Arizona election audit proceeds after Dems refuse to pay judge-ordered bond

Though Joe Biden has occupied the Oval Office for roughly three months now, efforts to get to the truth about the November presidential election continue apace, and the process of conducting a formal review in one western state has been anything but uneventful.

An audit of the hotly contested 2020 vote tally in Maricopa County, Arizona was poised to continue on Friday following Democrats’ refusal to accede to a judge’s decision declining to halt the process unless they posted $1 million bond, as the Washington Examiner reported, in a development certain to please former President Donald Trump.

The audit – undertaken with the full support of Trump – is set to examine 21 million ballots cast in the county last fall, voting machines, and other materials used in the election. The Arizona Democratic Party and otheres, however, filed suit to stop the process, and Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury ruled that the review would proceed as planned unless a million-dollar bond was provided by the plaintiffs by 5 p.m. Friday to safeguard the auditing firm involved from possible financial losses.

In response, the Democrat plaintiffs declined to front what they called the “laughable” bond amount and slammed the “lack of transparency” they claim surrounded the audit itself, as the Examiner added. Arizona Democratic Party Chair Raquel Teran issued a statement following the ruling, saying, “The Arizona Democratic Party will not risk our supporters’ hard-earned dollars to pay off the [audit firm] for a procedure they are billing Arizona taxpayers to the tune of $150,000.”

Teran did, however, claim that Judge Coury’s ruling was something of a win, in that it requires the state Senate and audit contractors to provide additional disclosures about the recount process, saying, according to azcentral.com, “Today’s temporary restraining order required that the [audit firm] turn over all documents regarding their internal procedures, which should have been made immediately available to the public if this were a transparent or credible process.”

The audit initiative, launched with the backing of Trump, is intended to find what many in the GOP have long alleged were serious integrity issues with the November voting process that caused the state to go into the Democrats’ column. The contentious current situation has restarted an earlier feud between the former president and Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, someone Trump believes has failed to provide sufficient support for the auditing process from the start, according to The Hill.

In a statement issued on Friday, Trump laid bare his frustration over what has occurred, saying, “Why are the Democrats so desperate to stop this Election Fraud from being revealed? That answer is obvious,” adding:

The Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, has been shockingly of zero help to the State Senate. He wants to ‘pretend’ the election was free and fair. What are he and the Maricopa County Commissioners trying to hide?

The conflict between Trump and Ducey dates back to November, when the latter moved to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential contest. At the time, Trump declared that there was simply “no way” he did not take the state and that “Arizona will not forget what Ducey just did,” as The Hill noted.

Regardless of the final outcome of the audit in Maricopa County, it is important that the process be allowed to fully play out, if for no other reason than to take another small step toward restoring Americans’ flagging faith in our electoral system.