If you haven’t heard, and I’d find it hard to believe if you hadn’t, there’s a major election audit going on in Arizona’s Maricopa County, in which the metropolis of Pheonix is located. According to recent voting data, the area is responsible for some 2.1 million of the state’s votes cast in the 2020 general election.
But not everyone is convinced that all of those votes were received legally, or at least there are some rather serious concerns about quite a few “inconsistencies” found in the voting data for the past election cycle. As both Republican lawmakers pushing for the audit and the auditors themselves have said, much of those inconsistencies may have legitimate explanations; some may not. Only a forensic audit can determine that. And so, an audit, we have.
However, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (MCBOS) has so far been unwilling to cooperate with the audit on any level.
When the audit was first approved back in December and allowed to be followed through, auditors and the Senate committee tasked with the audit immediately asked the board and Dominion Voting Systems for information that would be critical to the process, such as the routers, chain of custody documents, passwords and more.
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As of Thursday, neither had yet to comply.
The resistance to do so caused the state Senate to issue subpoenas for the information. And still, nothing. Nothing but a harsh letter, telling Senate members to end “this adventure to never-never land” and that they had “little time to entertain” such demands.
And so, more legal action was taken.
Arizona State Senator Sonny Borrelli filed a Senate Bill 1487 complaint with the state’s attorney general’s office. The bill in question allows any member of the state’s legislature to request an investigation into any supposed violation of any state law or the state’s constitution. As the board has yet to comply with legally filed and issued subpoenas, this constitutes such a violation and merits such an investigation.
And state AG Mark Brnovich agreed. On August 6th, Brnovich sent a letter to the MCBOS, informing them that an investigation into their refusal to comply would be completed.
Following state guidelines, the attorney general’s office then had 30 days to complete an investigation. Should any violations be found, the defendant, in this case, MCBOS, would have another 30 days to “resolve” the offense.
Should the board fail to do so in the allotted time frame, the AG then has the right to “notify the state treasurer who shall withhold and redistribute state shared monies from the county, city or town” in violation until the matter is resolved.
While the 30 days allotted for the investigation is not yet over, Brnovich has already completed enough of the process to determine that a violation of state law or the state’s constitution did occur.
According to a news release put out on Thursday, the MCBOS “is in violation of state law for failing to comply with the Arizona Senate’s legislative subpoena related to the 2020 election audit.” The news release also stated that Maricopa County had been made aware of the investigation findings and, as such, now has no more than 30 days to comply with subpoenas.
As Brnovich said, “Our courts have spoken. The rule of law must be followed.”
And true to the previous threat, Brnovich is still promising to notify the state treasurer should MCBOS not comply with the next 30 days.
Just to make things clear, the penalty is not a measly one. According to Arizona State Representative Mark Finchem, the penalty for not complying with the AGO is that Maricopa County could lose somewhere around $61 million in state funding.
The question Finchem and the rest of the nation are asking is, “What do they not know, or what is it that they know that they’re afraid of?”
If the election was “free, fair, and accurate, as MCBOS chairman Jack Sellers claims, then why not help prove that further by providing the information asked for? Surely if all is as the county says it was, then such will be the audit’s outcome.
But hiding the information and refusing to comply with state laws and legal subpoenas is only making themselves look guilty of something, election fraud being at the top of the list. For the sake of all parties involved, I’d say forking over the info is best for everyone at this point, especially with some $61 million on the line.