On Thursday (April 22), just one day before Arizona is set to launch a full audit of the 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County in the 2020 election, the state Democratic Party filed an emergency lawsuit asking a judge to order a temporary halt to the audit.
Lawyers for the Arizona Democratic Party filed an emergency lawsuit asking a judge to order a halt to the audit on the grounds that “Senate Republicans did not have proper procedures in place to ensure the security of the ballots.
At a hearing Friday morning (April 23), Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Chris Coury said he would order a temporary halt to the audit until next Monday in order to protect voter information, but only if the Arizona Democratic Party posted a $1 million bond to cover any potential increased costs. The state Democratic Party, however, rejected the judge’s request.
A court filing states that Curry ordered “that the audit be suspended until Monday after the bond was posted, but the matter became moot after the plaintiffs indicated they would not post the bond.
Earlier, the Arizona Republic posted: “Democrats have tried to prevent the audit by various means, including filing a lawsuit and attacking the ‘integrity’ of the audit process. So now they really care about ‘election integrity’? No, they just don’t want Americans to be involved in their own elections.”
The legal battle between the Arizona Senate and the Maricopa County Board of County Commissioners over auditing the 2020 general election ballots has been ongoing for months.
Beginning last December, the state Senate Judiciary Committee had issued a subpoena for a legal audit of the county’s voting machine software and ballots after questioning election fraud in Maricopa County. But the county board consistently refused the state Senate’s subpoena request, even going so far as to take the state court to court.
It wasn’t until Feb. 26 of this year that a judge officially ruled that the state Senate has oversight authority and that Maricopa County must provide the state Senate with approximately 2.1 million ballots for the Nov. 3 presidential election and allow the state Senate access to its election equipment for an audit.
On March 31, the Arizona Senate announced it had hired four firms to conduct a full audit and hand-count of Maricopa County’s controversial 2.1 million ballots, with the results to be released within weeks, according to the court’s ruling. Arizona Senate President Karen Fann (D) said the state Senate’s efforts are only to ensure the integrity of the state’s election system, not to overturn it.
In response to this Democratic lawsuit to stop the audit, the Arizona Republican Party (AZGOP) tweeted on Friday, “Judge (Curry) says ‘the audit will go forward’ but wants to review existing policies and procedures.” As a result, Curry set the next hearing for April 26.