OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
After months of back-and-forth legal battles between Arizona’s Republican-controlled state senate and the Maricopa County board of supervisors, the ballots in Arizona’s most populous county will be audited beginning on April 22.
Senate President Karen Fann signed a contract to lease the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix from April 19 to May 14 for the Legislature to house the 2.1 million ballots.
Though two previous audits of the county’s election results did not turn up problems, the Senate nearly passed a resolution to jail the members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors as they fought the subpoenas in court.
When the county lost its legal battle, the Senate still had to figure out where, exactly, it would house 2.1 million ballots.
The Maricopa Audit is critical because it could set precedent in revealing potential election fraud and trigger other state legislatures to conduct a similar physical ballot audit and re-canvass.
“We want someplace that is big enough. It will be fully live-streamed the entire time,” Fann told Jeff Oravits during an interview on KBTK-FM on Tuesday.
Some in Arizona have the same concern. Note this letter:
Attention: Arizona Senate,
Arizona Revised Statute 16-624(A) states, “After the canvas has been completed, the officer in charge of elections shall deposit the package or envelope containing the ballots in a secure facility managed by the Maricopa County Treasurer, who shall keep it unopened and unaltered for twenty-four months for elections for a federal office or for six months for all other elections, at which time he shall destroy it without opening or examining the contents.”
We read Judge Thomason’s order, which states, “The County claims it has not stored the ballots with the Maricopa County Treasurer as required “because of ongoing litigation.” The County states that it will deposit the ballots in the Treasurer’s vault, “as the law requires,” only after litigation concludes. It is unclear why the County feels justified in violating the law simply because litigation is pending, but claims that it cannot violate the law by complying with the Subpoenas.”
Why haven’t you done something about the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors’ violation of ARS 16-624(A) by not transferring custody of ballots to the Maricopa County Treasurer’s office?
We the People, demand the audit be conducted in the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC) where there are IP addresses, internet connectivity, nest cameras, modems, and routers (and all the data in them) from “the scene”. We should NOT disengage all of that and attempt to recreate it in another location – information and data will be lost. The Board of Supervisors do not own the County buildings, the audit is funded by the taxpayers and the chain of custody would be protected. Moving the ballots gives the BOS plausible deniability in the event ballots have gone missing. The ballots were already moved once by the BOS – we have not forgotten! Also, it is customary practice when fighting over disclosure and subpoenaed items to make said item available at their physical location when it is impracticable to do otherwise. Furthermore, the former Maricopa County Recorder, Adrian Fontes, had been parading around bragging about Dominion having had offices with staff INSIDE MCTEC for a long time.
Go back to the Judge. Get Judge Thomason on the phone and get the matter on the record now. Demand access pursuant to the order and ask the judge to hold the Board in contempt if they do not open the doors now. The Judge made every point to reinforce your authority over the County.
Where is the court order to secure Irregular ballots under ARS 16-624(B), as they are specifically named separately from other ballots? Under AZ Statute, they are only preserved for 6 months (May 3, 2021). We demand this issue be acknowledged and a court order obtained to preserve irregular ballots in ALL counties in AZ.
You must take action now!
Arizona and the World is Watching how you will react to this very important issue of Election Integrity and We the People of AZ will stand behind you!
PC & State Committeeman LD20, CD6 National Delegate to RNC Convention 2020