Arizona high court delays release of audit records

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- In this May 6, 2021 file photo, Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)

Cyber Ninjas will not need to imminently release records of their review of the 2020 vote count in Arizona’s most populous county.

Arizona Supreme Court Justice Kathryn King put a hold Tuesday on a lower court order for the records to be released by August 31 while the high court considers an appeal.

Republicans who control the Senate argue the records are not subject to public release because they’re maintained by the Senate’s contractors, and legislative immunity applies.

But the Arizona Court of Appeals said last week that was not the case. The court said the main contractor, Florida company Cyber Ninjas, was subject to Arizona’s public records law because it was performing a core government function that the Senate farmed out.

The records are sought by the watchdog group American Oversight. A Supreme Court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 14.

The unprecedented partisan recount and review of election results in Maricopa County was prompted by former President Donald Trump’s loss in the state and his contention without evidence that he lost in Arizona and other battleground states because of fraud.

Senate Republicans issued subpoenas to Maricopa County for all 2020 ballots, the machines that counted them, and other data in the state’s most populated county.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.