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 corinne@azfreenews.com.