Maricopa County Supervisors Sue Again To Invalidate Legislative Subpoenas

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

A second lawsuit has been filed by Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors (BOS) over their objections to two legislative subpoenas connected to the 2020 General Election.

The civil complaint filed Friday in Maricopa County Superior Court recognizes the authority of the State Senate to issue subpoenas and to require compliance with those subpoenas. But that authority does not include “sham legislative subpoenas,” according to the 33-page lawsuit supported by seven exhibits.

“The Maricopa County Plaintiffs respect the Arizona legislature, including both the Arizona Senate and the Arizona House of Representatives, and recognize their authority to issue subpoenas and to insist that all parties comply with lawful subpoenas,” the lawsuit states.

However, the BOS contends the legislative subpoenas issued on Jan. 12 command county officials to participate in a hearing that has never been formally set, command the production of 2.1 million ballots “in violation of Arizona statute,” and command the county turn over elections equipment to “a team of uncertified laymen who have demonstrated a stunning lack of knowledge about election processes and election security.”

Among the county’s objections is that the subpoenas demand the production of the original ballots cast in the 2020 General Election, as well as digital images of ballots.

“The Constitution commands that ballots be kept secret, and provides that Arizonans have a constitutional right to a secret ballot,” the lawsuit states. “In addition to the Constitution, the laws that the Arizona Legislature has enacted prevent the Board of Supervisors from producing voted ballots.”

The county also objects to reports that Senate President Karen Fann intends to utilize Allied Security Operations Group (ASOG) to assist in conducting a wide-ranging audit of how Maricopa County administered the recent election, even though ASOG is purportedly not accredited by the U.S. [Election Assistance Commission] EAC as a laboratory certified to test election equipment and systems.

“Upon information and belief, ASOG’s employees are wholly unqualified to audit the County’s elections equipment,” the lawsuit states. “Allowing ASOG or any other laboratory that is not certified by the EAC to ‘audit’ Plaintiff Maricopa County’s tabulation machines and other election equipment risks causing those machines to be decertified for use in Arizona.”

County officials also object to ASOG founder Russell Ramsland having access to any elections records or equipment.

“Ramsland has been discredited for making false claims of overvoting in Michigan, basing his claims on vote totals from a completely different state—Minnesota,” the lawsuit states, adding that a Delaware judge “found that Ramsland provided “materially false information” in support of his claims of vote manipulation.”

The lawsuit seeks a court order declaring the Jan. 12 legislative subpoenas “unlawful and so invalid.” It also seeks attorney fees “because by having the subpoena quashed Plaintiff Maricopa County acted to vindicate the rights of the citizens of Maricopa County by protecting the secrecy of their ballots, as guaranteed by Arizona constitutional and statutory law.”

Several Republican state leaders who have called for a full election audit for the last three months are closely following the subpoena dispute, which their attorney Alex Kolodin believes has played out much too long as Senators and county officials play politics.

“In their first lawsuit, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors claimed the court had jurisdiction over the subpoenas. Then, when the Senate asked the Court to enforce the subpoenas, the County changed its position and claimed the Court had no jurisdiction. Now they shift their position once again and ask the Court to exercise its jurisdiction to quash the subpoenas,” said Kolodin. “It is time for these games to end. Fortunately, the Senate has the power to end them by voting Monday to authorize the sergeant at arms to enforce the subpoena.”