Michigan, Arizona lawmakers issue subpoenas to election officials

Lawmakers in Michigan and Arizona are demanding access to ballots and election machinery used to conduct the November 3rd presidential election from county officials.

The Michigan House and Senate oversight committees voted Tuesday to issue subpoenas to clerks in Livonia and Detroit in response to requests from Republican lawmakers.

Under the subpoenas, Detroit Clerk Janice Winfrey and Livonia Clerk Susan Nash will have to produce documents relating to their administration of the elections by 5 p.m. Jan. 12.

Members of the Senate Oversight Committee voted 5-0 to approve the subpoenas, with the sole Democrat voting for approval. Members of the House Oversight Committee voted 6-3 with Democrats in opposition.

“We’re continuing our due diligence to determine if allegations that were made are true or not,” Senate Oversight Chairman Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, said.

“We’ve heard a lot of explanation for how poll books get out of balance. This level is something that we want to check into,” he noted.

Senate Republicans in Arizona also served subpoenas Tuesday to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors demanding access to copies of the more than 2 million ballots cast by Maricopa County voters during the 2020 general election and other election-related records and apparatus.

The subpoenas also call for access to the equipment used to tabulate those ballots and the software that ran the equipment for “forensic analysis.”

The subpoenas were issued on the heels of a six-hour hearing of the Judiciary Committee on Monday, Dec. 14, where lawmakers raised concerns about the conduct of the election.

County officials must deliver the requested information to Sen. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, before 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18.

Farnsworth said he expects the county to provide full access to auditors so they can examine the equipment and programming.

He cited the audit of voting equipment done in Michigan as an example of the process he wanted auditors to follow.

“I don’t believe they ended up going into the proprietary ‘base code,’ ” he said. “But those things can be adjusted or manipulated by introducing (changes), either through a USB or some other kind of card.”

Those auditors have yet to be selected, he said.

Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, said she expects the county to conduct an audit of the election results but if it does not, the Senate would conduct its own.

“The goal is to verify the machines did what they are supposed to do,” Fann said.

The Maricopa County Elections Department is reviewing the subpoenas, spokesperson Megan Gilbertson said.

The Board of Supervisors is expected to discuss the subpoenas in an executive session on Wednesday, scheduled for 1:30 p.m., according to Fields Moseley, Maricopa County communications director.

An item “related to election litigation and other related election matters” has been placed on the agenda.

The supervisors could take action on their discussion in an open session following the closed session.

County officials argued that machinery cannot be accessed while litigation over the election is ongoing, as equipment could be considered evidence in a case.

Farnsworth said if litigation is wrapped up by the end of the week and the county can proceed with its own audit, the subpoenas could be withdrawn.