PRESS RELEASE / OPEN LETTER to Cedar Hills Voters
DATE: Friday August 28, 2015
RE: Request for recount of mail-in voting in Cedar Hills granted. Recount scheduled for September 3, 2015
CONTACT: Curt Crosby – Candidate for Cedar Hills City Council – cell: (801) 669-2211
NOTE: All photos are authorized for use with a “photo courtesy of Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government www.CedarHIllsCitizens.org “.
As a candidate for City Council in Cedar Hills, yesterday I submitted a written request to City Recorder Colleen Mulvey yesterday asking for a recount of the Primary election results. She has responded to all candidates this morning in writing saying,
“I have received a request for a recount of the votes for the 2015 Municipal Primary Election from candidate Curt Crosby.
“According to Utah State Code 20A-4-401, Mr. Crosby is eligible to request a recount, which means all ballots in all precincts for all city council candidates will be recounted.
“I have scheduled the recount of the votes for the 2015 Municipal Primary Election for next Thursday, September 3rd beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the city office building.”
Based on the August 10th Election Day vote count, I was the sixth and final candidate of nine winning by four votes, to continue into the General Election in November. But, straggler mail-in ballots deemed by the City Recorder Mulvey to be legitimate, were counted during the August 25 City Council meeting canvas, changing the outcome to a 5-vote loss and a one-vote loss for fellow candidate Craig Clement putting Brian Miller into the General election.
Votes totals for the sixth and final candidate to go thru General Election positions as of:
August 10th votes August 25 votes Final Approved Total
Curt Crosby 268 * 11 279
Craig Clement 264 19 283
Brian Miller 258 26 284 **
* winner on Aug 10th totals
** winner based on Aug 25th totals
In asking for a recount, folks need not assume that the request is an attempt to call into question our City Recorder Colleen Mulvey’s integrity. Actually, I believe it likely the recount will produce the same results, but in the interest of all Cedar Hills voters the closeness, and the fact that the past three election cycles in a row in Cedar Hills have been clouded in controversy, legitimate voting deserves at least some level of confirmation. Regardless the outcome of the recount, many questions regarding the legitimacy of the votes created by the imperfect vote by mail system, will never be known, nor will the accuracy of the outcome. This is the problem created by the shallow thinking that higher voter numbers is good, when it may be artificially created with potentially fraudulent votes facilitated by mail-in ballots.
Recount Request was Carefully Considered
I’ve made the request for this recount only after careful consideration and was not a last minute decision. Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government learned weeks before the votes were counted on August 10, that the prolonged process that has traditionally confined to one highly monitored day by sworn election officials, grows the opportunity for voting mischief to at least 29 days with highly unmonitored voting with ballots handled and supervised by unsworn election officials. What has been traditionally one day of highly monitored voting at one or two specific locations in Cedar Hills, has now essentially grown to over 2,000 potential unmonitored home voting locations. While I believe the vast majority of the households will vote honorably, it takes only one or two households of illegal voting to sway the outcome of an election, especially an election as close as our recent vote.
In Cedar Hills the Primary election’s ballot box was left out in the City lobby unsealed, without tamper-proof tape, and left unprotected by sworn election officials apparently for all 29 days of the mail-in ballot election process. (see photo Evidence #A below) Also, mailed in ballots were handled by non-sworn election officials opening the process to potential voter fraud.
I personally witnessed this on July 30th, when my appointed vote count watcher and former City Councilman Ken Cromar, along with radio talk show host Sam Bushman and I, met for about 45-minutes with City Recorder Mulvey in the City offices to discuss the voting process and “chain of custody” she is legally responsible to protect. By the end of the meeting, Ms. Mulvey admitted that she could not with 100% certify that the ballot box was fully protected from potential ballot fraud.
Morning after vote count tamper-proof tape had not been applied
Also, on August 11th, the morning after the election day vote count which I won, I, along with Cromar went to the City offices and asked to see the counted ballots envelopes, the brown paper bags and large envelopes were not sealed or protected with tamper-proof vote tape. City Recorder Mulvey and city employee HR manager Gretchen Gordon taped them with tamper-proof tape in our presence. We photographed the results. (see photo Evidence #B below)
Of what value is higher voter turn out artificially created by mail-in ballots, if we haven’t taken every precaution to protect the process from potential voter fraud? While I disagree with Hillary Clinton on most all of her political positions, I absolutely agree with her when she was quoted as saying, “Voting is the most precious right of every citizen, and we have a moral obligation to ensure the integrity of our voting process.”
Utah County Commissioners have been in the news lately concerned about mail-in balloting by some cities. They determined not to allow the mail-in ballots for County voting issues, to safeguard potentially fraudulent mail-in voting, canceling out the value of the votes of cities who prefer traditional, verifiable voting. During Tuesday’s Council meeting, CH Mayor Gary Gygi publicly chastised the Commissioners for their decision.
We have learned that Utah Representative Brad Daw of Orem has prepared two bills for the upcoming Utah State legislative session which offers alternatives to mail-in voting.
Scott Hoganson, the Utah County Deputy Clerk Auditor in charge of elections in Utah County, has also expressed concerns with mail-in voting. Hoganson has reported created a growing list of examples of how the “chain of custody” of ballots can be compromised from the moment the County mails them out. In the effort to create a false sense of higher voter involvement, meaningful ID requirements has been sacrificed for uncertified library cards and utility bills are unwisely allowed and thus has added illegitimate individuals on voting rolls, who are now automatically sent mail-in ballots exposing the election process to potential fraud.
With Tuesday’s canvas my neighbor and candidate Craig Clement lost by one vote. My official vote count designee former Councilman Ken Cromar won his election in 1995 by one vote; before the recount found a spoiled ballot increasing the margin to a two-vote win for Ken. It should be noted that each vote in any election is a potential two-vote swing in a different direction.
It’s not about the counting – It’s how ballots got in the box
This was not a last minute concern. The unwise trend toward mail-in ballots has been alarming for months. Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government has been researching what is called the “Chain of Custody” of mail-in ballots since February when the CH Council voted to go to complete mail-in balloting in an attempt to increase the number of voters. What we discovered was the possible compromise of the mail-in voting process that could facilitate illegitimate voting by the extended time period voting could take place going from one highly monitored day to 29 days with gaps in security. This begs the questions, is it worth increasing voter numbers, if the potential for illegitimate voting increases the possibility of canceling legitimate votes of legal voters and changing the outcomes of elections? I believe the answer is no.
It’s not a question of if the ballots that came out of the ballot box were counted correctly, but rather if all the ballots put into the ballot box were put in there legitimately.
Cedar Hills election questions not new
I have been a candidate in the last three elections in Cedar Hills, 2015, 2013 and 2011. Every election has been clouded in controversy:
Four years ago in 2011, the appointed ballot watchers for 3 candidates from Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government were not allowed to watch the count. Six legally authorized candidate-appointed ballot watchers signed Affidavits the next morning explaining that they had been told to stand off to the side where they couldn’t see the ballots, and were only allowed to listen to the count. The request for a recount of the narrow vote was denied. (Please see… http://www.cedarhillscitizens.org/press-release1/ )
The same 2011 election, the City Newsletter promoted the falsehood on the front page that the City’s controversial golf course was “cash flow positive”, when indeed it was losing an average of $550K a year in taxpayer subsidies, and the city had loaned itself $1.7 million to cover the losses, — throwing support behind the City’s apparently hand-picked & supported candidates (see photo Evidence available upon request)
The same election found the three City promoted candidates break their voluntarily signed Utah State “Pledge of Fair Campaign Practices”. (Please see… http://www.cedarhillscitizens.org/an-open-letter-to-the-gygi-augustus-rees-campaign/ )
The relatively close election results were short-lived as the Mayor resigned to face bank fraud charges, to which he pled guilty and went to prison to serve 1-year and was required to pay $110K in restitution.
The Council appointed one of those three questionably elected Council members Gary Gygi to be appointed Mayor.
Two years ago during the 2013 campaign, appointed-Mayor Gygi ran part of his campaign for Mayor from the City offices. The GRAMA request for records that included photos was made, Mayor Gygi reviewed his records, rather than the City Recorder, and apparently provided inferior home print outs of copies the pictures, rather than the original high resolution images. After numerous email exchanges the original unaltered photos were finally sent. (see photo Evidence #C below)
Now in 2015, after the mail-in ballots that arrived after August 10th were certified by Ms. Mulvey, reportedly postmarked August 10th or earlier, were counted during the Tuesday August 25 the City Council Meeting canvas, the vote total shifted putting me in 8th place five votes behind the final 6th spot, with the 7th place being only one vote behind. Remarkably close. It is noteworthy that my official vote count watcher designee Ken Cromar was refused the opportunity to witness the ballots being counted. Hoganson later said Mulvey could have allowed it, and maybe should have allowed it in the interest of at least the appearance of transparency and fairness.
Again, to me this is not a question of whether the ballots in the box were counted correctly, but rather it’s the bigger question of how the ballots that were counted, actually got into the unprotected ballot box in the first place.
In conclusion, I’ve requested a recount as part of my duty to help insure as much as is possible the integrity of deficient and dangerous mail-in vote process.
Respectfully Submitted to the public for consideration,
9835 N. Meadow Drive
Cedar Hills, UT
cell: (801) 669-2211
Candidate Curt Crosby’s vote count watcher designee
Former elected Cedar Hills City Councilman (July 1994 to Jan 2000)
Researcher for Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government
Utah County Chief Deputy Clerk Auditor
(in charge of elections in Utah County)
Ut Co Office: 801-851-8130
Cedar Hills City Recorder –
(in charge of elections in Cedar Hills)
CH Office: 801-785-9668
Utah County Commissioner Bill Lee
Ut Co Office: (801) 851-8135
Rep. Brad M. Daw
District 60 – Orem
Photo Evidence #A – see pics above
Actually July 30th, as the calendar had not been turned yet.
Note the ballot box is not sealed with tamper-proof tape and it sits out in the lobby unguarded by sworn election officials.
CH lobby Aug 10th still no tamper proof tape over opening – with non-sworn election official Mike Carson handling the box
Photo Evidence #B – see pics above
Photo of ballot bags morning after August 10, 2015 election count — AFTER the tamper-proof tape had been applied at the request of Candidate Curt Crosby.
Photo Evidence #C – see pics above
GRAMA requested email containing photos of Gary Gygi’s campaign for Mayor being run from a City building.
City’s Final Results