The county delivered all 2.1 million ballots to the Senate’s custody at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Thursday for the unprecedented recount, which was set to begin Friday morning. In February, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason ruled that the Arizona Senate can obtain access to 2.1 million ballots and election equipment from Arizona’s most populous county, giving the green light to audit results of the November 2020 election.
In a last-minute lawsuit, however, the Arizona Democratic Party and County Supervisor Steve Gallardo, filed a lawsuit Thursday in an effort to stop the state Senate audit. The suit calls for a temporary restraining order to prevent the audit, arguing that the Senate has not set up proper security to protect ballots, voting machines and voter information.
Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury said he wants to ensure the recount fully complies with Arizona law and asked for more information by Monday morning on the audit’s policies and procedures, AZ Central reported.
If Gallardo or the Democratic Party post a $1 million bond, the audit will be paused at 5 p.m., the judge said, adding, “I do not want to micromanage and it is not the posture of this court to micromanage or even to manage the process by which another branch of government, the Legislature, the Arizona state senate proceeds”.
“However, it is the province of the court to ensure voter information and those constitutional protections are held sacrosanct and that also includes the protection of ballots under Arizona law,” Coury said. Continued Below
AZ Central reported:
Kory Langhofer, an attorney for the state Senate, argued the Senate enjoys legislative immunity and cannot be sued over the recount now. And he argued that the separation of powers prevents the courts from even stopping the audit.
Coury set another hearing for 11 a.m. Monday. Continued Below
A brief weekend pause in the Arizona Senate’s election audit that a judge ordered on Friday won’t happen as the Arizona Democratic Party declined to put up a $1 million bond that the judge requested, AZ Mirror reported.
Read more on the update HERE.
AZ GOP Party tweeted Friday:
AUDIT UPDATE: Maricopa County Superior Court has ruled that AZ audit will be paused at 5PM today (to allow for appeal) until Monday 12PM IF plaintiffs provide $1million bond for damages. Judge said "The audit will proceed" but he wants to review policies and procedures in place.
— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) April 23, 2021
Arizona State Rep. Mark Finchem (R) gave an update from Maricopa on Friday, explaining the attempt by the Democrats who are trying to block the election audit at the 11th hour: