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Maricopa County and Dominion refuse to comply with audit subpoenas

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and Dominion Voting Systems refused Monday to provide additional material requested in subpoenas from Republicans in the Arizona Senate. 

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Republican Senator Warren Petersen issued the subpoenas on July 26, seeking materials to help private contractors finish a controversial audit of Maricopa County’s November election ballots. 

The subpoena demanded that Maricopa County and Dominion provide routers that were used in the elections, security information for accessing tabulating machines, network data logs, mail-ballot envelopes, certain voter registration records and any records related to alleged data breaches around the time of the election.

Maricopa County again refused to turn over its routers, citing possible security risks. Thomas Liddy, a county attorney, said that producing the equipment could expose “confidential data belonging to Maricopa County citizens” or make law enforcement’s communications’ infrastructure “extremely vulnerable to hackers.” 

Liddy also said that previous audits demonstrated the tabulation equipment was never connected to the Internet and that the county already provided information to prove that.

“Anyone with sufficient knowledge and understanding of elections is able to confirm, through a review of these logs or through an inspection of the tabulators, that the equipment was not connected to the internet and had no wifi devices installed,” Liddy wrote. 

In his response, Liddy noted that Maricopa County already provided some of the other information that the Senate requested and said there may be ways for the county to contribute other documents sought through a public records request. He asserted that the Board of Supervisors “is not aware of any ‘breach'” during the time period that the subpoena asked about. 

Dominion, which makes the election equipment used by Maricopa County, also refused to comply with the request, calling it “illegal and unenforceable.” Dominion said that it only provides its security keys and confidential passwords to “authorized recipients” that are “specifically approved by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission” and complying with the subpoena “would cause grave harm.”

In a statement, Fann said she saw some progress in the efforts to get Maricopa County to cooperate, but criticized the lack of full compliance, according to The Arizona Republic

“It is unfortunate the noncompliance by the County and Dominion continues to delay the results and breeds distrust,” Fann said. 

The state Senate isn’t in session, so it cannot vote to hold officials in contempt for non-compliance with subpoenas. 

Earlier this year, Maricopa County turned over 2.1 million ballots, hundreds of tabulating machines and a trove of election data after a judge ruled that a subpoena from Fann requesting the equipment was valid. The ballots and material were given to private contractors conducting the audit in April. The audit is being led by Cyber Ninjas, a firm with no prior experience in official election audits and one whose founder has promoted conspiracy theories about the election. 

Last week the audit team disclosed which groups have been paying for the audit. The team says it has received $5.6 million, mostly from groups whose leaders have said widespread voter fraud led to President Biden’s victory. 

President Biden won Arizona by 10,457 votes in November. The audit will not change the results of the election. Fann has said that her goal is not to overturn Mr. Biden’s victory, but would help determine if changes need to be made going forward. 

The process has been criticized by election experts, independent observers and Maricopa County’s GOP-dominated Board of Supervisors

“Arizona Senate leadership hired the wrong people, enabling and enriching unvetted, unqualified, private companies with known biases who never should have touched federally-certified elections equipment or the people’s ballots,” Jack Sellers, the Republican Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement on Monday. 

The team running the audit finished counting the ballots last week, but it may still be weeks before a report is ready. 

Last week, former Arizona Republican Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who has served as the Senate’s liaison to the audit, said he was planning to step down because of transparency issues. Fann and Bennett said in a statement on Friday that Bennett “will continue serving as the Senate’s Liaison to the audit.”

“With his expertise in Arizona elections and his firsthand knowledge of the ongoing audit, Ken and the Senate team will have full access to all audit work spaces, procedures, and data as we verify the draft findings when completed,” the statement said. 

In a letter to senators on Monday, Sellers threatened to go to court if the report alleges wrongdoing in the election. 

“The Board has real work to do and little time to entertain this adventure in never-never land. Please finish whatever it is you’re doing and release whatever it is you’re going to release,” Sellers wrote, warning that the state senators should “be prepared to defend any accusations of misdeeds in court.”


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