Recount of Maricopa County’s general election ballots will proceed without interruption

Officials guide a truck into the loading area prior to unloading election equipment into the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the state fairgrounds, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Phoenix./Matt York

By Andrew Oxford | Arizona Republic

UIPDATE: A brief weekend pause in the Arizona Senate’s election audit that a judge ordered on Friday won’t happen because the Arizona Democratic Party declined to put up a $1 million bond that the judge requested to cover any expenses that the Senate wrongfully incurs due to the halt.

The county delivered all 2.1 million ballots to the Senate’s custody at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Thursday for the unprecedented recount, which was set to begin Friday morning.

But in a last-minute lawsuit, the Arizona Democratic Party and County Supervisor Steve Gallardo argued the process violates state election law in numerous ways. The lawsuit argues, for example, the Senate has not set up proper security to protect ballots, voting machines and voter information.

Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury said he wants to ensure the recount fully complies with Arizona law and asked for more information by Monday morning on the audit’s policies and procedures.

If Gallardo or the Democratic Party post a $1 million bond, the audit will be paused at 5 p.m., he said.

Republic reporter volunteering as audit observer can’t provide updates but can take notes.

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