‘We will not attend’: AZ officials decline invitation to meet with state Senate to discuss election audit

The controversy surrounding an audit of November’s presidential election returns has cast a national spotlight on Maricopa County, Arizona.

In the latest wrinkle, the county’s Board of Supervisors refused to meet with Republican state Senate leaders in a requested public meeting on Tuesday to resolve some of the related issues and concerns.

“We have wasted enough County resources”

“We will not attend your meeting on May 18, 2021,” the supervisors wrote.

Members of the county board have adamantly denied accusations arising from the auditing team, including the alleged deletion of a voter database.

In their most recent letter, the supervisors referenced Arizona Senate President Karen Fann’s invitation to meet for a live-streamed meeting to discuss the contested issues and flatly declined.

“We will not be attending,” they continued. “We will not be responding to any additional inquiries from your ‘auditors.’ Their failure to understand basic election processes is an indication you didn’t get the best people to perform in your political theatre.”

As for the perceived toll on local taxpayers, the board asserted: “We have wasted enough County resources. People’s tax dollars are real, your ‘auditors’ are not.”

“Encouraging our citizens to distrust elections”

Fann included a list of concerns in her prior letter, and the supervisors’ response was another blunt denial.

“These accusations are false, defamatory, and beneath the dignity of the Senate,” the board insisted. “They are an insult to the dedicated public servants in the Maricopa County Elections Department and Office of the Recorder, who work incredibly long hours conducting the County’s elections with integrity and honor.”

As for claims of a deleted database, the letter suggested that auditors lacked “understanding of election law, as well as the best practices utilized by Maricopa County and other jurisdictions for the conduct of elections.”

After refusing to meet with senators, the board called for the audit to end.

“We express our united view that your ‘audit,’ no matter what your intentions were in the beginning, has become a spectacle that is harming all of us,” the letter concluded. “Our state has become a laughingstock. Worse, this ‘audit’ is encouraging our citizens to distrust elections, which weakens our democratic republic.”

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