The judge who was overseeing a legal challenge to the Arizona Senate’s audit of votes cast in the state’s largest election during the 2020 presidential election has recused himself from the case less than 24 hours before a scheduled April 26 hearing.
The court received filings at 4 p.m. April 25 that included names of new attorneys, including Viskovic, who worked at the office of Coury “as an extern within the past five years.”
Viskovic now holds a position as a junior associate at Kolodin Law Group PLLC, which is representing the Florida-based cybersecurity firm Cyber Ninjas in court. Cyber Ninjas is one of four firms hired by the state Senate to conduct the audit.
The recusal notes that in accordance with the state’s code of judicial conduct and rules of the Arizona Supreme Court, Coury must recuse himself from any further involvement in the case.
The Arizona Senate liaison for the audit said in an April 25 statement: “We look forward to the assignment of a new Judge and a rescheduled hearing as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the audit continues.”
Coury, a Republican appointee, was replaced by Judge Daniel Martin, a Democrat appointee, in the case on April 26.
The audit taking place in the state’s largest county started on April 19. Companies hired by the state Senate are examining 2.1 million ballots, testing voting machines, looking for IT breaches, and performing a hand count.
The state-issued subpoenas that were needed to execute the audit were ruled as valid on Feb. 25.
During a hearing earlier in the day, Coury did say that he would temporarily pause the audit until at least April 26 so he could hear more about concerns Democrats laid out in a lawsuit.
Coury isn’t popular among Democrats, who campaigned to oust him last year from another four-year term on the bench over his ruling on an education ballot proposition called Invest in Ed.
The other firms hired by the Republican-majority state Senate to conduct the audit include Wake Technology Services, CyFIR, and Digital Discovery.