ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Senate subpoena for election material not enforceable, judge rules

Dec 24, 2020, 10:00 AM | Updated: 10:04 am

FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2020, file photo, election workers sort ballots at the Maricopa County Reco...

FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2020, file photo, election workers sort ballots at the Maricopa County Recorder's Office in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

(AP Photo/Matt York, File)

PHOENIX – An Arizona judge on Wednesday ruled that Maricopa County doesn’t have to comply with a state Senate subpoena seeking access to voting machines and other election-related materials.

Superior Court Judge Randall Warner said Senate President Karen Fann and Sen. Eddie Farnsworth did not follow the appropriate procedures to enforce a legislative subpoena, but he invited them to refile their case.

The matter will be dismissed Feb. 1 unless an update is filed, the ruling said.

The Republican lawmakers say they want the county to turn over voting machines and records so the Legislature can audit Maricopa County’s handling of the election.

The county has said it can’t do that while there is still litigation being pursued by backers of President Donald Trump active in the courts, but board members have repeatedly promised the audit once litigation ends.

Wednesday’s decision makes it unlikely Arizona GOP legislators will be able to complete an audit before Congress formally counts Electoral College votes on Jan. 6. Based on election results and state certifications, President-elect Joe Biden won the Electoral College by a 306-232 margin, with Arizona’s 11 votes going to the Democrat.

The state-county dispute is another chapter in efforts by Trump and his supporters to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election in Arizona and several other states he lost.

“The false accusations keep coming, yet the accusers have not produced any evidence to prove their accusations in eight different courtrooms,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman, one of four Republicans on the five-person board, said in a press release.

“Maricopa County has shown the 2020 General Election was transparent and the results were free from fraud.”

The board voted last week to fight the subpoena and filed a lawsuit asking for a judge to decide whether they must comply, saying lawmakers are illegally seeking access to private voting information.

The lawmakers then filed their own emergency lawsuit on Monday asking Warner to force the county to comply, hoping to speed up the process.

“They are allowed to investigate and see what the facts are and make a decision, just like a grand jury,” said Kory Langhofer, a lawyer for Fann and Farnsworth.

Stephen Tully, a former Republican lawmaker representing the Board of Supervisors, said the lawmakers aren’t entitled to the court order they seek, known as a writ of mandamus, nor are they entitled to send an unknown auditor to tinker with voting machines.

“What they’re trying to do is unconstitutional. It’s illegal,” Tully said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Entrance to the Internal Revenue Service building....

KTAR.com

Arizona launches legal battle against IRS to halt taxation of state-issued tax rebate

The state of Arizona is suing the IRS to prevent it from taxing a

19 minutes ago

Three panel image, left to right, of Ruben Gallego, Kari Lake and Kyrsten Sinema...

Kevin Stone

New Arizona Senate poll: Ruben Gallego up big over Kari Lake in race for Kyrsten Sinema’s seat

A new poll on Arizona's U.S. Senate race is good news for Ruben Gallego, bad news for Kari Lake and worse news for Kyrsten Sinema.

1 hour ago

Brunson Lee elementary school district sign...

KTAR.com

Manhunt yields no results after shooting suspect seen going into Phoenix elementary school

A manhunt came up empty after a shooting suspect was seen running into an elementary school before students arrived Thursday morning.

4 hours ago

Chandler innovation fair 2024 East Valley...

Serena O'Sullivan

Chandler Innovation Fair to celebrate innovation with hundreds of hands-on science exhibits

The yearly Chandler Innovation Fair, which celebrates innovators and scientists of all ages in the East Valley, will return on Saturday.

6 hours ago

One Handsome Bastard photo...

Serena O'Sullivan

Old Town Scottsdale’s 1st microdistillery opens in former Blue Clover Distillery space

The space previously occupied by Blue Clover Distillery is now known as One Handsome Bastard. The name honors the late Brad Ritchie.

6 hours ago

Follow @KTAR923...

Sponsored Content by Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Arizona Senate subpoena for election material not enforceable, judge rules