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Maricopa officials blast attorney general for election report

Arizona Election Review
Posted at 1:45 PM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-04 22:43:59-04

PHOENIX — Republican officials who oversee elections in Maricopa County issued a blistering retort to GOP Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

Arizona State Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in an interim report last month that his office found “problematic, system wide issues” with how the 2020 election was conducted.

Wednesday at a special meeting of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, they said in no uncertain terms that he did not.

The county’s five supervisors, four republicans and one democrat, voted unanimously to send a response letter to the attorney general disputing point-by-point the findings released in his interim investigation. Even going so far as to use his own words against him noting that Brnovich said in November of 2020 that former president Donald Trump’s loss in Arizona was attributable to people “splitting their ticket” by voting for Republicans down ballot but choosing to either vote for Joe Biden or someone else for President.

One main finding by Brnovich was 100 to 200 thousand ballots had “chain of custody” issues due to missing information on a form used to transfer early ballots from polling locations to the tabulation warehouse. Maricopa county refuted this saying the error rate for transfer slips was less than 1% and that even with the error present there is no evidence that ballots were transported unsealed or were compromised.

Brnovich accused the county of being uncooperative in the investigation. County officials disputed this providing a detailed log of communications with election investigators for the past two years. In his remarks to the board, Richer pointed out that those same investigators acknowledged his office’s cooperation in emails.

The response also addresses an appearance by Brnovich on the podcast of popular right wing influencer Steve Bannon where he claimed that the county was using artificial intelligence to verify early ballot signatures. Richer insisted that every signature on early ballot envelopes is reviewed by humans and at no time are they evaluated by machine.

The county officials issued a nine-page response Wednesday after Brnovich last month released an “interim report” on his findings in a criminal investigation of the 2020 election.

The five Maricopa County supervisors have never minced words on what they have said are politically motivated investigations into the 2020 election. Each one Wednesday pushed back on the Attorney General. Supervisor Thomas Galvin, a republican, called Brnovich a “rogue attorney general” while democrat Steve Gallardo took aim at Brnovich’s campaign for US Senate, saying that “when he loses, and I’m sure he will, you will never hear him speak about the 2020 election again.”

"When election integrity is challenged, we have the collective responsibility to investigate and report our conclusions thoroughly and honestly. We have. You have not," the Board of Supervisors wrote.

"Today, we call on you to correct the record. For the health of our democracy. For the safety and wellbeing of our public servants. For the sake of your conscience and the oath of office you swore," wrote the Board of Supervisors. "The letter you sent to Senator Fann and released to the public was replete with misrepresentations, omissions, and misstatements."

The response claimed that the attorney general has never issued an interim report in any other investigation. When reached for comment, Attorney General Mark Brnovich issued this statement to ABC 15:

“While many people are frustrated, the important thing to remember is that we should all want the same thing – fair elections that maintain accuracy and promote public confidence. Hurling accusations and holding divisive press conferences will not move us any closer to that goal. Our interim report identifies serious issues that must be addressed before the 2022 election, and we are continuing our audit investigation.”