Our Team of Election Scrutineers
John Roberts Brakey
Co-Founder and Director
John Roberts Brakey is an elections investigator, election integrity advocate and former business owner. He is a
co-founder of AUDIT AZ (Americans United for Democracy, Integrity and
Transparency in Elections), which has expanded to become AUDIT-USA.
Under John’s leadership, AUDIT-AZ spearheaded a successful Arizona election challenge. The plaintiffs succeeded in gaining access to “proprietary” election materials which helped them prove that a local bond election had been rigged by individuals with official access to election machinery.
John and AUDIT-AZ have played a major role in making Arizona elections more secure through advocacy and litigation.
Brakey filed a legal challenge to the 2016 Arizona Presidential
Primary election for targeted disenfranchisement of parts of the population heavily supportive of candidate Bernie Sanders.
He has recently developed a
new method of election verification: mobilizing the public to use digital ballot images created by digital scan voting machines to verify or challenge official vote counts.
Election transparency and public oversight are the goals that drive John to travel all over the country speaking and educating people about the dangers in our current election system and what members of the community can do about it.
A dedicated scrutineer, John is
determined to make sure no election insider or outside hacker can manipulate an election with impunity (exemption from punishment). Making it more difficult to rig or hack an election without getting caught and punished will serve as a deterrent to future election crimes.
Co-Founder and Treasurer
Arlene Leaf’s involvement in the movement for election integrity began the day after the 2004 election and Ohio fiasco.
Notably, she worked with John Brakey and others to investigate and expose the fraudulent Tucson bond election a year and a half later.
Arlene has served AUDIT-AZ and now AUDIT-USA as treasurer as well as editor, sounding board, and a key part of the organizations’ support system.
“Everyone can participate in overseeing that votes are counted accurately,” she says.
She looks forward to the work of AUDIT-USA making that a reality.
Founder and president of Sautter Communications and Films, Chris Sautter is a nationally recognized political media strategist, award-winning documentary filmmaker, election attorney, and university professor.
Sautter is best known for his expertise in election disputes, having worked as an attorney or consultant on nearly every major national recount since helping Democrat Frank McCloskey win a four-vote victory in 1984-85 in Indiana’s “Bloody 8th” congressional district—a race that remains the closest U.S. House race in modern history.
His work on behalf of Al Gore in the 2000 Florida recount was profiled in the New Republic, singled out by the late syndicated columnist Robert Novak, and praised by Jeffrey Toobin in his book Too Close To Call.
Sautter served as a lead attorney in Al Franken’s U.S. Senate 2008- recount in Minnesota. Jay Weiner, author of This Is Not Florida: How Al Franken Won the Minnesota Recount, pegged him “unquestionably the most experienced recount lawyer in the country” and “the go-to-guy on the Franken recount team.”
Sautter co-authored The Recount Primer (1994) and teaches election law including a course on recounts as an adjunct professor at American University.
More recently, Sautter served as an attorney for Bernie 2016, the Bernie Sanders for President campaign, directing voter protection activities. He also helped direct voter protection for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign in Florida during the 2016 general election campaign.
In 2018, he represented the Florida Democratic Party in two statewide recounts. Currently, Sautter is special counsel to AUDIT Elections USA, directing litigation for the organization.
Susan Pynchon is working with AUDIT USA as part of its core team leading up to the 2020 election. Ms. Pynchon is assisting with research, and preparation of “track condition reports” in targeted states. She assists AUDIT USA Director John Brakey in building and supporting coalitions of election-integrity advocates in those states.
Ms. Pynchon is also the Executive Director of Florida Fair Elections Coalition (FFEC), which she co-founded) in 2004. Under her leadership, FFEC has become a respected entity known for its nonpartisan dedication to fair, transparent, verifiable, accessible, and secure elections.
Ms. Pynchon fought against the use of paperless touchscreen voting machines in Florida and for optical scan voting systems that count hand-marked paper ballots. In 2007, then-Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced that Florida would switch completely to paper ballots in time for the 2008 General Election.
In 2008, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida selected Ms. Pynchon as one of four recipients of its statewide, annual Nelson Poynter Civil Liberties Award for “defending voting rights in Florida.” Ms. Pynchon remains an advocate of hand-marked paper ballots. She is also a proponent of saving the digital ballot images of hand-marked paper ballots and using those digital images to assist election administrators and the public in auditing, adjudicating, and verifying election results.