In a flagrant violation of law, Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborn insisted on conducting a partial hand count audit before the precinct results were made public. The audit was implemented by Arizona state lawmakers and was intended for the public to check the accuracy of the precinct results once they are disclosed. Jim March, the elections observer serving on behalf of the Libertarian Party, walked out of Maricopa's Elections Division once he had confirmed that the precinct totals were not disclosed to the public at the time that precincts were being selected for audit.
"I made that decision based on my furious reading of Arizona Revised Statute 16-602. The sentence I was reading to myself was this one:
'The unofficial vote totals by precinct shall be made public before selecting the precincts to be hand counted.'
There's a reason for that. If they don't announce what the results are for each precinct...they pick the precincts to count...if they [Maricopa Elections] know what the results for each precinct are supposed to be and nobody else does, they can make sure that the reported results match what we're about to hand count."
As part of the recent lawsuit by gubernatorial candidate Barry Hess and other prominent citizens against Helen Purcell, the Maricopa County Recorder and the Maricopa Board of Supervisors, Attorney Brad Roach filed an "Emergency Request for Ruling/Request for Oral Argument" shortly after March's discovery. This emergency request asks that the court:
1. Order Maricopa County to make public the vote totals from all the districts.
2. Order Maricopa County to re-select precincts by lot that will be hand counted.
3. Order Maricopa County to hand count the precincts so selected before certifying the election results.
John Brakey recorded this incident on video and posted it on youtube. Here it is:
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