Feb. 16, 2021
PHOENIX — Maricopa County and the Arizona Senate remain in stalemate over the 2020 election audit in the state. The county’s Board of Supervisors is now requesting an injunction to block the Senate from investigating claims of election fraud.
The board has refused to comply with the senate’s subpoenas, which demand access to the ballots from the November election and forensic audit of the election equipment. Earlier this month, the board called the Senate’s effort a sham.
State GOP Rep. Mark Finchem told OANN, “The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has done everything they can to stall, delay, [and] obfuscate. They claim they were negotiating in good faith when indeed they weren’t.”
Speaking on the request for a temporary injunction, Finchem questioned, “On what planet did they live? They are political subdivision of the state. Even if the court would take it up, they don’t have that authority.”
Last week, the Senate fell one vote short of finding the county board in contempt, just days after the county board asked a judge to quash the subpoenas.
But GOP Sen. Warren Peterson of Gilbert, who issued the latest subpoenas after taking over as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, said his new proposal is “an insurance policy” in case a judge rules against the Senate.
“They continue to hold the position that we don’t have the authority to investigate and audit the ballots and in this case the equipment,” Peterson said at Tuesday’s hearing on proposed law, which he says would make clear that ballots and election machines are not privileged, confidential or protected from disclosure if the Legislature issues a subpoena.
Finchem said no matter what happens, he and others in the Arizona legislature are committed fighting the board to the very end.