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Arizona Attorney General: Legislature Has the Power to Issue Subpoenas in Maricopa County Arizona

In a Dec. 30 court brief to the Arizona Superior Court, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich weighed in on the struggle between Arizona State Senators and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors regarding efforts by the Senate to conduct an independent audit of ballot-counting machines used in the 2020 election. 

Earlier in December, the Arizona State Senate issued two subpoenas to audit voting equipment and ballots in response to allegations of election fraud. The subpoenas were issued following a Dec. 14 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on election integrity.

In a 4-1 vote, the Maricopa County board of supervisors refused to comply with the subpoenas, arguing in a complaint to the Arizona Superior Court that the subpoenas were an excessive abuse of power. “The requests ought to send chills down the spine of every freedom loving Arizonan as they threaten one of the core tenants of our republic, the right to a secret ballot.” They also argued that the equipment had been authorized and accredited before the election as Arizona state law required and that the subpoenas would contribute to “personally identifying information for every registered voter in Maricopa County, including their addresses, dates of birth, political party affiliation, whether they voted in the November 3, 2020, general election, and if so, what type of ballot they cast.” 

Maricopa County Courthouse. (Image: wikimedia)

They also stated that they were given very short notice to reply to the subpoenas and that the Legislature was trying to undermine the power of the Supreme Court.

The Arizona Senate then sued Maricopa County in order to enforce the subpoenas, but the lawsuit was dismissed by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Randall Warner on procedural grounds. In his decision, he invited petitioners (AZ Senators) to amend their complaint.

Attorney General Brnovich argued in his brief that the Arizona Legislature has the power to investigate election matters: “The Arizona Legislature has broad power to issue subpoenas regarding election administration in connection with the 2020 general election, both to review how the County discharged its duties during that election and to craft future election legislation.”

In Maricopa County, Biden won by 45,000 votes, giving him a narrow edge over Trump of 10,000 votes statewide.

Clint Hickman from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors said in response to the Dec. 30 Brnovich court brief: “What is at issue in the court is whether a legislative subpoena is the proper constitutional mechanism for the state Senate to take custody of the voting machines and voter database and millions of ballots for purpose of determining whether it wants to throw out the November 3, 2020 election results and impose their preferred slate of presidential electors,” Hickman said. “Unfortunately, the [Attorney General’s] brief declined to address that issue.”

The Arizona Republic reported: “The supervisors have indicated they support doing another independent audit, but only after all of the court challenges related to the election are complete. 

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