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On Friday the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors defied subpoenas from the Arizona State Senate to turn over all ballots filed in the 2020 election and equipment used to process those ballots, including equipment from Dominion Voting Systems.
Issued three days earlier with a 5:00 pm Friday deadline, the subpoenas were the lawmakers’ first step in their plan to conduct their own forensic audit of the election.
“Today, under my direction as Senate President, Judiciary Committee Chairman Eddie Farnsworth issued subpoenas to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors,” Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee president Karen Fann announced Tuesday.
“One subpoena calls for a scanned ballot audit, to collect an electronic ballot image cast for all mail-in ballots counted in the November 2020 general election in Maricopa County, Arizona. 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.”
A few hours before the Friday deadline, however, the Maricopa County Board voted 4-1 to instead file a complaint with a local Superior Court challenging the subpoenas on the ground that abiding by them would violate their constituents’ privacy.
Watch some of the vote below:
JUST IN – #Arizona, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will not comply with the subpoenas to turn over Dominion voting machines for a forensic audit. Instead, they are filing a complaint in Superior Court.pic.twitter.com/Knq4rl17Fg
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) December 18, 2020
“The requests are shocking in scope and far in excess of the power of the Senate President or Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman to command. The requests ought to send chills down the spine of every freedom-loving Arizonan as they threaten one of the core tenants of our republic, the right to a secret ballot,” the complaint reads.
View the complaint below:
But the ballots were just a small subset of what the state Senate sought.
The subpoenas demanded access to “election log files,” “ballot tabulation equipment,” “software for the equipment,” “forensic images of” all devices that were used in the election (desktops, servers, thumb drives, etc.), the usernames and passwords of election officials, voter rolls and anything linked specifically to Dominion.
View the subpoenas below:
In drafting the subpoenas, Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee chair Eddie Farnsworth had argued that all of this is necessary to conduct a proper audit and determine once and for all whether the state’s 2020 election was affected by fraud.
“If we don’t find fraud? Well, heck, that goes a long way to restore confidence in our election process. And if we do find fraud, then that’s what we need to do, is to somehow identify it and then see what we can do to stop it,” he’d reportedly said.
“The subpoenas could address charges leveled against the Dominion Voting Systems, both in Arizona and nationally, that the equipment and software were deliberately programmed to deliver more votes for Biden,” Arizona Capitol Times notes.
Farnsworth first announced his intent to file subpoenas after a six-hour hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.
During the hearing, state Sen. Vince Leach reportedly prodded Maricopa County Elections Director Scott Jarrett into admitting that Dominion employees had allegedly had 24/7 access to both his office and the county’s election equipment.
According to the Times, Jarrett also “acknowledged that more than 3,000 such ‘federal-only’ ballots were cast in Maricopa County, people who he acknowledged might not be U.S. citizens. That angered Farnsworth.”
Conversely, during the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors five days later on Friday, supervisor Steve Gallardo reportedly expressed his “disappointment” with Farnsworth.
“I am disappointed in the Senate Judiciary chair. I am very disappointed of the subpoenas that were sent over to the county. I believe he knows better,” he said.
“He’s an attorney, a very experienced lawmaker. He’s been there for a very long time. And he’s very smart. I’ll be the first to say he is one of … the most smartest members of the legislature walking down there. And he knows better.”
Watch the full hearing below:
His peers joined him in also expressing concern.
“Let’s be clear, these subpoenas that have been issued and are before this body are truly extraordinary in the breadth of information that they’re looking for. I feel strongly about individual private information, of individuals, of voters, and that information has been requested in these subpoenas. I’m going to fight to protect that information before we turn it over,” supervisor Bill Gates said.
Board chair Clint Hickman, one of the local officials who’d testified Monday, meanwhile called the subpoenas a “slap in the face” given that he’d already answered all of the Senate’s questions.
The only disagreement came from supervisor Steve Chucri, who opposed the complaint on the grounds that it ought to be “coupled” with a motion for an audit. But for reasons that remain unclear, the rest of the committee chose to ignore that simple request.