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

Az. Gov. Ducey Declares Gun Shops ‘Essential,’ Protecting Them from Frivolous Lawsuits

Gov. Ducey signs law declaring gun shops essential, protecting them from lawsuits

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on May 8 signs law declaring gun shops ‘essential,’ protecting them against frivolous lawsuits

Az. Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation May 8 to protect the Second Amendment rights of Arizonans by safeguarding against frivolous lawsuits that have no connection to unlawful use of firearms. The new state law mirrors federal law that was passed on a bipartisan basis.

Ducey, in his 2020 declaration of the pandemic emergency, had already specifically declared that places where guns and ammo are sold are essential and exempt from any closure requirements due to COVID-19.

“With efforts currently underway in Washington to erode Second Amendment rights, Arizona is taking action to protect those rights,” Gov. Ducey said. “In Arizona, we’re safeguarding manufacturers, sellers and trade associations. Bad actors need to be held accountable, and we will work to make sure they are. But we’re not going to allow lawsuit after lawsuit to slowly tear down the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens in our state.

“Senate Bill 1382 achieves this goal, and I’m grateful to Rep. Quang Nguyen and Sen. Wendy Rogers for leading on this important legislation.”

Senate Bill 1382 prohibits the state and all entities of the state from suing a member of the firearms industry for lawful design, marketing, distribution, and sale of firearms and ammunition to the public. The legislation also prohibits a civil action from being brought against a manufacturer or seller of a firearm or ammunition or related trade association for damages resulting from the criminal misuse of the firearm or ammunition, with exceptions.

Additionally, it protects manufacturers or sellers of firearms and ammunition from civil action for damages resulting from the criminal misuse of the firearm or ammunition, except in specified circumstances.

“Arizona is—and will remain—a strong Second Amendment state,” Judi White of Tucson, a champion of gun rights who has long been active in the NRA, told Prescottenews. “We can’t let flippant lawsuits hinder operations of firearm or ammunition manufacturers, sellers and trade associations that are following the law. Senate Bill 1382 makes sure of that. Thank you, Governor Ducey, for signing legislation that protects citizens’ Constitutional rights.”

In 2005, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) which provides federal protection for law-abiding firearms and ammunition industry members against frivolous lawsuits. PLCAA has been challenged in recent years, including in April 2021 when President Joe Biden stated removing PLCAA as a top priority of his administration. Senate Bill 1382 codifies the federal provisions under state law.

Additional Information at BearingArms.com

Posted May 10, 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

Arizona Bans Post-Election Signature ‘Fix’ for Unsigned Mail-in Ballots

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a law that bans voters from adding signatures on unsigned mail-in ballots after Election Day.

The measure, Arizona Senate Bill 1003 (S.B. 1003), was approved earlier in the state legislature in party-line votes with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed.

mail truck delivers ballots for dems

The new law codifies a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Oct. 6, 2020, within one month of the 2020 election. It also ended disputes over unsigned mail-in ballots between the state Republicans and Democrats.

Current Arizona law allows election officials to contact voters to fix the signatures on the ballots if the signatures don’t match other signatures from records in the Department of Motor Vehicle, voter registration forms, or previous early ballots. The voters can fix the signatures, if they failed to pass the verification process, within up to five business days after Election Day.

While the new law didn’t change anything about the grace period for the signed ballots, it ended state Democrats’ efforts to add a similar grace period to unsigned ballots.

According to The Epoch Times, Hobbs’s move is part of efforts to honor a settlement in 2019 with the Navajo Nation, which would allow tribal voters with mismatched or missing signatures on mail-in ballots to correct their ballots with five business days after Election Day.

However, the efforts were stopped by appeals court judges who said, in alignment with the state Republicans, that the Democrats went too far by giving absentee voters five days after Election Day to correct missing signatures on mail-in ballots.

“All ballots must have some deadline, and it is reasonable that Arizona has chosen to make that deadline Election Day itself so as to promote its unquestioned interest in administering an orderly election and to facilitate its already burdensome job of collecting, verifying, and counting all of the votes in timely fashion,” the appellate court said.

The new law codified the appeal court’s ruling by adding an amendment to the current Arizona election law. The amendment requires all mail-in ballots to be delivered to the county recorder, other officers in charge of the election, or polling sites no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.

“The ballot will not be counted without the voter’s signature on the envelope,” reads the amendment.

Another amendment in the new law required election officers to contact the voter if the signature is missing on the ballot. The deadline for adding a signature to a ballot should be no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer had urged Ducey to veto the measure, saying it would undermine the 2019 settlement.