The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Friday voted 4-to-1 to sue the the Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee over subpoenas related to the 2020 presidential election. The committee asked for access to electronic voting machines, software the equipment utilized, election file logs, all usernames and passwords, encrypted passwords and security tokens as well as forensic images of all election servers, desktops and any removable media ballot information could have been transferred to, including hard drives and thumb drives. The goal, according to the committee, was to conduct an audit in the state's largest county.
NEW Citing constitutional issues, GOP-controlled Maricopa County Board votes 4-1 to sue GOP legislative committee over subpoena seeking election-related records. Supervisors vent at Senate Prez Fann & Sen E Farnsworth: "He knows better." "A slap in the face." pic.twitter.com/6HWvDylJMF— Brahm Resnik (@brahmresnik) December 18, 2020
“I believe these subpoenas are unrealistic in their timeframes, an intrusion into the privacy of our voters and want us to disregard the very statutes they created,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman (R) said during the hearing, KTAR-TV reported. “There are real constitutional issues with these subpoenas. I look forward to when we can get some clarification from the courts.”
Another board member, Bill Gates, said he was concerned about the Republican-controlled legislature's moves.
“And let’s be clear what they’re looking for – as a conservative I feel strongly about individual private information … of voters, and that information has been requested in these subpoenas,” Gates explained. “I’m going to fight to protect that information before we turn it over.”
The only Republican who voted against the lawsuit, Steve Chucri, said he wanted to see a forensic audit of the election machines and systems, something he says the county cannot conduct while litigation is on-going.
According to the Republican-controlled board of supervisors, the subpoenas "are shocking in scope and far in excess of the power of the Senate President or Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman to command."
"The requests ought to send chills down the spine of every freedom loving Arizonan as they threaten one of the core tenants to our republic, the right to a secure ballot," the lawsuit states.
The board claims the subpoenas "essentially ... requests full access to the entire voting system," something they say is "unlawful."
They also took issue with the timeframe they were asked to hand over the files.
"The Subpoenas commanded the Board of Supervisors to produce this extraordinarily-voluminous amount of data, electronic files, ballots, forensic images, logs, paper rolls, and machines by 5:00 p.m. on December 18, 2020 – a mere three days after the Subpoenas were served," the lawsuit states.
Instead of attempting to comply with the subpoenas or being found in contempt, the board decided to file their lawsuit.
"Rather than wait for the possibility of the Senate holding the County in contempt and then on an emergency basis asking the Court to rule on the legality of the subpoenas and any contempt order, the County is asking the Court for a declaration that the Subpoenas are unlawful and to quash them," the lawsuit says.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors already planned on conducting an internal audit of Dominion Voting Systems machines, which the county utilizes, in an effort to "try and show Republicans that Joe Biden won the election fair and square," AZ Central reported.
An auditor was hired but the audit is being placed on hold until all election-related court challenges are complete, Hickman told AZ Central.
The Arizona Republican Party responded to the board's decision, saying "transparency" needs to take place.
A travesty of epic proportions. Transparency is now an afterthought at best, and an obstacle at worst. So sad for our state and country! https://t.co/VdKZ45g8ta— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) December 18, 2020