The Maricopa County Superior Court ruled Friday that subpoenas for election equipment and materials are “legal and enforceable,” paving the way for those items to be turned over to state Senate Republicans for yet another audit of votes in Arizona.
The county had asked the court to nullify the subpoenas, saying that it had already conducted several audits of the votes and that it would be illegal to give the Senate access to the ballots, the Arizona Mirror reported.
The court evidently disagreed and ruled that subpoenas could go forward.
“The Court finds that Subpoenas are legal and enforceable. There is no question that the Senators have the power to issue legislative subpoenas,” Judge Timothy Thomason said about the action, according to the Washington Examiner.
Subpoenas can be enforced
The court’s decision does not mean that the subpoenas will be enforced, but says that they can be.
“The Subpoenas comply with the statutory requirements for legislative subpoenas. The Senate also has broad constitutional power to oversee elections,” the court added.
One subpoena sought to collect the electronic ballot image that exists for all mail-in ballots counted in the county’s November 2020 general election. The second subpoena would require a full forensic audit of ballot tabulation equipment, related software, and the election management system used in the 2020 general election.
County board supervisors say they have already provided most of this information, other than the images of ballots and access to the machines.
Audits already conducted
An independent audit by the county was released Tuesday and showed that votes were correctly counted, the machines functioned properly, and the machines were not hacked or connected to the internet during the election.
The Senate wants voter information to be checked again and said it was not satisfied with existing efforts to audit and verify votes in the state.
Many Republicans believe that the 2020 election was conducted unfairly, and want assurances that votes were counted correctly amid numerous allegations of fraud.
No legal efforts or audits were able to find mistakes or errors that would have overturned any state election results, but allegations persist that the election was “stolen” by Democrats.