SLO County Supervisor Bruce Gibson’s latest tirade

April 28, 2022

Supervisor Bruce Gibson


San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson has signaled that he will attack anyone who questions the 2020 general election, the 2021 governmental recall election or the management of the election.

Private citizen Richard Patten, the author of the redistricting plan that was ultimately selected, raised a question on statistical processing anomalies in the vote count for the 2021 governmental recall election. Patten has been conducting a statistical analysis of the votes in terms of their processing (or lack thereof) with respect to the electro-mechanical capacity of the voting system and/or the readers through which the ballots are fed. He pointed out the following:

1. Apparently the ballot scanners are capable of reading a maximum of 200 ballots per minute. It was not clear from the presentation how many ballots the Dominion software can count per minute.

2. During different periods of the count, Patten asserts that the record shows that at some points groups ranging from 400 ballots to 6,000 ballots, and on to 11,000 ballots were each read in one minute, far beyond the capacity of the electro-mechanical scanners.

3. Supervisor Debbie Arnold questioned the current interim Clerk Recorder, Elaina Cano on what she knows about this. She stated on the record that at the time of the Nov. 2020 election, she was still an employee of the Santa Barbara County Clerk Recorder’s office and thus she would not respond. No one seemed to remember that she was the head election deputy in that office and that Santa Barbara County also operates the Dominion voting system. She should be intimately knowledgeable about its capacities.

4. Cano had another manager from her office, which was prepositioned at the other podium, attempt to answer the question. This individual stated that the “anomaly” was due to the fact that when spoiled, bent, or double marked ballots are discovered; they are pulled from the work flow for inspection with the hope that they can be repaired for counting in the system. She then seemed to infer that these are then hand counted, and some sort of summary is fed into the system as one document, thus accounting for more than 200 votes being tabulated in six minute in these instances.

5. No one on the board seemed to comprehend that it would be impossible for batches of ballots containing 400 to 11,000 errors to actually occur and then be sent to a hand count. No one questioned the facts or the logic. Can any independent count observer verify that 11,000 ballots were hand counted and then the total fed into the system as a batch? Is such a process even possible? The matter was dropped for the moment.

6. The fact that Cano and the other manager were in the room suggests that they or the board or both had a warning or premonition or some other way of knowing in advance of Patten’s question.

Gibson’s tirade

Notwithstanding that the matter was dropped, at least for the day, Gibson lit into Supervisor Arnold, stating that anyone who is questioning the election is guilty of “baseless insinuations.” He further ranted that such questions are “an affront to the Elections Division.” He went on to state that “there is no basis to conclude that there are problems with the election or vote count.” He even asserted that the questions evince a “classical smear campaign.”

Accordingly, Patten is accused in public by a member of the board, during a meeting, of “making baseless insinuations.” Any other citizen who has had questions about the Dominion system or other aspects of the election is guilty by implication.

The board should not allow a member to berate his colleague and the public for presenting data and asking questions.

Brown Act Violation

Elected public bodies and officials may not forbid or interfere with speech with which they disagree during public comment. In this case, Gibson has signaled that he will attack anyone who questions the 2020 election or the management of the Elections Office.

This is clearly a speech chilling threat violation intended to silence Patten and Supervisor Arnold, while intimidating the public from asking questions or making further comment on the matter.

The board should

1. Censor Supervisor Gibson and warn him not to engage in such behavior that exposes the county to liability.

2. Schedule a board item and hearing to demand an explicit accounting on whether the system did count large numbers of ballots in excess of its 200 per minute capacity. The board should verify how there could be 11,000 ballots that had mistakes, and if they were counted and how the results were batch fed.

3. If there are gaps or evident problems, the board should quickly hire appropriate consultants to conduct a thorough forensic investigation of the 2020 election procedures and count.

The District Attorney should investigate these allegations.

Mike Brown is the Government Affairs Director of the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture, and Business (COLAB) of San Luis Obispo County. He is a former 45-year career city manager and county executive officer who served in some of the nation’s most progressive jurisdictions.


Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
Last Individual

I do not understand why my last comment below is getting dislikes. What i am saying is that Mr. Gibson’s extreme reaction to the issues raised by Mr. Patton indicates to me that there is some substance to what Mr. Patton is questioning, and that Mr. Gibson indeed has something to hide.

Last Individual

When someone exhibits excessive enthusiasm in objecting to the opinion of another, it is a major indication that the opinion is, in fact, correct.

mb business owner

First and formost, Gibson has always wanted everyone to think he is the “smartest man in the room”. Since his dalliance with his office assitant, arrogance and narcissistic behavior, it is a wonder how anyone could support him. Its time to go Bruce! Good Riddance.


I used to like Bruce, but I’m sorry, he was just plain rude to that gentleman. If I had been speaking on the same subject I would have felt terribly put down, which I believe was Bruce’s intent. If all else fails and people still want the truth…HUMILIATE THEM and hopefully they’ll crawl away. I agree, Dan Dow should look into this. Me thinks Bruce doth protest too much, but why? Doesn’t he want the truth?


Gibson flew off the handle and went on another tirade tonight at the candidate forum at Atascadero High school.

He acted like he has toward the ladies on the board meetings. He is a real loose cannon and should never be elected to any office again. He was way out of order or control. I know someone got it on video. Hope they publish it! He acted like a little child who was caught in a lie, deny, deny, deny. This tells the parent the child was caught.


Nothing new for this guy. I was there as well. His true colors and lack of civility, character and intergrity shined brightly once again. What a complete embarrassment to our county.


I think the batch loading and rate of speed are definitely the key to controlling the outcome of the total vote tally …I sure wish the federal election results would be investigated using the count rate and batch count entries angle of investigation

Adam Trask

“count rate and batch count entries angle of investigation”


English spoken here?


All I hear is Bruce Gibson being the voice of reason and sanity.


Then you might want to have your ears checked. Gibson has often shown he truly lacks reason and sanity. Narrow-minded thoughts, limiting freedom of speech and threats seems to be the norm for this guy when it comes to the public and fellow Supervisors he dislikes.


No, my ears are just fine but thanks for your concern :)


Cleo, i like your answer

Jorge Estrada

As they say, “a strong defense is to engage in a strong offense”. Supervisor Arnold’s question hit a slippery slope when there could have been a reasonable answer. These behaviors call attention and may be intentional for a diversion to who knows what? Bruce has had four terms and it may be that the redistricting has pushed his anger button and why??? Thankfully we have supervisors that ask direct question to expose those who don’t give answers.

Adam Trask

Total hogwash. Again and again and again, reparable and unbiased sources have found fraud in U.S. elections to be virtually non-existent. Donald Trump was a malignant tumor, and he was excised. That he won as many votes as he did leads me to believe that our democracy is in serious jeopardy. Anyone who has read the transcript of the phone conversation between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger knows that Mr. Trump would stoop to any level possible to stay in power and destroy our current system.


What you say is, simply, not true. Forensic audits and detailed canvassing have been opposed at every turn. Where they have been conducted, significant numbers of potentially illegal ballots have been identified, but then the investigations have been shut down.

A case in point (far from the only one) was the special investigator in Wisconsin who found impossible turnouts at nursing homes (in the 90-100% turnout range for over 90 homes). The investigator then obtained sworn affidavits from family members of residents who were documented as having voted – the families stated that their family members could not have voted due to their cognitive states.

You apparently consider it OK to steal votes from the elderly. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Fortunately, states have been passing voting integrity laws to prevent this type of fraud in the upcoming midterms. As Florida has shown us, when laws are passed to prevent voting fraud, Leftists suddenly start to lose elections in a big way. Let’s hope that trend continues.

Adam Trask

Blah, blah, blah!

Please provide evidence for stolen votes from the elderly. I’ve never seen any such thing. I’ve been voting in U.S elections for 56 years. Never, ever have I believed that those elections were nefariously altered. Never, Ever!

I can provide you with fact after fact, provided by a myriad of sources that there is no significant fraud in our election system.

The left-wing Brennan Center says that fraud is “rare.”

On the conservative side, the Heritage Foundation, which has a fascinating website about election fraud, found less than 1,400 cases of fraud in the 2020 election. That’s out of 120 million votes, equaling far less than 1%.

In fact, I’ve never seen any election in the US that had any where near 1% fraud. It simply does not happen in this nation. That is thanks to a variety of honest people who know that American elections are sacred.

And, so what, leftists lost elections in Florida. What a shocker. Leftists have been losing elections in Florida since LBJ passed the Civil Rights Act.


And even if the Trump thing was ALL true according to you…IT still does not negate that Mr. Patten found anomalies here in our county.

So you can refer back to Trump all you want, NOT the same scenario. You are saying you Don’t care to know our elections are true and honest? Because of Trump? What are you afraid of?