Maricopa County Supervisors Snub Senate Subpoena For Election Records

Maricopa County Supervisors Snub Senate Subpoena For Election Records

By Corinne Murdock |

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (BOS) won’t comply with the Arizona Senate’s subpoena for election records. The Senate has attempted to get these records from the county for a month.

In a response letter issued to State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-LD16), Government Committee chair, BOS Chair Bill Gates said that their staff and attorneys were too busy to respond by Townsend’s Wednesday deadline. Gates also insisted that Townsend’s subpoena wasn’t necessary.

“As you know, Maricopa County has made itself available to answer questions and provide information as requested, regardless if subpoenaed. It is not necessary for you to hand-deliver a letter or have a Senate President signed subpoena issued,” wrote Gates. 

Townsend rejected Gate’s excuse, describing it as a “willful and criminal” obstruction.

“[They] claim [they have] “no time due to court proceedings” [but] that would not be happening if they had followed their own policies,” tweeted Townsend. 

Townsend issued the subpoena on Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation by her committee on potential mismanagement of this most recent election. 

Townsend asked Gates to reconcile discrepancies between his Audit Reconciliation report and poll workers’ Precinct Ballot Reports. Gates’ report failed to reflect the poll workers’ disclosure that nearly 17,500 ballots appeared to lack a chain of custody from voting centers. 

Townsend also asked Gates to explain why a combined 23,900 ballots were held overnight instead of immediate reception at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC). She also requested delivery of the remaining Incoming Scan Receipts chain of custody documents, and the Goldenrod reports (Voting Location Event Forms) for every voting center.

Further, Townsend requested that Gates reconcile discrepancies between the Election Procedures Manual (EPM) and the county’s procedures pertaining to audit reconciliation and Official Ballot Reports (Precinct Ballot Reports). Gates was to also provide the Goldenrod reports and all communications between the audit manager, the Elections Director, and/or all judges and inspectors regarding the discrepancies. 

Townsend also asked Gates to explain why some voting centers calculated Election Day tabulated ballots from memory cards, while others were counted at Central Count. 

The senator also requested Gates explain the audit process when a Precinct Ballot Report is missing information like tabulated ballots, door 3 ballots, seals, or inspector and judge signatures; as well as explain  how election boards at each voting center account for the provisional and voided ballots on their Official Ballot Report to complete EPM reconciliation requirements, since that wasn’t included in the Precinct Ballot Report fields.

Gates was also requested to explain why the county’s Precinct Ballot Report form wasn’t updated for the voting center model to include a count of control slips as a way to quantify voting center check-ins.

In response to constituent complaints that Townsend should issue an arrest warrant for the board, Townsend explained repeatedly that committee chairs don’t have the power to issue warrants on their own. 

“[A warrant] requires a vote of the body and a majority prevailing,” stated Townsend.

Townsend has attempted for about a month to receive complete election record data from Maricopa County.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

House Republicans Sign Letter In Support Of Senate Audit, Urge Passage Of Election Integrity Bills

House Republicans Sign Letter In Support Of Senate Audit, Urge Passage Of Election Integrity Bills

By Terri Jo Neff |

As the State Senate’s audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 General Election results and procedures continues, the majority of House Republicans signed a letter last week proclaiming their support of Senate President Karen Fann’s efforts.

“Each of us remains steadfast and focused on working to safeguard against potential ballot tampering, voter fraud and other voting irregularities,” the April 29 letter states. “We firmly believe our elections must be lawfully conducted under the Constitution, as well as with federal and state election law.”

The signees include Reps. Brenda Barton, Leo Biasucci, Walt Blackman, Shawna Bolick, Judy Burges, Frank Carroll, Joseph Chaplik, David Cook, Timothy Dunn, John Filmore, Mark Finchem, Travis Grantham, Jake Hoffman, Steve Kaiser, John Kavanagh, Quang Nguyen, Joanne Osborne, Jacqueline Parker, Beverly Pingerelli, Jeff Weninger, and Justin Wilmeth.

According to the letter, the representatives are “fully committed to sorting through the verified evidence” once the Senate Audit is done and the auditors’ reports are available. Then they will work “to remedy verified irregularities” with the intent to increase voter trust. 

In the meantime, the signers told Fann it “is paramount” to pass other pending election integrity legislation such as SB1485, which would require all 15 counties to remove voters from the early ballot mailing list if those voters fail to utilize early voting for two full election cycles. About 207,000 voters could drop off the early ballot list, a process which does not impact a voter’s registration status.

Cleaning up the list will save counties money on printing and postage, according to SB1485 supporters, while also reducing opportunities for election misconduct by ensuring early ballots are only being sent to voters who intend to use them.

SB1485 has already cleared the House but is held up in the Senate due to a revolt in the Republican caucus by Sen. Kelly Townsend, who alleges bill sponsor Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita was responsible for “killing” more than a dozen of Townsend’s election-related bills.

The representatives’ April 29 letter was issued the same day the House voted 31 to 29 along party lines to approve SB1003, another bill sponsored by Ugenti-Rita, which will ensure counties follow the same process -and same deadline of 7 p.m. on election day- for curing early ballots received without the statutorily required signature on the voter affidavit.

Most counties reported a very small number of unsigned early ballot affidavits in the 2020 General Election, but the bill is one of several that Republicans say are necessary to promote consistency and voter confidence in election procedures used statewide.