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Arizona Supreme Court Allows Publication of 2020 Election Audit Records

Phoenix — Tuesday’s Arizona Supreme Court rejected efforts by the State Senate to keep a secret record of ongoing reviews of the 2020 elections in Maricopa County, owned by a recounting contractor.

The uncommented High Court dismissed the appeal filed after both the Court of Appeals and the Court of First Instance ruled that the document was a public record that had to be published. The court also canceled the stay of the Court of Appeals’ decision, which came into force on August 24, so that it could review the records and decide whether to accept the appeal.

The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled that a document detailing how to perform recounts and audits, as requested by oversight group American Oversight, has been published and needs to be submitted.

Republicans who control the Senate have been trying for months to keep secret how contractors are recounting. They argued that the records were maintained by Senate contractors and therefore were not subject to public records law and were subject to legal immunity. However, the Court of Appeals dismissed the allegation in a ruling on August 19.

The court said the prime contractor, Florida company Cyber ​​Ninjas, was subject to record law because it served the core government function performed by the Senate.

“Allowing the legislature to ignore the explicit mission of (Public Records Act) impairs the completeness and transparency of the legislative process. This is both the principle of immunity and (law). Contradicts the purpose of the three judges, who serve as Judge Maria Elena Cruz, “written for a panel of three judges.

“The requested record is also a public record, just because it is owned by a third-party cyber ninja,” Cruz wrote later in the ruling.

Cyber ​​Samurai spokesman Rod Thomson did not immediately respond to the request for comment, nor did Senate spokesman Mike Phillipsen.

It is unknown when the record will actually be released. There will be a hearing of the status meeting scheduled for Thursday before the judge of the Trial Court who issued the original order.

The Court of Appeals decision came in a proceeding filed by American Oversight, which is fighting for transparency in the recount of elections, and upheld the decision of the Maricopa County Superior Court. The judge also ordered the Senate to submit audit records held by the Senate, which were released on August 31.

“Alizonas can expect very much needed transparency, even if it may reveal a serious attack on democracy itself,” said Austin, Executive Director of American Oversight.・ Evers said in a statement.

Unprecedented party recounts and election result reviews in the state’s most populous counties show no evidence that former President Donald Trump was defeated in the state and in Arizona and other fierce battle states for fraud. Was prompted by his claim.

Senate Republicans have issued summons to Maricopa County for all ballots for 2020, the machines that counted them, and other data for the state’s most populous counties.

The material was handed over to a contractor who had little or no election experience, which Senator Karen Huang called a “court audit.” According to election experts, the 2020 elections are safe and successful, and contractors use strange and unreliable procedures. Maricopa County refused to participate further.

The results of audits and manual recounts will be handed over to the Senate at any time, but with repeated delays.

•• Associated Press writer Jonathan J. Cooper contributed to this report.

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Arizona Supreme Court Allows Publication of 2020 Election Audit Records

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