I didn’t expect needing police protection over ‘no’ vote on contempt against supervisors

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Opinion: There was no way I could vote to possibly arrest and jail supervisors for abiding the law on locking up election ballots. I didn’t anticipate the hate.

By Paul Boyer | Opinion contributor/The Republic

Go to jail or break the law.

Those were the two options facing the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in the wake of the 2020 presidential election.

My colleagues in the state Senate issued a subpoena demanding an audit of the ballots and the machines from the Nov. 3 election. The supervisors objected to this based on the plain reading of the law, which led to my colleagues entertaining a vote of contempt.

Contempt per Arizona Revised Statutes §41-1153 is more than an expression of disapproval. It calls for arrest and a Class 2 misdemeanor, which carries a presumptive sentence of up to six months in jail.

After discussing the matter with both sides, I knew we had to take contempt charges off the table. If we were going to come to a civil resolution, we could not have possible jail time hanging over the heads of duly elected supervisors like the sword of Damocles.

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