Arizona Republican lawmakers failed to hold the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in contempt after a GOP defector broke ranks and joined Democrats in voting against the measure.
The state Senate voted on a resolution that would have found Maricopa County in contempt for its refusal to cooperate with the lawmakers’ audit of its election machines and results.
But state Sen. Paul Boyer voted against the resolution at the last minute, saying he wanted more time for the two sides to work things out.
As a result, the measure failed in a 15-15 vote.
“Today’s vote merely provides a little bit more time for us to work together charitably and amicably as friends,” Boyer told the state Senate on Monday.
State lawmakers and Maricopa County election officials have been at odds for weeks.
The Arizona state Senate is trying to conduct its own audit of the county’s election results since the county was slow to respond to concerns about voter fraud.
But now Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors is refusing to hand over the necessary materials, including the voting machines they used and the ballots submitted.
“The Board will not violate people’s trust by handing over the ballots that are under seal,” Maricopa County Board spokesman Fields Moseley said in a statement, adding that the board would continue its own audit to “restore voter confidence in our elections process.”
In response, the state Senate drafted a contempt resolution that could have allowed lawmakers to order the arrests of Maricopa’s supervisors if it had passed.
Here’s the contempt resolution, introduced by @FannKfann with the entire @AZSenateGOP caucus cosponsoring. Caucus discussion starts shortly. pic.twitter.com/oznlM9RjEh
— Julia Shumway (@JMShumway) February 3, 2021
Attorneys for the board asked the Maricopa County Superior Court last week to issue a restraining order preventing the Senate from taking further legal action against the supervisors, arguing the contempt resolution was a “blatant attempt to create dangerous and false political theatre.”