OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Democrats just got some bad news in their quest to put the 2020 election, and the scandals that have gone along with it, behind them.
The party of Joe Biden has been working tirelessly to quell any belief that Biden may not have won the presidency fair and square and this week the Superior Court of Maricopa County, Arizona, did not help them, The Washington Examiner reported.
The court decided that the Arizona Senate Republicans’ subpoenas of materials and equipment related to the election are “legal and enforceable.”
“The Court finds that Subpoenas are legal and enforceable. There is no question that the Senators have the power to issue legislative subpoenas,” Judge Timothy Thomason said after the hearing.
“The Subpoenas comply with the statutory requirements for legislative subpoenas. The Senate also has broad constitutional power to oversee elections,” he said.
The Republican-backed county board asked the judge to nullify the subpoena that came from the Senate because, it said, the ballots have been sealed by laws that were passed by the legislature.
“The Arizona legislature clearly has the power to investigate and examine election reform matters. Accordingly, the Senators have the power to subpoena material as part of an inquiry into election reform measures,” the judge said.
None of this is going to change the result of the 2020 presidential election but it could be embarrassing.
The Senate’s subpoenas were not in violation of the separation of powers and subpoenaed items would not violate confidentiality laws, the judge said.
“Indeed, if that were the case, it would be illegal for any County official to ‘see’ any ballot after it was prepared for voting. It is apparent that the word ‘person,’ as used in this statute, does not refer to government officials,” he said.
Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann announced in December 2020 that two subpoenas were served to the county’s election board.
One subpoena calls for a scanned ballot audit in order to collect an electronic ballot image cast for all mail-in ballots counted in the county’s November 2020 general election. The second subpoena calls for a full forensic audit of ballot tabulation equipment, the software for that equipment, and the election management system used in the 2020 general election.
County board supervisors already have provided much of what the subpoenas requested, from voter data to election logs, but not the ballots or access to the machines.
The results of the county’s independent audit released Tuesday found that the votes were counted correctly, the machines worked properly, and the machines were not hacked or connected to the internet during the election.
The Senate wants another audit of ballots and a check of voter information, while the county has contended that its multiple audits have been sufficient and said the ballots must remain sealed under state law.
The court did not decide whether to enforce the subpoenas but ruled that they are legal and enforceable.
The Senate leaders have said they were not satisfied with the audits that were done by the counties and wanted to have their own investigation.