Arizona judge says audit documents — including who is paying for recount — are public records

Judge Michael Kemp said “any and all” records with a “substantial nexus” to the audit are public records,

By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic

The audit of the Maricopa County ballots from the 2020 general election continues on July 14, 2021, in the Wesley Bolin Building at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix.

A Maricopa County Superior Court Judge on Thursday ruled that communications between Senate Republicans, the company called Cyber Ninjas and other vendors they hired to audit Maricopa County’s 2020 election are public documents.

Related: Senate threatens lawsuit if Maricopa County balks at potential subpoenas

The nonprofit group American Oversight sued Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, and the Senate, seeking communications with the companies regarding what the senators call a “forensic audit” of the election that Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden. The Senate asked for the case to be dismissed, but Kemp refused.

American Oversight was formed to investigate the Trump administration, and its founders have Democratic ties.

“It is difficult to conceive of a case with a more compelling public interest demanding public disclosure and public scrutiny,” Kemp said in his order.

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