Accusations Fly As Legislature Prepares To Address Election Process Timeline

Tom Ryan temporarily shuts down his account after bizarre defense of judge brother

gates resnik
Maricopa County Supervisor stokes fears on Sunday Square Off.

Over the weekend, accusations flew on social media and elsewhere, as Arizona leaders began to debate how to fix a problem with the state’s current election process that was created by Congress in 2022.

Maricopa County in particular is being accused of creating a crisis by former State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita, even as the Arizona Legislature considers solutions to a time crunch created when Congress changed the Electoral Count Act. The change resulted in moving up the deadline by which one of the final steps in the election process must be completed – the transmission of the certificate of ascertainment of who won Arizona’s presidential electors to Congress.

In 2022, the Legislature passed, and Governor Doug Ducey signed, a bill sponsored by Ugenti-Rita that expanded the threshold to trigger a 100% machine recount from one tenth of one percent to half a percent. Had Ugenti-Rita’s recount threshold been in place in 2020, there would have been a recount of the 2020 presidential election.

Now, county recorders say there will be too many races likely to fall under that threshold to timely complete the recount process and certify an election by the new federal deadline. A deadline Ugenti-Rita and Kolodin claim Congress never had the constitutional authority to impose in the first place.

The preferred solution of Governor Katie Hobbs is to compress the regular timeline for Arizona elections, giving fewer days for each stage in the process to be completed. This move is seen as partisan because it could provide Democrats with an advantage in the next redistricting, and would shorten the timelines by which errors in the election process could be identified and addressed by elected leaders.

However, others have proposed solutions that do not require election timelines to be compressed. Ugenti-Rita, for example, noted that several non-legislative solutions were available to the counties and that the attempt to force a reworking of multiple Arizona election timelines amounted to “actual election interference.”

“This is what actual election interference looks like! Too scared to run for reelection @billgatesaz, continues to coordinate with the media to push more @MaricopaCounty election propaganda. There are plenty of non-legislative solutions that can address potential timeline issues, but that’s not good enough for Maricopa County.

Instead of doing their job, they are relying on their leader, Democrat @GovernorHobbs to bail them out. @MaricopaCounty is dead set on creating mass chaos for voters during this critical presidential election year until they get their way.”

Arizona State Rep. Alexander Kolodin, the Vice-Chairman of the House Elections Committee, suggested working within the existing safety valve the Electoral Count Act already provides, a move which would not require rejiggering any election timelines to ensure that Arizona’s electors are delivered on time.

Left-wing attorney Tom Ryan eagerly jumped into the fray, attacking Kolodin for his insistence that signature verification rules be included in the final package, since any compression of the timelines in the election process would create a temptation for elections officials to take shortcuts in ascertaining voters’ identities.

Kolodin then accused Ryan of misrepresentation and selective editing of a tweet.

In the current bill under consideration, a provision is included that would enshrine a process developed by then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs for verifying signatures on ballot affidavit envelopes. Now that she is Governor, Hobbs says inclusion of those same standards is a poison pill and she will kill any bill that includes them.

Kolodin tweeted in defense of the proposed provision, “Right now there are NO legally binding standards in Arizona for how to perform signature verification! That has to change!”

Ryan responded, “Wherein politician Kolodin misrepresents the finding of the Court regarding the signature verification process. The judge ruled not that there is NO verification process, but that it is up to the County Recorder to develop, implement and oversee the verification process.”

However, it was Ryan who misrepresented Kolodin’s statement and the facts by leaving out key words. Currently there are no legally binding standards in Arizona for verifying signatures on mail-in ballots.

Earlier this month, Ryan temporarily shut down his account after he offered a bizarre defense for his brother, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Tim Ryan, in response to a tweet by Abe Hamadeh, the Republican Party’s 2022 nominee for Attorney General.

In his tweet, Hamadeh, who is now a congressional candidate, noted that it was Judge Ryan who issued what many believe was the first and ultimately decisive ruling that led to the disenfranchisement of countless voters in Maricopa County and Hamadeh’s narrow loss to now-Attorney General Kris Mayes in 2022.

“Tom, your brother Tim Ryan was the judge who denied an extension of voting hours after the DISASTROUS Election Day in 2022 that had 4+ hour wait times and 60% of the machines failing,” tweeted Hamadeh.

Ryan responded, before deleting his account, “I had no discussion with my brother before during or after that hearing. Your conduct in posting this tweet is highly unethical and recommend you remove it immediately.”

“I’m legit confused by tonight’s shakedown,” tweeted attorney Jen Wright. “Partisan attorney Tom Ryan called @StephenM of @America1stLegal a racist (defamatory). @AbrahamHamadeh responded that Tom was one to talk as Tom’s brother was the judge that refused to extend voting on Election Day in ‘22. Then Tom accuses Abe of “unethical behavior” (for stating facts). Then Tom nukes his account. That escalated quickly. Makes one wonder why Tom reacted that way?”

Ryan has previously been accused of specious attacks on Republican attorneys as part of a universal but uncoordinated effort to dissuade them from taking on election cases.

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  1. Please call your legislators and demand real signature verification standards! Do it! How many will? How bad do we need this? It takes ALL HANDS ON DECK! Our legislators are only as accountable to us as we insist on integrity!

  2. Clicky, Clicky, Clicky, that’s all signature verification is. The math shows its pretend verifying. We all saw the video in Kari Lake trial. It’s a joke. Clicky, Clicky, Clicky

  3. If we have no election integrity, then we have no Republic, and we are left to deal with tyranny.

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