by Sharon Rondeau
(May 19, 2021) — On Tuesday Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann (R) chaired a hearing stemming from the Maricopa County election audit which she claimed was launched to answer questions from voters as to the integrity of the state’s election processes.
She recounted that an earlier audit she requested of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors was resisted, with members claiming they had no “legislative authority” to proceed. She said, however, in response, “the Judicial Committee issued two subpoenas that would give the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors the authority to do more forensic audits.”
A lawsuit was then filed over the subpoenas, Fann said, with the subpoenas approved by a superior court judge in February.
“From that time on, it has been nothing but delays, delays, delays,” Fann continued. “Every time we have asked them to please work with us on this, we have received nothing but pushback to the point where they don’t even want to answer our simplest questions. This is frustrating…”
None of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors appeared for the hearing, Fann noted.
In a letter written last Wednesday, Fann alleged to the Supervisors three major categories of concerns she has arising from materials and data provided or withheld, including what she said is a “deleted” main database of returns from the November 3, 2020 election.
Also missing were passwords to election-tabulation equipment.
Video of the hearing is available here.
Fann said she expects the audit will not reveal any major aberrations and that its purpose is to not “overturn the election” which declared Democrat Joe Biden the winner of Arizona’s 11 electoral votes.
The Trump campaign disputed that finding and the fact that the Fox News “Decision Desk” called the state early for Biden, without Maricopa and Pinal Counties having finished their tabulation of ballots.
Last week 45th President of the United States Donald J. Trump opined, “The DELETION of an entire Database and critical Election files of Maricopa County is unprecedented. Many other States to follow.”
On May 17, the Board of Supervisors responded to Fann’s letter, calling her allegations “false, defamatory, and beneath the dignity of the Senate.”
“You have rented out the once good name of the Arizona State Senate to grifters and con-artists, who are fundraising hard-earned money from our fellow citizens even as your contractors parade around the Coliseum, hunting for bamboo and something they call ‘kinematic artifacts’while shining purple lights for effect,” the Board’s letter states on page 2. “None of these things are done in a serious audit. The result is that the Arizona Senate is held up to ridicule in every corner of the globe and our democracy is imperiled.”
The Supervisors then answered Fann’s questions.
“As County elected officials, we come from different political parties, but we stand united together to defend the Constitution and the Republic in our opposition to the Big Lie,” the Board wrote on page 13. “We ask everyone to join us in standing for the truth.The November 3, 2020 general election was free and fair and conducted by the Elections Department with integrity and honor.”
“The Big Lie” likely refers to Trump’s claim that he, and not Biden, won Arizona and the 2020 general election.
In its letter, the Board of Supervisors pledged no additional cooperation with the State Senate relating to the audit.
The audit is paused this week, as the Veterans Memorial Coliseum where it is taking place is serving as the location of several graduation ceremonies.