On Friday, the Arizona Dem Party refused to pay a $1 million bond, but the audit of votes cast in Arizona’s most significant election during the 2020 election continues anyway.
“The Arizona Democratic Party will not risk our supporters’ hard-earned dollars to pay off the Cyber Ninjas for a procedure they are billing Arizona taxpayers to the tune of $150,000,” the Party stated.
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The state Senate hired four firms to conduct the audit, and among those is Cyber Ninjas.
In a hearing earlier, Chris Coury, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge, said that he would pause the audit until Monday to hear more about concerns Dems stated in their lawsuit.
“There is an obligation to comply with Arizona law to ensure that voter information is protected and remains confidential and it does not go anywhere,” the Superior Court Judge said.
However, he said that the audit would be paused only if the Dems Party pay $1 Million, which it refused.
The Party declared that it was looking forward to reviewing info that the court-ordered Cyber Ninjas to produce. The company didn’t respond to anything.
The Arizona Republican Party stated, “Democrat’s bluff called, and they fail to post a $1million bond to stop the forensic audit.”
According to a court document, Coury “ordered a suspension of the audit until Monday upon posting of a bond, but, upon representation of the Plaintiffs that the bond will not be posted, the matter is moot.”
The next hearing is scheduled for April 26, 2021.
Coury wants a briefing on the legislative immunity issue and the separation of powers. The last briefing he wants to hear is whether plaintiffs have good standing.
The legal audit battle lasted for months. Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors asked the Judge to block subpoenas from State Senate. To this request, the Judge ordered that county comply with the subpoenas.
Steve Gallardo is the sole Dem. on the board, and he joined the new lawsuit, filed on Thursday. Also, he claimed that suitable procedures weren’t being followed at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix.
More than 2 million ballots and 400 tabulators arrived at the coliseum at the beginning of this week.
According to the Arizona Republicans, this audit will help gain public confidence in the election results.
The audit is streamed live.
Roopali Desai said that there were some security problems. The audit workers violated the state law because they used blue pens instead of red.
Kory Langhofer is a defender attorney. He said that the plaintiffs had a lack of evidence for their claims, and the legislature members are immune from the civil process while the legislature is in session.
Coury’s goal is to make voter info adequately handled.
“I do not want to micromanage, and it is not the posture of this court to micromanage—or even to manage—the process by which another branch of government, the Legislature, the Arizona state Senate, proceeds,” he said.
“However, it is the province of the court to ensure voter information and those constitutional protections are held sacrosanct, and that also includes the protection of ballots under Arizona law.”
Katie Hobbs, Arizona Secretary of State, a Democrat, forced Arizona’s attorney general to examine the potential violation of the state laws linked to the election audit.
Hobbs spoke to Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, and told him that some reports indicated the Senate failed to secure the equipment and ballots its contractors are audited, creating unauthorized and unmonitored access to both.
Brnovich answered: “The Senate has broad constitutional and statutory authority to issue a legislative subpoena and consequently conduct the audit of the Maricopa County election,”
“This does not meet the standard of a credible allegation—it is speculation insufficient to support the request for an official investigation. Moreover, the separation of powers in our political system demands deference to co-equal branches of government to conduct their lawful business,” Brnovich wrote. “It would therefore be inappropriate to interrupt the auditing process simply because someone asserts that it could be handled in some other manner. Any such requests should be directed to Senate President [Karen] Fann.”