ARIZONA: Judge Rules Maricopa County Must Hand Over Ballots and Voting Equipment to State Senate for Audit

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In a victory for election integrity, a judge has ruled that Maricopa County must hand over 2.1 million ballots and voting equipment from the 2020 election to the Arizona Senate for audit.

In December, the Arizona State Senate had issued subpoenas against the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for their Dominion voting machines and software in order to perform a full forensic audit of the county, where suspicions were raised about the integrity of the presidential election. However, the county decided to resist them, claiming they were just “political theatre.”

After over two months of back and forth between the two, with at one point in January a supposed agreement being reached to hand over the ballots and equipment for audit, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason found in a ruling on Friday that the subpoenas were “legal and enforceable”:

There is no question that the Senators have the power to issue legislative subpoenas. The subpoenas comply with the statutory requirements for legislative subpoenas The Senate also has broad constitutional power to oversee elections… The Arizona legislature clearly has the power to investigate and examine election reform matters. Accordingly, the Senators have the power to subpoena material as part of an inquiry into election reform measures. As such, the Subpoenas have a proper legislative purpose. The Subpoenas also do not violate separation of powers principles.

In a statement, Arizona Senate Republicans said they were “grateful” for the ruling from the Maricopa Superior Court:

It’s clear the judge understands this is about getting answers to the questions voters have, and not some effort to overturn any election results. Hopefully, with a proper, independent and detailed audit, we will start to restore voter confidence in election integrity. Today’s ruling means we can begin that process.

Members of the Arizona Legislature who had been pushing strongly for election integrity also celebrated the ruling. State Senator Wendy Rogers tweeted that she was “so glad” that the audits would now be ocurring, but that the nation shouldn’t have had to wait “month” for Arizona to do the right thing.

“I am happy with the ruling, but very unhappy that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has stonewalled transparency,” said Arizona State Rep Mark Finchem exclusively to National File. “I don’t know what they have been hiding, but we intend to learn what and implement meaningful reforms if anything is found,” he added.