April 27, 2021
An Arizona court declined to issue an order restraining the audit of more than two million ballots in Phoenix this afternoon.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin said he would not extend a temporary restraining order that would have halted the audit on Friday had Arizona Democrats posted a $1 million bond.
“I think this was a very productive and useful hearing. I still have some thinking to do about the requested relief from the plaintiffs. I will do that between now and tomorrow morning,” Martin said.
Defendants asked the judge not to stop the audit, alleging Democrats lacked standing to bring the case and arguing that since the audit was already underway, it should be allowed to continue. The defendants also asserted Democrats failed to show any actual “injury” as a result of the audit.
Democrats last week filed a last-minute lawsuit seeking to block the audit in Maricopa County, hours before the audit was slated to start. They claimed the audit failed to follow proper procedures.
Judge Martin expressed some concerns regarding the audit, saying “I’m not persuaded that rights of voters in Maricopa County are being protected.” But ultimately, he sided with the Senate Republicans and auditing firm but kept open the possibility of changing his mind at the next hearing, which will take place on Wednesday.
The next hearing will also include oral arguments on a motion by Cyber Ninjas to keep some of its submissions under warps. The company argues the court filings contain sensitive trade secrets relating to its auditing process.
Martin also granted motions to intervene by Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who opposes the audit, and the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona, a nonprofit that represents journalists and is represented by Perkins Coie.