A judge on Wednesday declined to halt the audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, Arizona from going forward.
The Hill reported Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin was assigned to the case brought by the Arizona Democratic Party on Monday after Judge Christopher Coury recused himself the previous day.
A newly listed attorney working on the legal team for one of the parties did an externship in Courey’s office within the past five years.
Martin ruled that the audit could continue, according to the official Twitter account of the audit team.
Breaking: Maricopa County Judge denies Democrat’s request to stop the election audit. The audit continues!
— Maricopa Arizona Audit (@ArizonaAudit) April 28, 2021
The lawsuit filed by the Democrats on Thursday alleged that Senate Republicans do not have proper procedures in place to ensure the security of the ballots and call into question the independence of the companies the lawmakers contracted to oversee the audit.
Prior to recusing himself from the case, Coury had stated that he did not want to micromanage how the Senate conducts its audit.
Arizona election audit update: I am back in the coliseum under a new agreement for media, after a coalition of news organizations fought for better access. Updates to come for the next three hours. Will post soon! #azauditpool pic.twitter.com/8jNdVXkDpV
— Jen Fifield (@JenAFifield) April 27, 2021
“However, it is the province of the court to ensure voter information and those constitutional protections are held sacrosanct and that also includes the protection of ballots under Arizona law,” he said.
Martin voiced similar concerns at a Tuesday hearing, according to The Election Wizard, saying, “I’m not persuaded that rights of voters in Maricopa County are being protected.”
Arizona GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward — who is not involved in the audit, but monitoring its progress — described the review of the 2.1 million votes cast in Maricopa County (which encompasses the Phoenix metropolitan area) as “America’s audit.”
“The fake news media wants to pretend that this is a Republican audit,” Ward said in an update posted to Twitter on Monday evening. “This is not a Republican audit. This is an American audit. I call it America’s audit because we are finally going to have the full forensic evidence to let us know whatever happened in 2020,” she said.
Despite legal threats from the Democrats, “America’s Audit” continues. Arizona Republican Chairwoman @kelliwardaz talks with Audit Director Ken Bennett regarding the audit progress and non-partisan approach. What’s got the Democrats so panicked? One word: TRANSPARENCY#AZAudit pic.twitter.com/SxEbPkamtl
— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) April 27, 2021
Senate audit liaison and former Arizona secretary of state Ken Bennett told Ward, “If we find something, then we will identify what needs to be fixed in the next election, but that’s what election officials do.”
“All that the Senate is doing is doing a complete forensic audit, which has never been done,” he continued. “The county’s claims that they did two audits is total misrepresentation. What they did was kind of like a logic and accuracy test that’s done at one specific point in time that says the machines were working right then.”
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors commissioned audits of the Dominion Voting Systems machines, which happened earlier this year, but did not review the actual ballots.
Further, Bennett pointed out they did not thoroughly address any tampering that may have occurred with the machines on election night.
“This is the first and full forensic audit, and it will tell us what do we need to do, if anything, to make elections better,” Bennett said.
“That’s what all voters want,” regardless of party, Ward interjected. “We want election integrity and we want our voters to have confidence.”
After 90+ minutes of AZ Court proceedings regarding the #FullForensicAudit – take aways: audit procedures may be made public, NO TRO, & Dems using false fear-mongering failed to convince the judge. #AmericasAudit continues! Video update later today via @azgop – tune in! pic.twitter.com/rCmlsUZPJ4
— Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸 (@kelliwardaz) April 28, 2021
Former President Donald Trump responded to the Democrats’ ongoing efforts to thwart the audit saying in a statement on Tuesday, “The Radical Left Democrat Party has gone absolutely INSANE in fighting the Forensic Audit of the 2020 Presidential Election Scam right now taking place in the Great State of Arizona.”
“The audit is independently run, with no advantage to either side, but the Democrats don’t want to hear anything about it because they know that they lost Arizona, and other scam election States, in a LANDSLIDE,” the 45th president added.
— Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸 (@kelliwardaz) April 27, 2021
“The audit must continue. America deserves the TRUTH!” Trump concluded.
A news release from the Arizona Senate Republicans last month indicated the audit will include scanning all 2.1 million paper ballots cast to look for irregularities, doing a full manual recount, investigating the registration rolls and votes cast, checking the vote counts and performing a cyber forensic audit on the electronic voting machines and systems used.