A judge denied a request by Arizona Democrats to halt a Republican-backed 2020 election audit in Maricopa County.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin, who was assigned to the case on Monday after the first judge recused himself, also rejected on Wednesday a motion by Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based consulting firm hired by the GOP-led Arizona Senate, to keep its audit policies and procedures under seal. During a livestream hearing, the judge ordered that the documents be made public by noon on Thursday, barring action by a higher court.
The Arizona Democratic Party and Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo, the sole Democrat on the board, sued to stop the audit last week, raising concerns about adherence to state election laws and regulations. The review, which includes 2.1 million ballots cast, a forensic audit of the voting machines, and follow-up interviews with voters, has been subject to intense scrutiny for other issues too, including media access and questions raised about who is funding the effort on top of the $150,000 being doled out by the state Senate.
But, so far, Martin determined that there is no reason to stop the audit from proceeding.
“The record presented by plaintiffs, including a number of sworn declarations, contain instances of concerning conduct and expert opinion as to whether the audit complies with law and best practices but no substantive evidence of any breaches or threatened breaches of voter privacy,” Martin said Wednesday.
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