NewsArizona News


Arizona Senate seeking contempt charge in election fight

Posted at 3:17 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 12:28:51-05

PHOENIX — The Republican-controlled Arizona Senate has introduced a contempt resolution finding that Maricopa County has failed to comply with a subpoena demanding access to elections equipment and ballots cast in the November election.

The Senate introduced the resolution Wednesday afternoon. All 16 Republican senators are sponsors meaning it is virtually certain to pass.

If the resolution is enacted, board members could be jailed for failing to comply.

The GOP-dominated board on Tuesday again refused to comply with subpoenas GOP lawmakers issued as they try to show that fraud or other election misdeeds led to Democratic President Joe Biden's win in the state.

In newly leaked documents, attorneys representing Arizona Senate Republicans notified Maricopa County attorneys of the company the Senate is considering for the job: Allied Security Operations Group.

The company is most recently known for performing an audit on elections equipment in Atrim County, Michigan, and claiming to have discovered evidence of overwhelming errors, later proven false by Michigan Election officials after conducting a full hand recount.

One known name among the many resumes sent to Maricopa County, Col. Phil Waldron, who spoke before a group of Arizona Lawmakers in November, as a witness of the Trump Campaign. The unofficial meeting, led by former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, echoed conspiracy theories that focused on Dominion Voting Systems.

ABC15 analyst Garrett Archer, formerly aid to Secretary of State Michelle Regan, says hiring a firm with this background could be problematic.

“They’ve already published a government report that was full of inaccuracies on election procedures," said Archer. "A company that already has a stake in the game really shouldn’t be considered as someone who could conduct an independent audit.”

Maricopa County is already in the process of conducting one of two planned audits on its elections equipment. County officials hired Pro V&V and SLI Compliance to conduct a full check of the county's elections hardware and software used in 2020. Both companies hold active accreditation by the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission.

Still, the Arizona Senate argues the county's two audits won't be enough to reassure voters and some state leaders of a clean election.

Wednesday, the Senate introduced a resolution to hold the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in contempt of the legislature, for "failing to comply with its subpoenas", according to Senate Judiciary Committee leader Warren Petersen.

The Senate could vote as soon as Monday.

"The Arizona Senate Judiciary Chairman’s request is simple: Give them the ballots so Colonel Phil Waldron and his associates can examine them," said Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Vice-Chairman Bill Gates in response to the Senate's resolution. "Not only is it illegal under Arizona state law for this Board to turn over custody of the ballots, it is also unfathomable that the Arizona Senate has hired a known, and frequently debunked, conspiracy theorist to conduct their audit."