BREAKING: Judge rules Maricopa County must provide 2020 ballots to Arizona Senate for audit under subpoenas

Maricopa County Elections employee Charles Cooley tabulates the few thousand remaining ballots at the Maricopa County Elections headquarters in Phoenix, Ariz., on November 12, 2020./David Wallace/The Republic

By Jen Fifield | Arizona Republic

Maricopa County must turn over ballots from the November general election to the Arizona Senate and provide the Senate access to its voting machines so it can conduct an audit, a judge ruled on Friday.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason said that the subpoenas issued by the Arizona Senate are valid. He said he disagreed with the county’s arguments that they were unlawful and that the county legally could not hand over the ballots.

The decision may resolve a months-long feud between the supervisors and the Senate over how the election should be audited.

The Senate wants another audit of ballots and a careful check of voter information, while the county believes its multiple audits have been sufficient and says the ballots must remain sealed under state law.

Thomason emphasized in his ruling that he did not want to wade into the politics of the issue.

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