An Arizona Senate chairman on Monday announced he will order through a subpoena in the state's largest county to audit their voting machines and software.
Maricopa County officials told legislators during a six-hour public hearing that they wanted to conduct an audit, but were advised they couldn't by lawyers because of ongoing litigation.
"We understand that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors feels constrained, based upon the recommendations by legal counsel, in their ability to perform a forensic audit of the voting equipment software during this ongoing litigation. We don't know how long that's going to happen," state Sen. Eddie Farnsworth, a Republican who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said at the conclusion the hearing.
"I recognize and I will state that the chairman has been very clear in saying that he supports an audit, but as long as the constraints exist because of ongoing or additional litigation, they don't feel like they can perform an audit, which continues to leave our constituents feeling like, maybe this election was compromised. So with that said, it is therefore in my intent to exercise my authority as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and, with the full support of the Senate president, to issue subpoenas in an effort to audit the equipment software and ballots."
Some of the language was already drafted, the senator said, and the subpoenas could be issued as soon as Tuesday.
Clint Hickman, the chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, told the committee earlier in the hearing that there were already plans for an audit but officials couldn't move forward because litigation is ongoing.
"We have to wait for this litigation to be over," he said. "And then the board has much more freedom to look at its equipment."
If such an audit showed that the election results were incorrect, that could help convince members of Congress to file objections to Arizona's electoral votes, he noted.
Dominion's software and machines are used in 28 states and have become a focus of election fraud allegations.
State Sen. Sonny Borrelli said the reported included evidence "that the system has been completely out of whack."
"They're finding out that the Dominion system software has already pre-loaded for irregularities, if you will," he added.
Borelli and state Sen. Vince Leach, both Republicans, were among those who signaled support for the subpoena.
State Sen. Martin Quezada, a Democrat, said he opposed the action, noting that no subpoenas were required to compel county officials to testify to the committee.
"The transparency that has been willing to be provided here is all 100 percent legit. Nobody is hiding anything. The county is not not willing to share this information with us, or not willing to to conduct an audit," he said.
County officials wouldn't have offered to carry out an audit "if they weren't 100 percent confident that this election was performed completely accurately, completely fairly, with complete legitimacy," Quezada said.
Farnsworth said he believes county officials did the best they could, but that doesn't mean there aren't anomalies.
"It doesn't mean that there aren't concerns and it doesn't mean that the voters aren't justified in wanting to make sure that it was done properly. And I will never apologize for making sure that we, in turn, turn over those rocks and look underneath to make sure that everything was done properly," he said.
A county spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Dominion hasn't returned requests for comment on multiple matters. The company on a web page it keeps updating, says its systems are accurate and secure.
"All 2020 election audits and recounts using Dominion technology have validated the accuracy and reliability of results, confirming the integrity of election outcomes," it stated.