PHOENIX --- Attorney General Mark Brnovich released the following statement regarding the Arizona Senate's draft report regarding the 2020 Election Audit in Maricopa County:
“I will take all necessary actions that are supported by the evidence and where I have legal authority. Arizonans deserve to have their votes accurately counted and protected.” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich
The Arizona Attorney General's Office (AGO) has an Election Integrity Unit (EIU) that will thoroughly review the Senate's information and evidence. The AGO cannot comment on specific allegations until its review is complete. For more on EIU actions, click here.
Attorney General Brnovich has taken numerous actions over the past year fighting for election integrity in Arizona, recently winning at the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in Brnovich v. DNC. General Brnovich also consistently supported the Senate’s authority to conduct the audit, and in December 2020 the AGO filed an amicus brief supporting the Senate’s subpoena authority. General Brnovich also called for an increase in the hand count audit by Maricopa County back in November of 2020 to increase voter confidence in the results.
AGO Election Integrity Cases
Brnovich v. DNC
- In a 6-3 ruling, General Brnovich successfully defended Arizona’s commonsense election laws that limit ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting at SCOTUS.
Arizona Democratic Party v. Hobbs
- Intervened to prevent the “curing” of ballots with no signatures prior to the 2020 election.
- A stay was granted by the 9th Circuit, ensuring the law was not changed at the last minute.
Arizonans for Fair Elections v. Hobbs
- Plaintiffs sued in federal court, attempting to force the State to accept signatures on initiative petitions through the online system E-Qual, even though the Arizona Constitution requires signatures to be signed in the presence of a circulator.
- General Brnovich intervened on behalf of the State after the Secretary of State declined to defend the constitutional requirement.
- The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request by Plaintiffs for an injunction pending appeal.
- The plaintiffs then voluntarily withdrew their lawsuit, conclusively ending the litigation.
Second Chances v. Hobbs
- Plaintiffs filed suit in the Arizona Supreme Court and similarly attempted to use E-Qual for ballot measures.
- General Brnovich intervened after the Secretary of State declined to defend the statute.
- In a 6-1 decision, the Arizona Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction of the case and rejected Plaintiffs’ claims on the merits. This decision ended the lawsuit filed in state court.
Miracle v. Hobbs
- General Brnovich successfully defended Arizona’s law that requires paid and out-of-state circulators to make court appearances when signatures are challenged and the circulators are subpoenaed.
- General Brnovich intervened on behalf of the State after the Secretary of State declined to defend the statute.
- On May 1st, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s denial of the request to overturn the law, and plaintiffs withdrew their lawsuit shortly after.
- Plaintiffs were trying to extend the voter registration deadline past what the statute allowed.
- General Brnovich tried to intervene when the Secretary of State initially refused to appeal.
AGO Election Integrity Actions
Issued Cease and Desist Letters
- Consulting firm soliciting ballot harvesting services
- Maricopa County School Superintendent distributed school pamphlets with unlawful “mistake instructions.”
Stopped Election Officials from violating election laws
- State v. Fontes - stopped Maricopa County Recorder Fontes from mailing ballots to all registered voters for the Presidential Preference Election, even those who didn’t request a mail-in ballot.
- Arizona Public Integrity Alliance v. Fontes - filed an amicus brief to stop Maricopa County Recorder Fontes from sending early ballots with inaccurate “mistake” instructions.
- The AGO determined the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (MCBOS) was in violation of state law for failing to comply with the Arizona Senate’s legislative subpoena related to the 2020 election audit.