Maricopa County defiantly responds to Arizona Senate’s audit subpoena

Aug 2, 2021, 2:37 PM | Updated: 7:59 pm

PHOENIX – Maricopa County officials said Monday they refuse to turn over routers sought by the Arizona Senate and questioned the validity of Republican lawmakers’ latest subpoena related to the contentious 2020 election audit.

Senate President Karen Fann and Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen issued the subpoena July 26 and gave the state’s largest county one week to produce the network routers and traffic logs, envelopes from all mail-in ballots or images of them, certain voter registration records with change histories, and records related security breaches.

“The board has real work to do and little time to entertain this adventure in never-never land. Please finish whatever it is that you are doing and release whatever it is you are going to release,” Chairman Jack Sellers, one of four Republicans on the five-member Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, wrote in a letter accompanying Monday’s response to the subpoena.

Cyber Ninjas and the other contractors hired to review the Phoenix-area general election said they needed the requested materials to complete their final audit report. The report is expected to come out later this month, although the process has continued beyond every previous timeline.

“The reason you haven’t finished your ‘audit’ is because you hired people who have no experience and little understanding of how professional elections are run,” Sellers wrote.

The contractors completed their hands-on work last week and returned the ballots and whatever equipment hadn’t already been retrieved by the county.

“I am confident that our staff and volunteers ran the election as prescribed by federal and state law,” Sellers wrote. “There was no fraud, there wasn’t an injection of ballots from Asia nor was there a satellite that beamed votes into our election equipment.

“It’s time for all elected officials to tell the truth and stop encouraging conspiracies.”

The county’s response Monday didn’t reject every subpoena request but made it clear the routers – which are used by multiple departments, including the sheriff’s office — were off limits because turning them over would be a major disruption and a security risk.

“Furthermore, the Maricopa County EMS (election management system) is not, and never has been, connected to the Internet; therefore, nothing related to the EMS is on the routers. So there’s nothing to gain and far too much potential harm to risk removing all of the county’s routers and producing them to the Senate’s designees hired for the purpose of examining the Maricopa County EMS,” the document says.

The item-by-item response is followed by a list of 11 objections that challenged the validity of the subpoena.

Among the points was that the subpoena was issued while the Senate was adjourned, that the amount of time given to respond was unreasonable, and that it was “designed merely to harass.”

Fann and Petersen also subpoenaed Dominion Voting Systems, which makes the election equipment that Maricopa County leases, last week for passwords to machines. Like the county, Dominion rejected the subpoena Monday, calling it “illegal and unenforceable,” and said if the Senate sues over enforcement the company will seek “recovery of its attorneys’ fees, expenses, and damages.”

Last week, Supervisor Bill Gates told KTAR News’ The Mike Broomhead Show that it would be up to the Senate to initiate court proceedings over enforcement of the subpoena.

Fann initially authorized the audit, which started in April, after winning a legal battle with the county over access to voting equipment and about 2.1 million ballots from the November election.

Before the judge ruled in the Senate’s favor in February, the Senate failed in an effort to hold the county supervisors in contempt over their lack of compliance, which could have landed them behind bars.

Sen. Paul Boyer was the sole Republican to vote against the contempt resolution, joining the Senate’s 14 Democrats and creating a 15-15 tie.

Another contempt effort seems unlikely to succeed because not only is the Legislature out of session, but at least one other GOP senator, Michelle Ugenti-Rita, has joined Boyer in publicly denouncing the audit proceedings.

Fann has said the aim of the audit is to restore faith in the election system and find ways to improve Arizona’s voting laws, not to reverse the result of President Joe Biden’s narrow victory over Donald Trump in Maricopa County and statewide.

However, many Trump supporters still see it as a step toward invalidating the 2020 results and returning the former president to office.

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

(Cave Creek Museum Photo)...

Cave Creek Museum to construct Veterans Memory Garden

The Cave Creek Museum announced it will construct the Veterans Memory Garden to honor those who served and the unknown fallen soldiers.
1 day ago
Sidney Garrand (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Man indicted on second-degree murder in road rage shooting death of 8-year-old in Phoenix

A man has been indicted on second-degree murder in the road rage shooting death of an 8-year-old girl in Phoenix last month.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Daily Dose Midtown)...
Kevin Stone

Scratch Daily Dose in midtown Phoenix off your list of brunch spots

Midtown Phoenix lost a popular brunch option last week when the Daily Dose Kitchen & Bar closed its doors for good.
1 day ago
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Authorities identify family members killed in rollover crash on Arizona freeway

Authorities have identified a man and two children who died in a rollover crash on an Arizona freeway that left four other family members injured last week.
1 day ago
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates calls for calm among the attendees during ...
Kevin Stone

Maricopa County board chairman encourages legal challenges to election

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates said he welcomes legal challenges to the 2022 general election results and will abide by any court rulings.
1 day ago
(Mark Taylor Rendering)...

New luxury detached homes available for rent in west Phoenix neighborhood

The west Phoenix neighborhood of Laveen is the home for a new community of single-family detached rental units.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Maricopa County defiantly responds to Arizona Senate’s audit subpoena