WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, the Arizona Superior Court in Maricopa County denied the state Senate’s request to dismiss a case seeking records of the Republican-led “audit” of the 2020 election. The case, filed by the nonpartisan watchdog group American Oversight, asks for the release of all documents relating to the audit of the 2020 Maricopa County election results.
The Arizona state Senate had previously claimed it could not release the full suite of documentation because much of it was in the hands of the private firms they hired to conduct the audit. If this excuse is allowed to stand, said a lawyer for American Oversight upon the case’s filing, it means “the Senate or any other public body in Arizona could circumvent public records laws by using public money to hire private contractors to perform government functions and instructing those contractors to maintain sole custody, control and possession of records.”
The Superior Court agreed when it dismissed the state Senate’s motion to dismiss. “It is difficult to conceive of a case with a more compelling public interest demanding public disclosure and public scrutiny,” says the ruling. The court “completely rejects Senate Defendants’ argument” that the use of private firms to conduct the audit exempts the resulting records from disclosure requirements under the state’s public records law. The state Senate must now release requested documentation about the audit.