A judge has ruled that the Arizona Senate can get access to 2.1 million ballots from Arizona’s most populous county so it can audit results of the 2020 election, a judge ruled on Friday.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason stated that the subpoenas issued by the Arizona Senate were valid. He said that he disagreed with the county’s claims that they were unconstitutional and that the county should not legitimately hand over the ballots.
The Senate wants a further audit of the ballots and a careful check of the information of the voters, while the county believes that its multiple audits have been sufficient and that the ballots must remain sealed in accordance with state law.
In his ruling, Thomason emphasized that he did not want to drift into the politics of the matter.
He said that the Senate has a broad authority to issue subpoenas, and the Senate’s rationale for issuing them—to see if there are any changes that could be made to state law to further protect the integrity of the elections—was valid.
Senate President Karen Fann said Friday that the Senate was “thrilled” by the judge’s decision, and thanked the judge for seeing the big picture.
“It was never about overturning the election, it was about the integrity of the Arizona election system,” she said. “If people have questions, they deserve answers.”
In response to the ruling, the Board of Supervisors will meet with its lawyers and determine the best way forward, according to Fields Moseley, the county spokesperson.
Supervisors may choose to appeal the decision, or they may choose to hand over ballots, other materials and machines in response to the subpoenas.
Thomason said in his ruling that he disagreed with the county’s argument that the ballots could not be turned over because they had to remain locked up for a period after the election.
On Thursday, he asked the District Attorneys and the Senate to explain their position on one of the main disagreements in the case: whether the subpoenas override a state law requiring the county to lock up the ballots for two years after the election.
Here’s the statement from Arizona Senate Republicans on judge’s ruling allowing access to election equipment, ballots:
Maricopa County uses Dominion Voting Systems, a company that was under review in last year. The company repeatedly denied that its machines could switch votes from one candidate to another while its CEO, John Poulos, said that the federal Election Assistance Commission had approved their voting systems and said that the company had no ties with foreign governments.
A forensics report based on examination of Dominion products in Antrim County, Michigan, concluded the software was “intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results.”