Settlement Talks Could Finally Result In Audit Of Maricopa County Election Equipment

Maricopa County has been at the center of controversy in the 2020 General Election. [Photo courtesy Maricopa County Elections Department]

The attorney for several state Republican leaders says he expects the subpoena dispute between Maricopa County and the Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee to be resolved soon, and he could not be happier at the prospect of a full-scale audit of the 2020 General Election.

According to Alex Kolodin, the parties involved in the legal fight surrounding two legislative subpoenas first served on Maricopa County on Dec. 15 have reached a tentative agreement that could result in a third-party auditor taking custody of voter records, ballots, and voting system equipment used by the county.

Kolodin has been involved in several state and federal lawsuits related to last year’s election. He was able to call witnesses and present evidence in two of those cases concerning election process irregularities and voter confusion in Maricopa County.

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However, one thing Kolodin and his clients -including Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward- were unable to get was a court order authorizing an in-depth audit of Maricopa County’s election protocols and its voting system software and hardware. That is why his clients got involved in recent litigation between the State Senate judiciary committee and Maricopa County to undertake such an inquiry.

The stipulation could settle a lawsuit filed Dec. 18 when the county board of supervisors decided to challenge the lawfulness of the legislative subpoenas. Senator Fann and then-chair Sen. Eddie Farnsworth filed a counterclaim on Dec. 29, asking Judge Timothy Thomason of the Maricopa County Superior Court for an injunctive order enforcing the subpoenas.

Thomason ruled last week that those subpoenas became moot Jan. 11 when the new legislative session began. Replacement subpoenas were issued Jan. 12, signed by Fann and new-Judiciary Chair Warren Petersen. As a result, the judge has scheduled another hearing in the case for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“I am pleased that through hard work and the boldness of our clients, our team was able to prevail in as many election-related matters this cycle as all other conservative lawyers across the country combined,” said Kolodin. “It is gratifying to have arrived at the cusp of a full audit and to see such a great deal of high-quality election related legislation introduced as a result of our clients’ efforts.”