Maricopa County officials called an “emergency meeting” this week after the Arizona state Senate officially hired four auditing firms to re-count the county’s 2.1 million ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election.
“I certainly hope that this 10AM ‘emergency session’ of the BOS called after 4PM yesterday is to use the Maricopa Tabulation Center & information to be fully audited there,” tweeted Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward.
The Arizona Republican Party echoed Ward’s concerns about the lack of transparency after county officials’ monthslong effort to prevent turning over the disputed voting records.
— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) April 1, 2021
The county’s attorney, Stephen Tully, responded in a letter saying the county will not allow the state Senate’s auditors to use the county’s tabulation center.
“There is no agreement regarding performing the audit at Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (‘MCTEC’) and the request to perform any audit, recount or other related activities at MCTEC is beyond the scope of the subpoenas issued,” he wrote.
Maricopa County officials are “prepared” to hand over the ballots to the state Senate’s auditors at a non-county-owned location, Tully added.
Arizona Republicans argued that this is just the latest stall tactic Maricopa County has used to avoid handing over its election materials after a judge ruled in February that it needed to comply with the state Senate’s subpoena.
“The Court finds that the subpoenas are legal and enforceable,” the judge wrote in his ruling.
“There is no question that the Senators have the power to issue legislative subpoenas,” he continued. “The subpoenas comply with the statutory requirements for legislative subpoenas. The Senate also has broad constitutional power to oversee elections.”
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has already conducted two separate forensic audits of the 2020 election, though the Senate GOP contends it needs to conduct its own separate audit with a trusted group in order to restore faith in the voting system.
The county, which encompasses much of the Phoenix area, experienced considerable reports of irregularities in the immediate aftermath of the Nov. 3 election, including tabulation delays and issues over discarded ballots.
Then-president Donald Trump lost the state to President Joe Biden in the officially certified outcome after Trump won it in 2016.
While the area around Phoenix has been a site of influxes both from the southern border with Mexico and from Californians fleeing the leftist dystopia, much of the state remains solid red.