On Monday, the Arizona Senate released new documents in response to American Oversight’s litigation for records related to the partisan election “audit.”
With every new release of records, the evidence grows of the Senate’s overtly partisan and dangerously anti-democratic motivations in undertaking the sham review of a free and fair election. Below is some of what is in the latest set of documents.
On Jan. 28, 2021, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and state Sen. Warren Petersen exchanged texts about a draft press release, with Petersen telling Fann that Christy McCormick, a member of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, was willing to be mentioned in the release.
The EAC is the federal agency tasked with helping states administer secure elections. American Oversight previously obtained emails revealing that in the months before and after the election, McCormick was in touch with activists dedicated to restricting voting access. McCormick had also joined former President Trump’s short-lived “election integrity” commission in 2017; this summer, she attended an “election university” put on by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis from Illinois, who recently launched a “Faith in Elections Project” that challenges efforts to expand ballot access.
“So won’t she [McCormick] be in deep dodo [sic] for saying this public[ly]?” Fann asked. “Nope, it’s a fact,” Petersen replied.
Multiple previous productions of records have shown “audit” leaders’ apparent eagerness to believe (and share) baseless allegations of voter fraud and to involve election conspiracy theorists in their operation. The latest records offer yet more examples:
The records also evince the election review’s partisan origins, and the apparent hope among its supporters that voter fraud would be found and the 2020 election results would be overturned:
Problematic direct canvassing efforts have been reported throughout the months the “audit” dragged on. While officials disavowed the door-knocking — especially following a Justice Department letter warning that the effort, which was included in lead contractor Cyber Ninjas’ original statement of work, could violate federal law — communications obtained by American Oversight reveal that officials were at least aware of activist Liz Harris’s canvassing in Arizona.
The latest records include communications about Harris’s work:
Of course, the $150,000 the Senate allocated for the “audit” was a drop in the bucket compared with the millions raised by outside groups, many linked to the “Stop the Steal” movement. Previous records obtained by American Oversight showed that this external fundraising was likely intended early on.
The latest records include texts between Pullen and Arizonans for Voter ID Committee Chairwoman Vicki Vaughn about fundraising efforts, including those of Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward.
Part of Investigation: