Original article. After stealing the election, one would think they might slack off. NOPE!! (Except for Public Records Requests on which they are always either slack or completely void of response,) Mariccorruption County is obviously void of any moral restrains or accountability to the citizens of Arizona.
February 9, 2023, Terri Jo Neff
Legal action has been threatened against Maricopa County officials after inspectors for Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh were kicked out of a county office on Wednesday after arriving per a scheduled appointment to review thousands of election records.
In a letter sent Thursday to Deputy County Attorney Joseph LaRue, one of Hamadeh’s attorneys expressed frustration with delays on the part of the Recorder Stephen Richer’s office that has interfered with timely access to copies of all ballot adjudications for the 2022 General Election as well the adjudication logs.
“Given Maricopa County’s perpetual delays in responding to public records requests, Mr. Hamadeh intends to aggressively utilize every available legal remedy,” attorney Jen Wright noted, adding that the public records request was filed Nov.12 by Tim La Sota, another of Hamadeh’s attorneys.
Those logs detail what races on a specific early (mail-in) ballot had to be adjudicated because a tabulation machine could not read the ballot for some reason. The ballot is then sent to a bi-partisan adjudication team in hopes the voter’s intent can be determined as needed.
With nearly 300,000 of Maricopa County’s 1.56 million ballots reportedly requiring adjudication, the corresponding logs equate to thousands of pages of records.
At the time La Sota made his records request, it was already clear the race between Hamadeh and Kris Mayes was extremely close. He asked that under the circumstances his request would “be treated with the utmost urgency.”
Hamadeh was found during a statewide recount announced Dec. 29 to have fallen short of Mayes by 280 votes out of more than 2.5 million ballots. He has requested a new trial in is election challenge, arguing in part Maricopa County delayed the release of some records which may have shown Hamadeh received more votes than was announced.
On Feb. 2, La Sota was advised via email that Maricopa County’s Adjudication Logs would finally be available starting Feb. 6, although only for in-person inspection. However, there was a caveat – La Sota first needed to make an appointment.
“Your records will not be available until an appointment date is confirmed,” the email stated.
After waiting 12 weeks for access to the logs, that appointment was set for Wednesday, Feb. 8. A team of inspectors was quickly compiled to partake in scanning all of the logs, but after just an hour county officials ordered the process to cease.
Hamadeh’s team was told activity could resume the next day, according to Jen Wright, another member of Hamadeh’s legal team. Yet later in the day, Maricopa County officials announced the inspectors could not return until Monday, Feb. 13.
As Wright understands the situation, the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office claimed there was a staffing issue which impacted the ability to supervise inspection. The reason provided by Maricopa County was that “much of the staff still works from home,” Wright says.
In an attempt to resolve the Adjudication Logs public records issue, Wright asked to have Hamadeh’s inspectors resume their activities on Feb. 10.
“Alternatively, Maricopa County may provide a digital copy of the scanned adjudication logs in lieu of inspection at or before that time,” Wright noted, adding she understood this option was “previously denied as the logs are purportedly of ‘irregular shape’ and difficult to scan.”
Wright went on to point out that Arizona law allows for recovery of attorneys’ fees and double damages, as well as an option to pursue legal action against any county officer involved in “wrongfully denying access to public records.”
As of press time there had been no formal response to Hamadeh’s request.
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