Despite receiving the green light in February from a ruling by Judge Timothy Thomason to perform a forensic audit on the 2.1 ballots in Maricopa County, the battle over the audit continues. UncoverDC spoke with Mark Finchem (R-11) in March and reported the ongoing stand-off between the Senate and the Board of Supervisors concerning the enforceability of a forensic audit.
There is a “team on the ground” that is ready to go, as explained by Finchem in War Room Pandemic Podcast 853 today, and the Board of Supervisors is still stalling. The Board of Supervisors is 4:1 Republican.
As reported on April 1 by UncoverDC, a set of independent auditors has been chosen. Dominion claimed on March 31 that the audit firms chosen were “beyond biased” because of alleged involvement in conspiracy theories that contend the election was fraudulent. On April 1, the Board of Supervisors called an emergency meeting with its lawyers, and the audit was officially stalled again.
The latest tussle is over the location of the audit. Senate President, Karen Fann, requested that the forensic audit take place at the County facility where the ballots and equipment are currently housed to avoid unnecessary taxpayer expense and chain of custody issues.
Senate President Karen Fann said Friday that Maricopa County officials may be balking at cooperating with an audit of the 2020 election results because they fear what it might turn up. https://t.co/BrR1EDAcYj via @azcapmedia
— AZ Capitol Times (@AzCapitolTimes) April 4, 2021
In a letter dated April 1 to the Senate’s lawyer, Kory Langhofer, the Board’s lawyer, Stephen W. Tully, stated that the County “stands ready to comply with the subpoenas as written.” The letter continued, “there is no agreement regarding performing the audit at Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (“MCTEC”) and the request to perform any audit, recount or other related activities at MCTEC is beyond the scope of the subpoenas issued.” That is to say, Fann was directed to find her own secure facility to audit the ballots and machines.
UncoverDC requested a statement from Finchem who said this about the lack of compliance by the Board of Supervisors:
“Failure to comply with the Elections Procedure Manual is a Class II Misdemeanor. The Maricopa Supervisors failed to comply because they still have not transferred custody and maintenance of the ballots to the County Treasurer as prescribed by law. The question now is, will the current Secretary of State press the issue. That is not likely since she is on record as supporting the Supervisors in their ongoing attempts to deny access to ballots and equipment for the purposes of conducting a legitimate forensic audit. The propaganda game that both the Secretary of State and the Supervisors are engaged in tells us that there is something they do not want the People to know about. After all, the election belongs to the PEOPLE, not elected officials.”
Finchem thinks the delays are suspect. It is a “propaganda machine” that has “swung into gear.” He continued, “It is the old Alinsky tactic. Let’s marginalize the guys because that’s the only argument they are going to have.” He also contends that the transfer hasn’t taken place because of what he saw in a letter to the Board of Supervisors from AZ Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs, that indicates she is siding with the Board of Supervisors:
This morning, I wrote the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, asking them to “do what is necessary to protect our voters and our democracy." If the Senate’s intent was to build confidence in elections they wouldn’t have hired these conspiracy theorists.
Full letter below ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/zWEyOFtOzP
— Secretary Katie Hobbs (@SecretaryHobbs) April 2, 2021
Finchem’s response in his weekly newsletter on April 4 explains his position on the letter from Hobbs:
“The Senate President has named the Forensic Audit Team to examine the Maricopa County component of the November 3, 2020 election. It will not be cheap, it will not be fast, but it will be fact-based and the highest possible quality. What the Maricopa Supervisors and even Secretary of State Katie Hobbs don’t get is, this is not their election, it is the PEOPLE’S election, and there is an overwhelming interest to conduct a forensic audit to verify that the 2020 General Election was fraud-free and fair. This is what has the leftist Secretary of State Katie Hobbs—who is suddenly interested in supporting the blockage of the PEOPLES election examination—has to say, [footnotes removed for brevity]…”
Finchem explains in the podcast where things stand today on the audit. The ballots have to be transferred to the custody of the county treasurer. Since the Board of Supervisors is refusing to allow the audit in the current facility, a secure facility will have to be located. Politically, Finchem explained, the tide is beginning to shift because even John Brakey, a Democrat who has long been a champion of election integrity, has now “partnered up” with Finchem. He says they can and will fight this all the way, but this audit is “not going to go away.”
According to Finchem, the best guess is that Senate will proceed with their plan, only “they are going to do it someplace else.” At that point, the Board of Supervisors no longer has a valid argument to stop the audit. He continued, “I am so proud of Karen Fann…she is resolute. This is gonna happen. It’s gonna happen by our plan, and if we need to go offsite, if you’re not going to accommodate us, fine.”
Currently, there are two recalls in the state of Arizona. One is the recall of the Governor, Doug Ducey (R-AZ), and the other is a recall of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors. Finchem believes that a recall of the Governor is tough, but a recall of the Board of Supervisors is “getting close on its collection of signatures.” If the required number of signatures are collected, the recall will be put on the ballot.
“This is the most embarrassing political event in this state’s history,” Finchem added, “… And I don’t know how this stands with people who sacrificed so much to get these clowns in office…If you want to be involved in politics and you want to see to it that this doesn’t happen again…you have to get involved. You can’t just sit on the couch and eat Cheetos.”
Finchem has just officially announced a run for AZ Secretary of State.
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