Maricopa County Board of Supervisors chairman blasts latest subpoena over 2020 elections

"Given the volume of correspondence between investigators and the County, it doesn’t take a...
"Given the volume of correspondence between investigators and the County, it doesn’t take a letter, much less a subpoena to gather public information," Gates said.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 6:15 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — There’s more drama between the head of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and a top state senator over the 2020 election investigation. Sen. Kelly Townsend, a Republican from Gilbert, claims the county is dragging its feet to release more information about the election, while board chairman Bill Gates said it would only take a phone call and discredits a study cited by Townsend.

Townsend filed a subpoena on Monday, saying she wants an explanation on why a request for records from the Arizona’s Attorney General’s Election Integrity Unit for “documents that would assist in the 2020 General election” investigation hasn’t been filled. The request was made on March 9. The subpoena wants to know when the Senate Government Committee will receive them, what items they will be and what items will be withheld. Townsend makes the accusation that the County Board of Supervisors is obstructing the investigation and, in the subpoena, wants to know why that is. She wants somebody from the board to explain things or release the information by Monday at 4 p.m.

In an emailed statement on Tuesday, Gates said Maricopa County has already given the committee more than 4,400 documents and five detailed PowerPoint slide decks to the attorney general’s office. He also said the Elections Department has answered “all the questions” from investigators and provided in-depth tours of the election facilities. Gates said the request is being processed and “records will be provided in a reasonable period of time.” Gates added that other board members will gather soon to talk about an “appropriate response” to the subpoena.

Townsend points to a report from Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai that said more than 204,000 early voting ballots in Maricopa County should have been reviewed for mismatched signatures, rather than just the 25,000 ballots that workers looked at. The study claims nearly 5,300 ballots should have been thrown out, compared to the 587 that were actually disallowed.

Gates called the work “discredited,” saying voter signatures and ballot envelopes are not public records and he, therefore, couldn’t accurately compare signatures. Ayyadurai went to other signatures on file at the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office for things like mortgages to compare signatures. “How is comparing signatures from one unrelated public recorded document to an early ballot envelope signature considered a viable way of proving identity for voting purposes?” Gates asked. “It’s not surprising this more recent report also uses faulty analysis to draw the conclusions Ayyadurai desires.”