Judge Calls Temporary Halt to Arizona Election Audit (Dreamstime)
BOB CHRISTIE and JONATHAN J. COOPER Friday, 23 April 2021 03:21 PM
An Arizona judge on Friday temporarily halted an audit of the 2020 election results from Maricopa County as long as Democrats put up $1 million to fund any potential increase in costs.
The audit including a hand recount of 2.1 million ballots is being conducted on behalf of Republicans in the state Senate, who have hired a cybersecurity firm with no election experience owned by a man who shared unfounded allegations of election fraud on his since-deleted Twitter account.
Democrats did not immediately say whether they'd put up the money. Maricopa County judge Christopher Coury said all auditing activities should be stopped between 5 p.m. Friday and noon Monday, saying he wants to know the policies in procedures in place so he can decide next week whether the auditors are operating legally.
A lawyer for the Senate, Kory Langhofer, had asked that any halt be delayed so he could immediatly appeal.
The Arizona Democratic Party and the lone Democrat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors filed suit on Thursday saying Senate GOP leaders are failing to uphold their promises to maintain ballot secrecy and voter privacy.
Those assurances were given by Senate President Karen Fann and Judiciary Chairman Warren Petersen earlier this year when a judge ordered the county to hand over all 2.1 million ballots and the machines used to count them.