2020 Election Results Now Under Review in AZ, Democrats Complain About Vote Integrity in Ironic Twist
Share This article
An audit of the 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, Arizona last year began as scheduled on Friday after a court battle almost stopped it.
The Republican-controlled Arizona state Senate obtained the ballots through a subpoena. The audit which is being conducted at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum will take at least 19 days, according to 12News.com. It will not change the election results that were already certified.
Last week, the Arizona Democratic Party and County Supervisor Steve Gallardo filed a lawsuit to stop the audit, alleging it violates state election laws.
Judge Christopher Coury who was hearing the case, recused himself on Sunday, divulging a lawyer who represents Cyber Ninjas, the company handling the audit, recently worked in his office. A new county Superior Court judge will be assigned to the case.
On Friday, Coury ordered the audit company to follow all state laws and even gave Democrat Party officials the option of stopping the recount over the weekend if they posted a $1 million bond to cover any potential costs from the delay, according to AZCentral.com.
Party officials chose not to post the bond, but are still seeking to stop the recount. Ironically, they claim procedures are not in place to protect the county's ballots or voter privacy – arguments which are similar to those made by Trump supporters who were concerned that safeguards weren't in place during ballot counting last fall.
The Arizona Republican Party responded to the lawsuit, tweeting: "Democrats doing everything to stop audit, including filing lawsuits attacking the "integrity" of the process. So NOW they care about #ElectionIntegrity?!?! Nope. They just don't want Americans to be involved in our own elections. Watch audit live at https://azaudit.org."
Democrats doing everything to stop audit, including filing lawsuits attacking the "integrity" of the process. So NOW they care about #ElectionIntegrity?!?! Nope. They just don't want Americans to be involved in our own elections. Watch audit live at https://t.co/YgAKN8EcYu pic.twitter.com/Nz3r8bcyDJ— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) April 23, 2021
Even though the public can watch a live stream on nine different cameras of the recount in process, reporters have not been allowed to observe the audit unless they sign up as observers and work a six-hour shift. Observers are not allowed to have cameras or take notes.
Lawyers representing Senate Republicans named in the lawsuit say the Democrats' case should be thrown out due to legislative immunity as noted in a section of the state Constitution.
"This command is categorical, unqualified, and pellucid: members of the Legislature may not be sued while the Legislature is in session. Period," attorney Thomas Basile wrote in a filing on Sunday.
The state Senate also argues that state election policies do not appy to a recount, because the Legislature is seeking information, rather than seeking the correct count of a vote.
The audit will also examine ballot-counting machines and will also conduct interviews with voters.
Taxpayers are footing the bill for $150,000 of the audit with another $150,000 being brought in by donations, according to 12News.com.
AZCentral.com reported attorneys for Cyber Ninjas are asking the court to keep its company's procedures secret for the recount by denying the public and the press access to a hearing in which the audit's operation might be discussed.
Share This article