The audit continues in Maricopa county and Maricopa Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin conducted a review hearing on Tuesday at 11 a.m. pursuant to a continuation ordered by Judge Coury on Friday. Judge Martin decided to allow the audit to continue pending further arguments tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., MST.
Tomorrow the judge may decide whether to hear ex parte testimony that proves the firms hired to perform the audit have the physical, cyber, and personnel procedures in place to protect the rights of the voters of Maricopa County. Judge Martin gave no indication as to whether he thinks further delays are necessary to hear the case. Per discussions heard during the hearing, neither party wants the case delayed inordinately. However, Judge Martin mentioned that it may be necessary to send the case to the Court of Appeals, depending on his ruling tomorrow. The judge said there could be a “special action and temporary restraining order (TRO) at the same time.”
The Arizona Democratic Party and a Maricopa County Board Supervisor filed a complaint arguing the audit violates state law, as reported by UncoverDC. On Friday, Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury allowed the audit to continue with a hearing set for Monday. However, the hearing was delayed until Tuesday because Judge Coury recused himself on Sunday “after he discovered one of Cyber Ninjas’ attorneys had served as an extern with Coury within the past five years,” according to the Arizona Daily Independent.
In today’s hearing, neither side changed its stance. The plaintiffs in the case argued that Cyber Ninjas, the lead party in the audit, has not provided adequate proof of its ability to conduct a secure and confidential audit of the ballots. The Defendants argued that they have a right to protect their procedures and policies from review by the plaintiffs because, their client, the Republican led state Senate, has not been waived from privilege in the case. Importantly, Attorney Alexander Kolodin, who spoke on behalf of the legislature told the judge that “this is the audit of the legislature,” not an audit to litigate the results of the 2020 election. “Nothing went wrong is an acceptable response” as a result of our audit, he continued.
One of the issues that concerns the plaintiffs is the privacy of the ballot information. Maricopa County Board Supervisor Steve Gallardo has made it clear that he believes voter information, like how a person voted, will be exposed and unsecured in the audit.
— Supervisor Steve Gallardo (@Steve_Gallardo) April 26, 2021
As an affiant in the complaint, he must be truthful about what kind of information the auditors actually see. The complaint says, “Plaintiff ADP will suffer irreparable harm…because the private information of its members, including how they voted in the 2020 election—will be place into the hands of unknown, untrained agents of the Private Auditors…” Below is the full text in a screenshot from the complaint.
However, as reported by AZCentral, “the auditors do not have access to information that would show who voters voted for.” UncoverDC spoke with AZ Rep. Mark Finchem earlier today. He explained that Gallardo knows “full well that, upon receipt, the envelopes are separated from the ballots never to be re-associated with the voters intent. The statement in the complaint deceived the court.”
Arizona AG, Mark Brnovich rejected Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs’ call for an investigation into the “potential violations of Arizona’s election laws in connection with the Senate’s ‘audit’ of the Maricopa County election materials.” According to The Star Tribune, Brnovich wrote in a letter to Hobbs, “Any such complaints, however, must be based on credible facts and not conjecture of politics.” He added that the separation of powers “demands deference” to the audit ordered by the Republican-led state Senate. Hobbs letter can be found, in full, below:
The recusal of Judge Coury has directed attention toward the new Judge in the case because of prior associations. According to activist and former candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives Liz Harris, Judge Martin was appointed by former Governor Napolitano who is a Democrat. She also stated that Judge Martin is “said to have a past relationship with Perkins Coie” which was one of the signers of a letter claiming that the auditors hired were essentially biased and, as a result, would likely “violate both federal and Arizona law” with their prospective forensic audit.
*UncoverDC investigated his alleged relationship with Perkins Coie and it turns out the relationship may not be as close as Harris is implying. His bio states that he was an Associate Attorney with Brown & Bain P.A. in Phoenix. Brown and Bain was later acquired by Perkins Coie. Judge Martin appeared to be measured in his responses and seemed to listen intently to the concerns of those present at the hearing.
As reported by UncoverDC, Liz Harris has been heavily involved in a grassroots election integrity effort with her team of canvassers who went door to door to verify voters. Harris found material issues with the voter records and her efforts were part of the reason the audit has moved forward. She provided a preview update of the hearing on Tuesday.
Arizona State GOP Chairwoman speaks with audit director, Ken Bennett about the non-partisan audit below. Ken Bennett, who was the former Secretary of State, is the liaison for the full forensic audit.
Notably, in the hearing today, it was mentioned that the Democratic Party had declined to participate in the audit. Bennett confirms below that the Democratic Executive Director refused to be involved. Bennett says he “wants everyone involved in this.” He also said some individuals who vote Democrat have stepped up to help.
Despite legal threats from the Democrats, "America's Audit" continues. Arizona Republican Chairwoman @kelliwardaz talks with Audit Director Ken Bennett regarding the audit progress and non-partisan approach. What's got the Democrats so panicked? One word: TRANSPARENCY#AZAudit pic.twitter.com/SxEbPkamtl
— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) April 27, 2021
The audit can be viewed live by choosing the desired feed on the page link below:
*This was a “breaking news article.” UncoverDC has added and corrected information above to clarify the relationship between Judge Martin and Perkins Coie alleged by Liz Harris in her video prior to the hearing. UncoverDC also clarifies the privacy of voter information issue in the correction.