WASHINGTON, D.C. — The nonpartisan watchdog group American Oversight sued the Arizona state Senate on Wednesday, asking for the release of all documents relating to the Republican-led audit of the 2020 Maricopa County election results. The lawsuit is one of many record requests the group has filed since the start of the audit. The state Senate had previously claimed they 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, 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.”
Any organization or agency receiving state funds must maintain records of how they are used, according to Arizona’s Public Records Law. The suit asks the judge to enforce compliance with this law and seeks the release of all records related to the audit from both the state Senate and private audit firms.