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Judge disqualifies self from Maricopa County elections audit challenge

(Maricopa County Elections Department Screenshot)

PHOENIX – A judge overseeing the challenge to the Arizona Senate Republicans election audit has disqualified himself, forcing Monday’s hearing to be rescheduled.

A Maricopa County Superior Court spokesman said Judge Christopher Coury recused himself Sunday.

The hearing had been set for 11 a.m. A new judge will be assigned. The audit, however, will continue.

ABC15 reported Coury removed himself after learning of “The involvement of one attorney whose name appeared on the filings for the first time today,” according to an email to attorneys in the case.

The audit got underway Friday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Senate Republicans hired outside firm Cyber Ninjas, who began a manual recount of 2020 election ballots, a day after Democrats asked a judge to put an end to the audit.

The Arizona Democratic Party filed a lawsuit Thursday to stop the audit but the process moved forward after the party decided not to put up a $1 million bond to fund any increase in costs from the delay.

The state Senate used its subpoena power to take possession of all 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County and the machines that counted them, along with computer hard drives full of data.

The judge ordered the company to follow ballot and voter secrecy laws and demanded they turn over written procedures and training manuals before the hearing on the Democrats’ request.

Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based consultancy with no election experience, is run by a man who has shared unfounded conspiracy theories claiming the official 2020 presidential election results are illegitimate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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