Arizona Democrats sue to try to stop Senate’s election audit just before it begins

By Jen Fifield, Andrew Oxford |Arizona Republic

Just before the Arizona Senate Republicans’ hand count of all Maricopa County ballots cast in the November presidential election begins, Democrats are suing to try to stop it.

The Arizona Democratic Party and Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court on Thursday saying that the audit is unlawful and asking a judge to stop it from proceeding.

The complaint alleges the Senate’s audit, which is set to begin Friday, is violating state election law in numerous ways, including by not setting up proper security to protect ballots, voting machines and voter information.

This is harmful, they write, because their private information “will be placed into the hands of unknown, untrained agents of the private auditors” without the safeguards outlined in state law.

“The sole reason for this lawsuit and injunctions is to protect the sanctity of the ballots and more importantly to preserve voters’ privacy from a sham audit that has been corrupted by agitators and conspiracy theorists,” Gallardo said Thursday on Twitter. 

Senate President Karen Fann said in response to the lawsuit that she is confident that the Senate’s procedures are secure and fair, with bipartisan review.

“We are keeping the sanctity of the ballots,” she said.

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