Arizona GOP Moves to Intervene in Legal Battle Over Maricopa County Audit
Arizona GOP Moves to Intervene in Legal Battle Over Maricopa County Audit

By Zachary Stieber

The Arizona Republican Party has filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit filed by Maricopa County against state senators, as the county fights against subpoenas to audit voting machines and ballots.

In the 16-page motion obtained by The Epoch Times, Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward and other Republicans say they have several interests related to the legal battle, including being registered voters in the state.

In addition, there is the issue of dueling electors, with the GOP’s slate having cast the vote for President Donald Trump last week.

The complaint “recognizes that the Republican Electors have an obvious interest in any investigation into whether they were improperly deprived of recognition as Arizona’s true electors,” the motion states.

The only way for the electors to protect that interest “is by helping to ensure that the state legislature gets all of the information it needs to conduct a full and thorough investigation,” it adds.

Several members of the Arizona State House joined Ward in the motion. All of the proposed intervenors were plaintiffs in a separate case, Bowyer v. Ducey, which sought relief requiring Maricopa County to turn over information on voting machines and other election-related material.

One of the county’s defenses in that case was that being ordered to produce the material would cause them harm, because they needed to have the material available to produce them to the legislature.

The Arizona state Senate last week issued two subpoenas against Maricopa County, ordering its Board of Supervisors to audit scanned ballots and ballot tabulation equipment and software.

But the board voted Friday to not comply with the subpoenas. Instead, board members opted to file a complaint in court, asking a judge whether they should comply.

“Let’s be clear, these subpoenas that have been issued and are before this body are truly extraordinary in the breadth of information that they’re looking for. As a conservative, I feel strongly about individual private information of individuals, of voters, and that information has been requested in these subpoenas. I’m going to fight to protect that information before we turn it over,” Supervisor Bill Gates, the chairman of the board, said during the meeting.

“I’m not willing to turn it over without the court speaking very clearly on how we’re going to protect that private information,” he added.

Supervisor Steve Chucri, the lone no vote, said he believed the board should direct the audits to begin even as it asked the court for clarification.

In its 25-page complaint, the board said the subpoenas “are shocking in scope” and “ought to send chills down the spine of every freedom loving Arizonan.”

The Arizona GOP and President Donald Trump’s campaign criticized the vote.

“They’re trying to run out the clock, and they’re trying to not share the information, which, of course, raises the question of, what are they hiding?” Boris Epshteyn, a Trump campaign adviser, said over the weekend.

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