PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is asking Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate potential violations of Arizona law over the Senate's audit of ballots cast in Maricopa County in November 2020. Her letter was shared on Twitter Friday.
Hobbs response is following an investigation from Arizona's Family on Thursday regarding security issues at Arizona Senate's election audit at the State Fairgrounds.
"Local reporting yesterday made it clear that Karen Fann and her Cyber Ninjas have not implemented sufficient security to protect the integrity of election equipment and ballots," Hobbs tweeted.
As you are aware, Senate President Karen Fann and Senator Warren Petersen subpoenaed and currently maintain custody of Maricopa County election materials, including voting equipment and voted ballots, from the November 2020 General Election and intent to conduct an audit of the election results. While the court ruling clearing the way for the Senate to receive the subpoenaed materials made clear that the Senate is obligated to maintain the security and confidentiality of the materials at issue pursuant to requirements spelled out in Arizona law and the Elections Procedures Manual, recent development make clear that the Senate leaders and those acting on their behalf have failed to do so. A thorough investigation and enforcement by your Office is critical to protection election integrity and Arizona voters.
In her letter, Hobbs says she wants Brnovich's office to investigate and take "enforcement action" if necessary over "potential violations of Arizona's election laws in connection with the Senate's "audit" of the Maricopa County election materials," saying his office has declined to provide legal advice to her office.
Hobbs also states in her letter that recent reports "suggest that the Senate has failed to secure the election equipment and ballots, resulting in unauthorized and unmonitored access to [ballots and voting equipment]." She says this leaves much concern for possible violations of election laws and procedures.
Hobbs cited the Arizona Family investigation, which showed our reporting team gain access to the interior of the Arizona Veteran's Memorial Coliseum, on four different days. Cell phone video shows the team wandering the hallways, watching contractors unload county elections equipment - just yards away, and it shows one team member getting within feet of the boxes of ballots, which are required to be held in a secure location.
A Maricopa County judge on Friday ordered a brief temporary halt to the audit and scheduled another hearing for Monday morning. The decision came one day after a Maricopa County supervisor and Arizona Democrats filed an injunction to stop the audit and could be extended at Monday's hearing. The pause failed to go through, however, after the Arizona Democratic Party failed to pay the $1 million bond the judge requested to cover any expenses the Senate would have been caused by the halt.
Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich later Friday said Hobbs provided “no facts” to warrant an investigation. Valid complaints will be investigated, Brnovich wrote Hobbs in a letter.
“Any such complaints, however, must be based on credible facts and not conjecture of politics,” he said. Brnovich also said the separation of powers between branches of government “demands deference” to the audit commissioned by the Republican-led Arizona Senate. Hobbs tweeted out her response to Brnovich's rejection.
Moments before the close of business, @GeneralBrnovich informed me that he can’t be bothered to investigate the lack of security at the Senate’s “audit.”— Secretary Katie Hobbs (@SecretaryHobbs) April 24, 2021
Apparently, #sharpiegate was more worthy of investigation than actual ballot integrity issues. pic.twitter.com/TxUYjfkYEK