In the fight over election fraud in the United States, something which has been demonstrated to be systemic across the nation and deeply embedded at the local level, each of the states must make its own moves to ensure election integrity.
The bill amends a portion of the Arizona statutes such that county election equipment, systems and records, and other information that is under the control of county personnel “may not be deemed privileged information, confidential information, or other information protected from disclosure.” It also subjects such records to a subpoena and stipulates that they “must be produced” and the legislature’s authority to conduct related probes “may not be infringed by any other law.”
Naturally, any such change that involves giving oversight to what amounts to an overseer is not going over very well with the people who are trying to keep control of the processes at the local level, especially as the law is retroactive to December 31, 2019, thus putting the 2020 general election in the crosshairs of outside inspection.
“The Arizona Legislature has broad power to issue subpoenas regarding election administration in connection with the 2020 general election, both to review how the county discharged its duties during that election and to craft future election legislation. Any argument by the county otherwise should fail,” Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, said in a court filing.
But Sen. J.D. Mesnard, a Republican, told the Arizona Mirror that the bill is less about continuing to litigate the November election as it is about ensuring that the legislature’s investigative authority is clarified and protected to allow a greater impact on election integrity in the future.
“This is a much broader statement about the legislature and our subpoena powers because as of late, it seems those powers are not respected,” Mesnard told the outlet. “Our subpoenas are supposed to matter. This is making that very clear.”
“Even if you set aside this election, if something nefarious happens in the future, regardless of whether you believe it happened now, and suddenly you wanted to investigate it, you would find yourself in the very same situation,” he added.
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