Judge Rules Arizona Legislature Must Disclose Ballot Audit Records to Newspaper

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah, who was appointed to the bench by former Gov. Janet Napolitano, ruled that the Arizona Senate must turn over records from the Maricopa County ballot audit to satisfy a public records request from The Arizona Republic. The newspaper and left-wing watchdog American Oversight have been engaged in litigation attempting to get records from the legislature and the contractor that conducted the audit, Cyber Ninjas. 

Hannah said that while the legislature may keep conversations about legislation private, under “legislative privilege,” conversations about the audit are excluded. “This is not a confidential process,” Hannah said. “This is a highly, highly public process.” He said there is a legal presumption favoring disclosure which the Senate did not overcome. 

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Kari Lake Rally: ‘We Will Elect Arizona’s First Trump-Republican Governor’

Speaking to a packed crowd in Scottsdale Saturday night for her birthday, Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake declared, “We will elect Arizona’s first Trump governor!” Lake planned the huge birthday bash to include a live viewing of former President Trump’s speech at a campaign rally in Alabama. Afterwards, she gave a speech of her own to the well over a thousand who attended the Embassy Suites event.

Lake announced the results of a new poll taken by her campaign that showed her well ahead of the other Republican candidates. She came in at 37.4 percent, followed by Matt Salmon at 11.5 percent, Steve Gaynor with 2.7 percent, and Karrin Taylor Robson at 2.0 percent. She said one of her opponents also conducted a poll that showed her ahead in a “landslide.” She distinguished herself from the others, “I’m running against a bunch of swamp creatures.” 

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The Arizona Republic Sues State Senate, Cyber Ninjas for Election Audit Records

One of Arizona’s largest newspapers is suing the state Senate and the contracted company running the audit, Cyber Ninjas, for access to their election audit records and financial records. The Arizona Republic, part of the Gannett mass media company, filed a special action on Wednesday in the Maricopa County Superior Court – case number LC2021-000180. Reportedly, the Senate denied the paper’s request for access to the audit and financial records, saying they weren’t public record. The specific information they hope to obtain includes the process for the audit, businesses involved, funding sources, and all communications of those involved.

The plaintiffs in the case are Phoenix Newspapers and Kathy Tulumello, news director for The Arizona Republic. Including the state Senate and Cyber Ninjas, the other defendants named are Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott), Senate Majority Leader Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert), and the secretary for the Senate, Susan Aceves. 

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