Judge rejects Arizona Senate order for Maricopa County election material

Jan 13, 2021, 5:25 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge on Wednesday refused to order Maricopa County to turn over a raft of election data and copies of all mail-in ballots from November’s election to Republicans who control the Arizona Senate, instead imploring the two sides to settle their bitter dispute.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason said it would be far better for the citizens of Arizona if the county and Senate Republicans who sought the material in the wake of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory reached a deal.

“I do wonder why these senators and county officials can’t sit down and work this out,” Thomason said. “It just seems that as responsible government officials it is incumbent upon them, and I’m talking to both sides here, to sit down and work this out.”

Thomason said he’d give the two sides a week to reach a deal before again taking up the request by Senate Republicans to enforce sweeping subpoenas they issued last month.

Many Republicans have made unsubstantiated claim that the results were fraudulent, despite multiple court rulings rejecting such allegations. The Senate Judiciary Committee and GOP Senate President Karen Fann are seeking election files to try to prove or disprove those claims.

They also want to do an audit of the machines used to count the ballots, despite numerous checks and hand-count audits done by county and state officials before and after the election.

The senators said in court filings they needed the information to inform Congress before Biden was formally certified as incoming president, but with that deadline now passed, they say they still need the information to potentially re-write state election laws. Senate Democrats oppose the efforts.

The GOP-controlled county Board of Supervisors stands by the integrity of the election. They asked the court to block the requests because they sought private voter information and access to ballots and secure voting machines. The Senate countered by seeking a court order to enforce the subpoenas.

Because the subpoenas were issued before the new Legislature was seated on Monday, the county said those subpoenas were voided. The Senate issued replacement subpoenas late Tuesday, but the county’s attorney, Stephen Tully, told the judge the current case was therefore moot. The judge said he believed he could still rule.

Still, Tully said the county was willing to try to reach an agreement on the subpoenas and “work out a transfer of the information … and to work out even a method of performing some type of computer audit within the bounds of law and with acceptable security protocols.”

“They so far have been unwilling to do that, desiring … the win that they feel like they need,” Tully added. “Which is unfortunate.”

Kory Langhofer, the Senate’s attorney, said the county was “making a mockery” of the Legislature’s authority to subpoena information it needs to write laws.

“And at this point, the issue is not just the response to these, but what everyone who’s watching these proceedings may learn about how seriously you have to take the oversight function of the Legislature,” Langhofer told the judge.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Yelp Photo)...

Celebrate National Barbecue Day with these metro Phoenix restaurants

It's the perfect day for barbecue lovers in metro Phoenix to indulge guilt-free. Here's where to eat for National Barbecue Day.
15 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Kris Mayes for Arizona)...
Kevin Stone

Democratic Arizona AG candidate says she wouldn’t prosecute abortion cases

Kris Mayes, Arizona’s lone Democratic candidate for attorney general, said she wouldn’t prosecute abortion cases if Roe vs. Wade gets overturned.
15 hours ago
(Best Buy Photo)...

Best Buy to convert store near Paradise Valley Mall into outlet

Big-box electronics retailer Best Buy announced plans to open an outlet store in Phoenix later this year.
15 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Lake Pleasant Regional Park)...

MCSO divers recover body of 18-year-old from Lake Pleasant

Authorities have recovered the body of swimmer who went under at Lake Pleasant near Peoria on Sunday.
15 hours ago
Dorothy Walls (Photo via Phoenix Police Department)...

Silver Alert issued for Phoenix woman with medical condition

A Silver Alert was issued early Monday for a Phoenix woman with cognitive problems, authorities said.
15 hours ago
(Dignity Health Photo)...

Gilbert couple welcomes quadruplets at Phoenix hospital following complex delivery

The Crandell family in Gilbert has grown by four after recently welcoming quadruplets at a Valley hospital and the babies are finally at home after spending 10 weeks in a nursery intensive care unit following a complex delivery.
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Dr. Richard Carmona

Have you gotten your booster shot?

Do you remember when you got your last COVID-19 vaccination? If it has been more than five months since you completed your primary vaccination series, it’s time for you to get your booster. You may be eligible even sooner depending which vaccine you received. If you are over the age of 50 and received your […]
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
Arizona Department of Gaming

While March brings upsets and buzzer-beaters, it also needs to bring caution

In March, basketball fans around the country glue themselves in front of a television for almost 11 hours for four consecutive days.
Judge rejects Arizona Senate order for Maricopa County election material