A high-ranking member of the Arizona State Senate felt the sting of rebuke when the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors challenged his two-subpoena request for a scanned ballot audit and full forensic accounting of tabulation equipment. In the ongoing efforts to ensure election integrity, the Maricopa Supervisors shot down the latest demands by state Republicans. Adding insult to injury, by a four-to-one vote, the Board issued a complaint in court challenging the efforts of Republican Sen. Eddie Farnsworth, chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee.
Farnsworth was asking for 2.1 million ballots to be verified. A sample audit conducted in Maricopa County last month found no irregularities. Still, the insistence by some Republicans and President Trump’s supporters have prompted the lawmaker to ensure the state of Arizona is no longer under suspicion of election shenanigans:
“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.”
The Board had other ideas, and in passive-aggressive style, supervisor Steve Gallardo, a Democrat, retorted as if speaking to a child – and not an experienced and well-respected legislator – saying: “I am very disappointed of [sic] the subpoenas that were sent over to the county. I believe he knows better.”
On Monday, the Electoral College awarded Joe Biden the votes he needed to win the presidential election. Still, in some states, including Arizona, the GOP convened its own electors for Trump if the election was turned inside out by audits. Election law professionals say these votes are not legal, but if the results are overturned in the courts, Arizona lawmakers will petition Congress to accept the alternative slate of 11 electors. Additionally, they would nullify the electoral votes until a full forensic audit could be performed.
But the supervisors appear to be washing their hands of possible election fraud and, in fighting back, are citing privacy issues. Supervisor Bill Gates seemed incredulous of the request by the State Senate: “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.”
Commendable, yet when all things are considered in this election, perhaps putting to bed the idea of ballot fraud in Arizona might be more critical to future confidence in elections than non-compliance with two Senate subpoenas.
Last Ditch Effort
There is one last step for Mr. Biden in his relocation efforts to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: On January 6, in a joint session of Congress, the electoral votes will be counted and certified. Rest assured, there will be challenges by several House Republicans and perhaps a senator or two. And maybe additional intel on election 2020 may come to light as Republicans continue to demand answers across the country. But as history shows, House Democrats attempted to overturn election results similarly in 2001, 2005, and 2017. And we all know how that turned out.
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