(The Center Square) – Republicans in the Arizona Senate came up one vote short on a measure to hold the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in contempt for refusing to turn over several items related to the 2020 general election.
The deciding vote was cast by Glendale Republican Sen. Paul Boyer, who said he wanted to give the county and Senate more time to work out their differences as lawmakers continue to pursue conducting their own audit of election results in the state’s most populous county.
“Today’s vote merely provides a little bit more time for us to work together charitably and amicably as friends,” Boyer told the chamber Tuesday in casting his vote. “My vote is about patience.”
Senate Republicans have demanded the county turn over all mail-in ballots and provide access to voting machines. County officials said state law prevents them from doing so and the ballots are sealed unless a judge orders otherwise.
Boyer, however, did join other Republicans in the Senate last week in approving the contempt resolution. Had it passed, the county supervisors – four Republicans and one Democrat – could have been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor.
The dispute over the 2020 presidential election results stems from President Joe Biden defeating former President Donald Trump in Maricopa County by more than 45,000 votes.
The county had not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Harry S. Truman in 1948. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016, and John McCain and Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama in Maricopa County in 2008 and 2012, respectively.
The county has turned over several records to the Senate, including voter registration records, and has hired two firms to conduct an audit and examine voting machines to determine whether they counted ballots correctly or were hacked or tampered with.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason ruled last month in favor of the supervisors, rejecting subpoenas issued by the Senate.
“I do wonder why these senators and county officials can’t sit down and work this out,” he said in issuing his opinion. “It just seems that as responsible government officials it is incumbent on them, and I’m talking about both sides, to sit down and work this out.”
Hours before the contempt vote, the county supervisors asked a judge to issue a restraining order against the Arizona Senate from taking action and requesting senators to appear in court for a “show-just-cause” hearing to defend the validity of the subpoenas.