Arizona House Democrats
LETTER: to Maricopa County Board of Supervisors regarding lawsuit against State Senate
Maricopa Board of Supervisors
Attn: Chairman Jack Sellers, Supervisors Steve Chucri,
Bill Gates, Clint Hickman and Steve Gallardo
Maricopa Board of Supervisors
301 West Jefferson Street, #10
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
Monday, March 1, 2021
Members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors,
We are writing to urge you to reconsider your decision not to appeal the judge's ruling in your lawsuit against the state senate. The public is rightly outraged that their secret ballots will now fall into the hands of politicians who – with no credible evidence – have publicly cast doubt on the integrity and accuracy of the county's election. Your decision not to appeal guarantees that future requests for direct viewing of individual voter ballots will become a feature of any Arizona election going forward in which any legislative committee chair disagrees with the outcome, including in their own elections or yours.
By all accounts, including the two independent audits that were conducted by nationally certified auditors, the hand count audit performed after the election, as well as all of the legal scrutiny in each of the nine lawsuits that the county won, the 2020 general election was secure and accurate. Those lawsuits alleging fraud or misconduct in Arizona’s elections all failed because those challenging the election lacked even a kernel of evidence to back up their claims. Handing over individual voter’s ballots to the senate will only serve to fuel discredited conspiracy theories and undermine the voters' confidence in our free and fair elections.
There are ample grounds for you to appeal Judge Thomason's decision. Chief among them are his assumptions that the word "person" in the statute that makes it unlawful to show a ballot to any person does not include governmental officials and that the senators will be willing and able to protect the security and confidentiality of the ballots and voting machines. The judge made those assumptions without an evidentiary hearing on how the senate would protect the chain of custody of the materials as well as the security and confidentiality of the 2.1 million ballots that the senate wants to scrutinize. Additionally, the judge acknowledged that there can be "unusual circumstances" in which a voter's ballot, when reviewed by a government official, would not remain secret. This admission by the judge demonstrates that the senate cannot guarantee the secrecy of every Maricopa County voter's ballot.
It was apparent from the debate on the senate floor regarding holding each of you in contempt for failing to comply with every demand in the senate's subpoena that the senate is motivated by the misguided belief that something nefarious happened in our elections last year. Each of you knows full well that there is simply no factual basis for that conclusion. For that reason, we urge you not to let the senate diminish or confiscate your separately elected authority. You oversee the elections, and you did so with integrity and transparency. You have a sacred obligation to every voter to make sure their ballot is not handed over to anyone who cannot guarantee its security. We urge you not to let the senate convince you otherwise.
Each of the legislators who signed below will stand firm with you if you decide to appeal Judge Thomason's ruling. The public needs your courage now more than ever. The privacy of their vote and the security of our voting equipment depend on your resolve to stand up to the senate and protect our elections.