When planning your financial future it’s also important to pay attention to world news, recently some political news from Arizona has appeared.
On 22nd April 2020, the Arizona Democratic Party filed a lawsuit in the Maricopa County Superior Court. The lawsuit has been filed as a last-minute attempt to prevent the state’s senate from auditing Maricopa County’s 2020 election results.
The Arizona Democratic Party has the support of Steve Gallardo, the only democrat out of the four members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. The Democratic Party, along with Steve Gallardo, argues that the planned audit will violate multiple statutory Election Procedures Manual’s provisions.
To understand why the Arizona Democratic Party is against the audit and wants a legal probe, it’s first important to know how the planned audit came into the picture.
The Bill Behind The Planned Audit
Warren Petersen, a Republican State Senator, introduced the bill to address the legal conflicts surrounding the Democrats’ lawsuit. The bill was passed in the Senate of Arizona in February and hasn’t been passed by the House yet.
Senate Bill 1408 aims to amend the Arizona status in a way that county election equipment, systems, records, and other similar information would “no longer be deemed as privileged or confidential information that should be protected from disclosure”.
In addition to the disclosure of information, the bill states that a subpoena must be produced in subject to such records. Most importantly, the legislature’s authority to conduct probe in the matters of the bill can’t be infringed by any other law, as it holds the upper hand.
Result Of The Arizona Senate Bill 1408
As a result of the Arizona Senate Bill 1408, the Republican lawmakers in Arizona state-issued subpoenas to Maricopa County. The subpoenas demanded the Maricopa County conduct a scanned ballot audit along with a forensic audit of ballot tabulation software and equipment.
To comply with the subpoenas, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors hired two independent companies to conduct an audit. In the audit, the primary focus would be on working the voting machines, if the machines counted the votes correctly and if they were tampered with or hacked.
However, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has refused to comply with the subpoenas issued. Instead, they filed a lawsuit in the Maricopa County Superior Court, seeking judgment if they need to comply with the subpoenas or not as they are unlawful.
Arizona’s Attorney General, Mark Brnovich, supported the bill even after the lawsuit was filed. He said, “The Arizona Legislature has the power to issue subpoenas regarding the election administration of the 2020 General Election. The subpoenas can be issued to review the conduct of the election, discharge of duties, to make better election legislation for the future.”
Backlash By Democrats Against The Arizona Senate Bill 1408
The Arizona Senate Bill 1408 has been facing severe backlash from the Democrats as they think that the bill, subpoena, and the planned audit are unlawful and would result in the spread of misinformation.
One of Arizona State Senator’s, Martin Quezada, says that the implementation of the bill and conducting the audit would result in the circulation of a lot of misinformation among the public.
The people of Arizona would assume that something significant went wrong during the 2020 General Elections. This would lead to people considering the bill as an ‘excuse’ used by Arizona’s legislature and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to probe into it.
Therefore, to prevent the generation of fear amongst people, the Arizona Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit about it in the Maricopa County Superior Court. In addition to it, the Democrats also aim to get a restraining order against the planned General Election 2020 audit.
Lawsuit Against The Planned Audit
In the lawsuit filed, the Democrats have argued that the private auditors hired by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors are not authorized to go through the records of voter registration. The records are highly confidential, and its authorization would be a breach of the voter’s privacy.
One of Maricopa County Supervisors, Steve Gallardo, went on to support the lawsuit filed, stating that it would prevent voters’ privacy. He also claims that the audit won’t be transparent and the authorities conducting the audit aren’t certified or qualified to do so.
The Arizona Senate Bill has stirred up a debate between the Republicans and the Democrats. The bill supports the audit to ensure that there was no breach of rules in the General 2020 Elections.
However, opposition says that the audit would be unlawful and violate voters’ privacy as it would share such confidential data with independent, out-of-state firms conducting the audit.
This kind of political turbulence makes for a good time to find stable long term places to invest your money. Make sure to read our other articles for smart financial planning advice.