WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, Oct. 4, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Republican Party of Arizona filed a lawsuit against the Maricopa County recorder and other Maricopa County election officials requesting information related to the “staffing and composition of polling place Election Boards, Special Election Boards, and Central Counting Boards.” The plaintiffs allege that during the August 2022 primary, 11 voting centers in Maricopa County “lacked even a single Republican poll worker.” Thus, the Republican plaintiffs are requesting “documentation that demonstrates the County’s efforts to hire Republican poll workers at the 11 voting locations.” Additionally, the RNC requests “[d]ocuments sufficient to identify the respective numbers of registered Republicans, registered Democrats, and individuals with other or no political party affiliations who have been hired” to administer the 2022 midterm elections. The Republican plaintiffs argue that not providing this information “prevents [them] from monitoring election activity in the most populous county with highly competitive races for statewide offices.” The Republican plaintiffs ask the court to issue a writ of mandamus (a court order compelling a party to take a certain action) requiring the defendants to produce the information they demand regarding poll workers and other election administrators.
This litigation stems from the RNC demanding election administrator information last month. On Sept. 9, the RNC submitted a letter to the Maricopa County attorney’s office to demand that the county contact all the “prospective workers” that the RNC supplied Maricopa County with and ensure that the “County will make best efforts to achieve complete parity between Republicans and Democrats in each location and board.” In that letter, the RNC stated that it was “prepared to pursue all available legal remedies if [Maricopa County] fail[ed] to respond to this letter or adequately explain the issues discussed.” To this letter, an attorney for Maricopa County responded that it was not a public records request, but “[r]ather, it was a demand letter, which threatened litigation. The letter nowhere referenced the public records law nor stated it was it making a public records request, and the County certainly did not understand it as such.”
Ultimately, yesterday’s lawsuit is part of a larger trend of Republicans attempting to acquire information about poll workers. These requests come at a time when Republicans continue to spread the “Big Lie” and put election workers at risk. In September, the RNC filed a similar lawsuit in Nevada in which it demanded that Clark County “immediately produce public records containing verifiable information about poll workers’ party identification/affiliation.”