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Maricopa County Says Voting Machines Subpoenaed For 2020 Election Audit Won’t Be Used In Future

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


Maricopa County officials announced on Monday that voting machines subpoenaed by the Arizona Senate for its audit of the 2020 election will not be used in the future.

In response to a letter from Arizona’s Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel made the announcement.

“The voters of Maricopa County can rest assured, the County will never use equipment that could pose a risk to free and fair elections. The County recognizes Secretary Hobbs’ authority under A.R.S. § 16-442 to certify equipment for use in Arizona’s elections. As a result, the County will not use the subpoenaed equipment in any future elections,” the county said in a statement on Monday.

“Maricopa County noted this potential risk in February when it asked the court for guidance on the Senate subpoenas. Since then, the County has implemented backup plans that include acquiring new tabulation equipment for the March and May jurisdictional elections in 2021,” the statement added.

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Things have been moving very quickly in Arizona.

The GOP-controlled Arizona Legislature voted to revoke the Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ legal authority in election-related lawsuits, handing that power to the attorney general.

The measure was included in major budget legislation, including several actions revolving around the election.

It now goes to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who has the power to accept or reject individual parts of the measure.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich has sparred with Hobbs before over election lawsuits.

Brnovich recently accused Hobbs of not adequately defending the state against election-related lawsuits.

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The bill approved gives Brnovich’s office exclusive control of such lawsuits, but only through Jan. 2, 2023 — when the winners of the next elections for both offices would be about to take power.

Arizona was arguably one of the most important states in the 2020 presidential election.

Even seven months later, a battle is on to audit and examine just what went on in November in the battleground state.

The Republican legislature of the state never wants that to happen again and they just made a big move.

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The Arizona House passed two bills aimed at securing their elections.

The first requires election officials to hand over records to prosecutors.

The second raises the threshold of auto recounts to 0.5 percentage points.

The Associated Press reported:

Arizona House Republicans advanced a measure requiring election officials to give prosecutors records of mail ballots that get rejected because the signature doesn’t match the one on file.

Mail voting accounts for the overwhelming majority of ballots cast in Arizona. County officials verify they’re valid by matching a signature on the ballot envelope to those on file from voter registration forms, driver’s license records and previous elections.

If the signature seems off, officials work to contact the voter, who has five days after the election to resolve the issue. Ballots not resolved are not counted.

The AP report added:

The measure, SB1241, would require county election officials to give a variety of information from those ballots to the county attorney or attorney general, including the signatures from the ballot envelope and those on file and the voter’s contact information.

Meanwhile, House Republicans also voted to raise the threshold for an automatic recount of an election to 0.5 percentage points.

Many have been arguing for months that the election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, could pave the way for many other states to follow.

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Maricopa County has completed the hand counting of 2,089,563 ballots.

Arizona GOP Chairwoman Dr. Kelli Ward recently provided a major update on the audit and what comes next.

It was revealed that a whopping nine state delegations will tour the Maricopa County audit facility on Friday.

Ward, who threatened that there “could be arrests of people who are refusing to comply,” says the audit could be completed much sooner than expected.

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