Arizona Attorney General Tells Maricopa County: Give Up Election Information or Lose State’s $700 Million

In a major escalation in the fight over Arizona’s Maricopa County’s refusal to comply with a Senate election audit subpoena, the state attorney general’s office ordered the county to give in or lose its state funding, which provides nearly a third of the county’s budget.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said that the county, America’s fourth largest in population, is violating state law by not complying with the Senate’s request for routers in its 2020 election audit and review of former President Donald Trump’s loss,

The finding means the supervisors have until Sept. 27 to comply or face the prospect of losing hundreds of millions of dollars of sales-tax revenue the state shares with the county.

The supervisors contended they did not break any laws because the Senate had no ability to enforce its subpoena powers once the legislative session ended on June 30. But the Attorney General investigation found that argument only speaks to a remedy to enforcing a subpoena and does not address the fact that ignoring a subpoena is illegal.

Brnovich said, “Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is in violation of state law for failing to comply with the Arizona Senate’s legislative subpoena related to the 2020 election audit. If MCBOS does not change course, the AGO will notify the Arizona Treasurer to withhold Maricopa County’s state-shared funds as required under the law.”

According to county and state estimates, the state provides about $700 million a year to the county, over a quarter of its $2.7 billion budget, said a recent story by Paul Bedard in The Washington Examiner.

In a statement, Brnovich added, “We are notifying the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors that it must fully comply with the Senate’s subpoena as required by the law. Our courts have spoken. The rule of law must be followed.”

The state, which Biden won by just 10,457 votes, has been ground zero for the national election audit effort.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen have pressed the county and Dominion Voting Systems to produce routers, traffic logs, mail-in ballot envelopes, and other information in their investigation. The county has refused.

Meanwhile, Brnovich said on a related issue that he has not seen any results from the Senate’s audit of the election. “The Arizona Audit of the 2020 election is still underway. At this time, the AGO has not received any report related to the Senate’s audit, but stands ready to review the official findings and any information submitted after a final report is completed by the Senate,” said the memo.

Read Brnovich’s memo here.

Posted Aug. 27, 2021

House Democrats Make Pre-emptive Strike, Announce ‘Investigation’ of Arizona Election Audit

House Democrats on July 14 announced that they will be “investigating” the ongoing audit of the 2020 election centered around Arizona’s Maricopa County, which Joe Biden “won” by about 10,000 votes.

Dead voters (Marolis and Cox, Townhall Media 2021)

From Margolis and Cox, Townhall Media

“In a letter addressed to the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, the firm hired to conduct the audit, Democrats belittled the effort, attempted to discredit it, and pronounced that any questioning of the election results was a ‘big lie’ that’s already been debunked,” reports Townhall.com.

The letter, linked below, makes a number of largely baseless, obviously partisan charges against Cyber Ninja in a clear attempt to preemptively discredit whatever report they end up delivering. Toward the end of the letter, House Democrats demand a series of documents, including training materials given to those conducting the audit. It appears they want basically everything the company has ever recorded, which is likely an attempt to intimidate and inundate the company with information requests.

House Dems demand tons of info.

LINK to Complete Letter HERE.

The House Dems also want all communications with former President Donald J. Trump, his officials, and any campaign figures. The letter is signed by Carolyn Maloney and Jamie Raskin, the latter of which, ironically, objected to the certification of Trump’s presidential win in 2016.

“The real question is why now?” asks Townhall’s Bonchie. “This audit has been going on for a while. With a report nearing completion, the rush to try to preemptively tear it down before even seeing the first piece of evidence is too clever by half. It smacks of fear that something may actually have been found that would prove fraud occurred.”

Did Maricopa County Officials Just Accidentally Admit Voting Machines Can Be Compromised?

Officials in Maricopa County announced they will replace the voting machines that were subpoenaed during the forensic audit of the 2020 election, alleging concerns about “security and integrity,” PJ Media reported June 30.

“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 (Arizona) Secretary (of State Katie) 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.

Sen. Schumer meme - If Americans won't vote for Dems...

“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 (Arizona) Secretary (of State) 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.

County officials, who have always opposed the audit, have long alleged, without any evidence, that subpoenaed machines could be compromised by the auditors and, in fact, acquired new machines for local elections held this year. The county also reportedly refused to provide subpoenaed routers.

In May, it was reported that “significant discrepancies” had been uncovered during the audit, though a full report on the findings isn’t expected until late July or August.

Other states have sent delegations to Maricopa County as they consider conducting their own forensic audits. An audit is currently underway in Fulton County, Georgia, and it is expected that a forensic audit could be coming to Pennsylvania. Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania are all battleground states where multiple allegations of election irregularities and fraud were made.

But claims that machines can be hacked were deemed “false” by fact-checkers in the wake of the Trump campaign’s allegations. For example, USA Today‘s fact check in January about Dominion voting machines (which were used in Maricopa County) concluded that “assertions that machines can be hacked, votes were dumped and test ballots can be counted are false.”

PJMedia asks: But wait? If they can’t be hacked, why would Maricopa County officials claim that they have to replace their machines after the audit?

Were the fact checks false? Instead of proving that voting machines were not hackable—something we were simply supposed to believe without any forensic examination—did they just admit the opposite is true? They are basically saying, “Trust the liberal county officials not to hack the machines, but don’t trust the Republican-hired auditors not to hack them.”

Of course, we’ve known for a while that voting machines could be hacked. In 2019, Democrats warned about voting machines “switching votes.” Joe Biden even said he was concerned about manipulated voting machines before the election, and perhaps most revealing of all, a computer scientist literally demonstrated how easy it is to hack voting machines.

So, have Maricopa County officials simply proven what we already know: that voting machines can be hacked? It all comes down to trusting those with custody of the machines not to hack them. They essentially just proved why the audit was absolutely necessary.

If voting machines were truly unhackable, as fact-checkers have claimed, Maricopa County officials wouldn’t have to grandstand with baseless claims that the auditors might have compromised the machines. Quite frankly, I trust the auditors more than I trust Maricopa County officials—who have always acted like they’ve had something to hide.

Posted June 30, 2021; source: Matt Margolis for PJMedia.com

Arizona GOP Lawmakers Strip Powers from Controversial Secretary of State Katie Hobbs

The Republican-controlled state Legislature in Arizona voted June 29 to revoke the Democratic secretary of state’s legal authority in election-related lawsuits, handing that power instead to Republican attorney general Mark Brnovich until Jan. 2, 2023.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) 300x180 Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (at left) has denounced the independent 2020 election audit in Arizona,  spearheaded by the state’s Republican senate, which is questioning voter fraud and irregularities surrounding Maricopa County’s ballot tally. The audit applied to 2.1 million ballots in the county’s jurisdiction, where Joe Biden allegedly defeated former President Trump by around 10,000 votes, and contracted the services of the small cybersecurity company and first-time election auditor Cyber Ninjas to conduct it.

The measure, sent to Gov. Doug Ducey, was part of a series of proposals inserted into major budget legislation, including several actions that address election integrity. Included is an appropriation of $500,000 for a study of whether social media sites interfered in state elections by promoting Democrats while suppressing Republicans.

Katie Hobbs has since set her sights on grander things, and on June 2 declared her candidacy for governor.

Posted June 30, 2021

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich Tells the Feds to Back Off the State’s Audit of the 2020 Election

In a June 14 letter Monday, Brnovich called U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s comments last week expressing concern about post-election audits “troubling.”

“Your statements displayed an alarming disdain for state sovereignty,” Brnovich wrote. “My office is not amused by the DOJ’s posturing and will not tolerate any effort to undermine or interfere with our State Senate’s audit to reassure Arizonans of the accuracy of our elections.”

The audit of the vote in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county, ordered by state Senate Republicans, began in April.

“Arizona will not sit back and let the Biden administration abuse its authority, refuse to uphold laws, or attempt to commandeer our state’s sovereignty,” Brnovich wrote.

Former President Donald Trump has praised the audit and urged other states to launch their own election reviews. (NOTE: The Washington Times, a never-Trumper news source some consider “conservative,” claimed that Trump “continues to make baseless claims that Democrats stole the election from him through widespread voter fraud.”)

GOP Chair Elise Stefanik: Justice Department Is ‘Trying to Block’ Maricopa County Audit

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who was recently elected as the House Republican Conference chair, said the Department of Justice’s questions about the Maricopa County, Arizona, audit of the 2020 election may be unconstitutional.

On May 5, the Justice Department sent a letter to Arizona Senate leader Karen Fann, a Republican, inquiring about the custody of the ballots under review by a group of private contractors, alleging that the group’s other processes—including the canvassing of addresses—could be considered “voter intimidation.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R.-NY)

“I support that audit,” Stefanik said after being asked about it in a Fox Business interview on May 16. “Transparency is good for the American people. And again, this should be a nonpartisan issue, whether you are Republican, Democrat, independent, or conservative, transparency is important, and the audit was passed by the Arizona state Senate.”

Stefanik later said that the “Biden Department of Justice is trying to block that audit,” which, she said, “is unconstitutional from my perspective.”

“Our states, constitutionally, are responsible for writing states’ constitution law,” she said.

Pamela Karlan, principal deputy assistant attorney general with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, wrote to Fann that “the proposed work of the audit raises concerns regarding potential intimidation of voters.”

Fann replied that the plan by election auditors to verify the validity of certain voters had been placed on hold.

“If and to the extent the Senate subsequently decides that canvassing is necessary to the successful completion of the audit, its vendor will implement detailed requirements to ensure that the canvassing is conducted in a manner that complies fully with the commands of the United States Constitution and federal and state civil rights laws,” Fann wrote earlier this month.

The Epoch Times reports that Stefanik’s comments on May 16 came just days after Dominion Voting Systems and Maricopa County officials said they wouldn’t provide passwords for election machines in Maricopa County. Dominion said it would comply with the audit, but that Cyber Ninjas—the company hired by the Arizona state Senate—isn’t accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Stefanik was approved last week in a vote by House Republicans to become the Republican Conference chair—the party’s No. 3 position in the House. She took over after GOP lawmakers voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump and other Republicans, from the position.

Posted May 17, 2021

Arizona Senate Threatens Subpoenas: Az. GOP Chairman Kelli Ward Offers Update on Maricopa County Election Audit

Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward provides an update on the Maricopa County audit, including the legal battles, in the video below.  Chairwoman Ward outlines how the county board of supervisors has been discovered to have withheld material evidence from the audit despite a court order demanding compliance.

Officials in Maricopa County are refusing to comply with subpoenas from the state Senate that require them to turn over routers or router images to auditors reviewing the November 2020 election. There are certain to be more legal battles ahead as the auditors demand access to all the equipment, including the passwords the county is withholding. Stay tuned.

Posted May 10, 2021