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Arizona AG: Maricopa County Must Comply With 2020 Election Subpoena or Lose Millions

© AP Photo / Matt YorkIn this 6 May 2021 file photo, Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. Arizona’s largest county has approved nearly $3 million for new vote-counting machines to replace those given to legislative Republicans for a partisan review of the 2020 election. The GOP-controlled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors said Wednesday, 14 July 2021 that the machines were compromised because they were in the control of firms not accredited to handle election equipment. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool, File)
In this 6 May 2021 file photo, Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. Arizona’s largest county has approved nearly $3 million for new vote-counting machines to replace those given to legislative Republicans for a partisan review of the 2020 election. The GOP-controlled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors said Wednesday, 14 July 2021 that the machines were compromised because they were in the control of firms not accredited to handle election equipment. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool, File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.08.2021
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On 26 August, the Arizona Attorney-General concluded that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors violated state law by not fully complying with the Arizona state senate's latest subpoena relating to the 2020 election audit. The county officials should either deliver all the election materials to auditors or face consequences, the statement said.
A month ago, the president of Arizona senate, Karen Fann, and Senator Warren Petersen subpoenaed additional election materials, including voter records, security keys for election machines, user names, passwords, routers or router images, and splunk logs to finalise the audit. However, Maricopa County officials refused to provide the requested items or information to the Arizona senate.
In a letter dated 2 August 2021, the chairman of Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Jack Sellers, specifically noted that "the board has real work to do and little time to entertain this adventure in never-never land."
"Please finish whatever it is that you are doing and release whatever it is you are going to release," he wrote.
For his part, the county's attorney Allister Adel suggested that the subpoena may not be lawful because it had been issued while the Senate was out of session.
This is not the first time Maricopa County officials have snubbed the state senate's subpoena requests relating to the 2020 audit. Earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors declined to hand over routers despite their being part of a subpoena request approved by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason in February 2021.
​On 8 August, Attorney-General Mark Brnovich opened an investigation into whether Maricopa County broke the law by refusing to comply with the latest subpoena. The inquiry came in response to a complaint filed by republican Senator Sonny Borrelli under the state law.
On Thursday, Brnovich concluded through the Arizona Attorney-General's Office (AGO), that the county officials "failed to explain why the county is not required to comply with the legislative subpoena," which means that Allister Adel's claim that the latest subpoena is "invalid" isn't regarded sufficient.
"We are notifying the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors that it must fully comply with the senate’s subpoena as required by the law," stated AG Brnovich. "Our courts have spoken. The rule of law must be followed."
If the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors fails to resolve the violation within 30 days, the AGO, in accordance with state law, will notify the Arizona Treasurer to withhold state funds from the county until the board complies. The state provides about $700 million a year to Maricopa County, according to Washington Examiner.
The audit was started by the Arizona state senate in late April and has since been repeatedly subject to criticism from the Democratic Party, the US Department of Justice and Maricopa County officials.
Speaking to Brendon Fallon, the host of the show Wide Angle, last week the president of the Arizona senate, Karen Fann, pointed out that the Maricopa Board of Supervisors had initially supported the audit. However, after talking to their attorneys, the county officials abruptly changed their mind, she said.
"I think that their attorneys said: 'We don't know what we might find in a forensic audit and this could be opening up a lot of questions that you may not want people asking.' Just my own personal opinion here," Fann told the journalist.
Meanwhile, the Arizona senate is reviewing a preliminary draft of the audit report conducted by a team of independent auditors and might soon make it public. During the recount of 2.1 million ballots and inspection of the county's election equipment, the independent auditors exposed a series of alleged discrepancies and irregularities, including non-matching vote tallies and duplicate ballots.
These preliminary findings have added to the already simmering controversies surrounding the 2020 race in Arizona given that President Joe Biden won the state by a razor-thin margin of 10,000 votes, or 0.3 percentage points. Biden's rival and former president, Donald Trump, insists that the 2020 election was stolen from him and advocates conducting election audits in other states to get to the bottom of the alleged fraud. Meanwhile, the Biden administration vehemently denies the possibility that the election was won unfairly and denounces efforts to audit the 2020 election as "Big Lie" and an attempt to undermine the US people's trust in the integrity of elections.
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