidates.” His rhetoric was virtually parroted word for word by Councilmembers Tolmachoff and Aldama.

The “irregularities” to which Turner referred were: 1. Delayed opening of the voting location at Glendale High School and 2. The “missing” voter data discovered at Mensendick Elementary School. In his illegal email letter to all councilmembers Chavira asked the County Recorder to provide evidence that the voter data was not tampered with. Here is the response from the County Recorder’s Office regarding both issues that was sent per the Glendale City Clerk’s request and distributed to all councilmembers the day before their evening voting meeting. The first incident did not occur at a Yucca district polling site:

“Subject: Timeline of events at Glendale High School poll site on Primary election day 8/30/2016

 Primary election day 8/30/2016

 Sometime after 6:30am I was sent to 51 avenue and Maryland to pick up the equipment of a troubleshooter who was rear ended in a car accident. While moving supplies/equipment from the troubleshooter to my truck, I received a call at 6:51am directing me to go the Glendale High School poll site ( one of the rear ended troubleshooters polling places) and assist the inspector who was by himself, in a wheelchair with limited mobility to open the poll site.

 Upon arrival, I saw his wife, whom he called, putting out the vote here sign. Myself and another troubleshooter who arrived just after myself, assisted in putting the rest of the signage. I saw no voters waiting around, just kids and parents dropping the kids off.

 Around 7:30am a gentleman in a walker came in, signed the e-poll book and voted a ballot. 7:58am call send me to another poll site to swap out equipment.”

Primary Election August 30, 2016 – Affidavit re: Precinct 0513

Polling Location:               Don Mensendick School – 67th Ave & Missouri

Election Night – MPS Site reported no black bag no memory pack received

The first call made was to the Inspector Pat Burgett. She let me know that all materials were taken to the MPS truck by John Bowen, the Inspector for the co-located precinct 0045 Bethany Park

I then called John Bowen at approximately 1030pm.

He advised that he along with another board member, turned in all of the materials for both precincts and that he had a receipts. In our conversation I asked specifically about the memory packs to which he advised that both packs were sealed in their designated pink bubble bag and then those were sealed inside their individual black bags for each precinct.

We then waited for the MPS truck to arrive at MCTEC.

I did not know that the MPS site did not have the black bag for precinct 0513 until they arrived and we unloaded the truck.

After searching the truck and finding that the black bag was not in house, I volunteered to go first thing on Wed morning to the school.

I first called John Bowen at approx. 715am on Wed to let him know that we did not receive the black back with the memory pack and advised for him to please check his vehicle. He checked and called me back to let me know it was not in the vehicle. But he did have the receipts from the MPS site. I advised to bring them to the school to meet me so that we could retrieve the bag.

We agreed to meet at the school at 8am to gain access to the room where the equipment/supplies remained. (band room)

John arrived a few minutes before me, he had a school representative escort him to unlock the room and retrieved the bag as I was walking up to the room. He called me as I was approaching the school to advise that the bag was indeed in the room and that it was completely intact and that the seal was not broken.

John had his receipts. I confirmed that the receipt for 0513 did not have the top 2 items checked off (black bag & memory pack) All other items were marked. I wrote in Green ink pen on the receipt for 0513, the number to the seal that was on the black bag. I broke the seal with John there to verify that the pink memory pack bag was inside the black bag.

I then picked up a coworker (Jaime Sumner) at 8:35am from her home (approximately 2 blocks across the street from the school) and we drove together to the office with the black bag/memory pack.

We arrived with the black bag at approximately 9:15am.”

As Councilmember Ray Malnar said at the council meeting, the people who work the polls are volunteers and human. He felt that while some mistakes had occurred, none had risen to the level of voter fraud or vote tampering. I concur with his assessment. Originally I expressed concern regarding the “missing” votes at Mensendick School but after reading the above Affidavit I am satisfied that there was no vote tampering.

Apparently these answers from the County Recorder’s Office are not good enough for Chavira, Turner, Tolmachoff and Aldama. Yet they accepted the County Recorder’s and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Official Canvass of Votes. If they were really concerned about Glendale’s election results, why did they vote to accept those very same results? Turner made one interesting remark when he said, “As far as challenging results, that is the responsibility of the candidates.” The only one who can contest the results is Sammy.

In another Glendale Star story also posted on September 13, 2016 by Darrell Jackson entitled Weiers wins, Clark reclaims Yucca seat, Chavira’s campaign manager, Ben Scheel, said, “At this point, we are following very closely and we will keep all our options open,” Scheel said. “We have spoken to an attorney, but are not calling for anything at this point. We just want to make sure all the votes are counted and after the final votes are posted, we will examine everything closely and make our decision.” Here is the link to this story: http://www.glendalestar.com/news/article_36fc4d94-79c0-11e6-92fd-7f16a95eaf36.html .

Mayor Weiers stated in response to the possibility of a challenge, “Challenge what? The fact is the machine was still sealed and verified and based on any other voting machine, there was no discrepancy. I believe it is fruitless (to challenge) and there is a point where you have to understand that it is time to do what is right for the city.”

Will Sammy contest the results? At this point, I simply don’t care what he does. Mathematically, any action by him will not change the final outcome – quite simply, I won. The margin of my win could change incrementally but the outcome remains the same. Sammy has a steep financial hill to climb in filing a contest to the election. He has to pay for an attorney and he has to pay for any recount should such an action be approved by a judge. The only two grounds, by state statute, that would allow for a recount are voter fraud and vote tampering. He has no proof of either and the burden of proof rests with him. His court adversaries would not be me but the attorneys representing the County Recorder’s Office. That office has clearly and unequivocally stated that all seals on the bags containing the voter data were intact.

It’s time for Burdick and Chavira to publicly concede. Their sound and fury signify nothing but sour grapes and at this point we are seeing not only sour grapes but grapes that have become moldy and rotten. While we are at it…Sammy take your campaign signs down. All signs belonging to losing primary candidates need to be down 15 days after the polls close. That’s Wednesday, September 14, 2016…today.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Some facts:

  1. Sammy Chavira lost his council seat in the current August 30, 2016 Primary Election.
  2. I am Councilmember Elect of the Yucca district in Glendale.
  3. Yesterday, September 12, 2016 the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve and accept the Maricopa County Recorder’s Canvass of Votes.
  4. The Board of Supervisor’s vote is a mandatory legally recognized action taken as required by Arizona State Statutes. Here are the relevant statutes:

“16-646. Statement, contents and mailing of official canvass

  1. The board of supervisors shall deliver a copy of the official canvass for all offices and ballot measures in the primary and general elections to the secretary of state in a uniform electronic computer media format that shall be agreed upon between the secretary of state and all county election officials.
  2. The certified permanent copy of the official canvass for all offices and ballot measures in a city or town election shall be filed with the appropriate city or town clerk, or in a special district election with the clerk of the board of supervisors, who shall maintain and preserve them as a permanent public record.

16-647. Declaration of election to office; delivery of certificate of election

The board of supervisors shall declare elected the person receiving the highest number of votes cast for each office to be filled by the electors of the county or a subdivision thereof, and the clerk of the board shall, unless enjoined from so doing by an order of the court, deliver to each such person, upon compliance with the provisions imposed by law upon candidates for office as conditions precedent to the issuance of such certificates, a certificate of election, signed by the clerk and authenticated with the seal of office of the board of supervisors.”

  1. The Canvass of Votes Resolution is the last item on tonight’s, September 13, Glendale City Council meeting agenda:
16-392 1 28. 2016 Primary Election Canvass of Vote Resolutions RESOLUTION NO. 5154 NEW SERIES A RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF GLENDALE, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA, DECLARING THE OFFICIAL CANVASS OF VOTES CAST IN THE CITY OF GLENDALE PRIMARY ELECTION HELD AUGUST 30, 2016; DECLARING THE ELECTION OF THE MAYOR AND THREE COUNCILMEMBERS; AND ORDERING THAT A CERTIFIED COPY OF THIS RESOLUTION BE RECORDED. Staff Contact: Julie K. Bower, City Clerk
  1. This City Council action, whether it is approved or rejected or tabled, has no legal effect on the Canvass of Votes.  There is no state statute that requires a local jurisdiction to approve or reject the Canvass of Votes. The Glendale City Council vote is no more than a formality and ministerial. If necessary, I expect the Glendale City Attorney to verify this fact at tonight’s council meeting. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if each jurisdiction could reject the Canvass of Votes and overturn the voters’ decision? Only the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, by state statute, can vote to accept or reject the Canvass of Votes. By state statute, the Board of Supervisors vote regarding the County Recorder’s Canvass of Votes is a legal and binding action.
  2. Yesterday, September 12, 2016, Sammy sent the following letter to all Glendale City Councilmembers:

“Fellow Glendale Councilmembers,

I am greatly concerned by the election process that took place on August 30th. As my opponent, Joyce Clark, has already pointed out in previous correspondence, Glendale voters need reassurance that every single vote has been counted. (More about this statement further down in this blog.)

The loss of custody of a memory card containing voter completed ballots from the Don Mensendick polling location for over 12 hours brings into question the integrity (sic), and assurance are necessary to remove any shadow of doubt.

I am requesting the Maricopa County Recorder provide evidence to the City of Glendale and its residents that while the memory card was out of custody, it was not tampered with (sic). I am also currently working with the County Recorder to endure Glendale has not had ballots being dismissed due to signature irregularities or other reason (sic) without proper cause and procedure, as is being alleged in other parts of the county.

Until the County Recorder is able to provide this evidence I urge the Glendale Council to delay official canvassing of the election results with respect to Mrs. Clark, myself and Glendale residents.

Regards,

Councilmember Samuel U. Chavira”

  1. Sammy Chavira is in violation of State Statutes regarding the Open Meeting Law.  A councilmember may not send or verbally communicate with all councilmembers(or even another councilmember) requesting their assent on a council meeting agenda action item. The Canvass of Votes is an agenda action item scheduled for tonight, September 13, 2016. His letter to all councilmembers is the clearest and starkest example of an Open Meeting Law violation I have ever witnessed. I had no concern, as Sammy stated, as to whether every vote was counted. Rather in my communication to the County Recorder’s Office I suggested the very opposite.
  2. I sent the following email to the City Clerk when I learned of the situation at Mensendick School:

8/31/2016 12:18:50 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time

Hello Ms. Bower,

Thank you for providing information.

However, I am concerned as I suspect all other affected candidates are, about the integrity of these ‘missing’ ballots. Would you please forward this email on to Helen Purcell, the County Recorder, with the following question:

Ms. Purcell,

I understand the ballots from one Yucca district were ‘missing’ and have been discovered. I also understand they were ‘locked up’ overnight.

Please provide me with some proof of the integrity of these ballots. I don’t see how they can be legitimately counted when they were under no one’s supervision or care for an estimated 12 hours or better.

Respectfully,

Joyce Clark”

  1. Yesterday, September 12, 2016 I viewed the County Board of Supervisor’s meeting. Here is the link: http://maricopa.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=3072&doctype=AGENDA . Steve Gallardo (a buddy of Sammy’s), District 5 Supervisor, asked about the “Mensendick school situation.” The County Recorder’s Office explicitly stated that the bags holding the voter data had their seals unbroken and intact. I am reassured and satisfied by their explanation of events. I accept the County Recorder’s explanation as true and valid. It seems Supervisor Gallardo accepted their explanation as well and was also satisfied as he seconded the motion to approve the Canvass of Votes. The motion was approved unanimously. There was no follow up questioning by Supervisor Gallardo nor did he make a motion to reject the Canvass of Votes.
  2. Yesterday afternoon the County Recorder’s Office sent to all councilmembers via the City Clerk its assurance and verification that the Mensendick ballots were not tampered with. Each councilmember has the evidence that Sammy requested from the County Recorder.
  3. The only way that Sammy can contest my win is to seek court action. Sammy has already been advised by an attorney that he has no case and will not win in court. It is his burden to prove that the Mensendick ballots were tampered with and that he cannot do.

Why did Sammy get his buddy, Supervisor Gallardo, to ask about the Mensendick situation only to have Gallardo approve the Canvass of Votes? Why did Sammy violate the Open Meeting Law with his request of all councilmembers to table their acceptance of the Canvass of Votes when council’s action has no legal effect? Why is Sammy so willing to deny the will and choice of Yucca district voters?

Sammy is embarrassed that he lost. Sammy is angry after he and his special interests flushed so much money down the toilet. Sammy is unwilling to accept the Yucca district voter’s decision.

Sammy is willing to use any means, foul or futile, to overturn the voice of the people. Sammy is unwilling to accept the voters’ rejection of his record: his abuse of taxpayer money; his failure to attend city council meetings; his failure to hold district meetings; his disdain for the law regarding a simple traffic ticket; and worst of all, his failure to return his constituents’ calls and to represent them. He lost because he didn’t do his job. He thought he was entitled. He was arrogant and exhibited a lack of respect for the very people he was supposed to serve.

Sammy is a loser. He lost the election. He needs to get over it and there is no expectation that he will do so gracefully or honorably. And while he’s at it…Sammy, it is way past time to take down your campaign signs. By law they are to be removed within 10 days. It’s now 13 days and counting. But then again, the law, whether it is the Open Meeting Law or Canvass of Votes, doesn’t seem to mean much to him.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 18 years and 97 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

On Tuesday, March 22, 2016 the voters of Maricopa County flocked en masse to county polling locations in the states’ presidential primary election. It turned out to be a nightmare for many voters. I was alerted to the problem when several blog readers called and told me they waited 3 hours to cast a ballot. Here is a photo taken by one of the voters.

South Peoria Baptist Church 9000 W. Olive Ave, Peoria

South Peoria Baptist Church
9000 W. Olive Ave, Peoria

A little reality is in order. On October 15, 2015 the County Recorder’s Office announced that Maricopa County had more than 2 million registered voters. They proudly declared that Maricopa County has the third-highest registration rate in the country. Maricopa County is just behind Los Angeles County, California and Harris County, Texas. We witnessed state after state announcing that voter turnouts for presidential primaries have been record breaking, ranging in a 40% to 80% increase since 2012.

The County Recorder’s Office had about 5 months to prepare for the perfect storm of an increase in the number of registered voters and an expected increase in turnout of anywhere from 40% to 80%. Did they prepare adequately? Apparently not.

Glendale has about 50 precincts. Do you know how many polling locations there were in Glendale? Two…just two, the Happy Valley Church at 24220 N. 43rd Avenue and the Hope Chapel at 17417 N. 63rd Avenue. Both locations were in North Glendale. I guess the rest of Glendale was chopped liver. Glendale has a population of nearly 250,000 and an estimated 70,000 registered voters. Somehow two polling locations in North Glendale don’t seem to serve the public very well.

If you think Peoria had it better you would be correct. With a smaller population and smaller number of registered voters Peoria had 3 polling locations. The County Recorder’s Office had a total of 60 polling locations for a county with a population of 4.09 million and a self-proclaimed registration of over 2 million voters. That means each polling location in the county had to process an estimated 33,000 voters at each of its 60 locations. Granted some locations had more and some had less activity. However, it doesn’t seem that any of the locations would have the capacity to handle 33,000 voters at the rate of 2,750 voters per hour. Thank goodness for Early Voting ballots or there might have been riots. Many voters, like me and my family, used our Permanent Early Voting ballots. That would have taken some of the pressure away from the polling locations. However, there’s nothing that discourages a voter more than waiting hours to vote. What was the County Recorder’s Office thinking?

If you voted today, what was your experience at your polling location? Send a comment and I’ll make sure it is shared with my readers.

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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