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Judge orders halt to major election audit in Maricopa County, Dems refuse to pay the required bond

Democrats had brought suit against it.

Updated: April 24, 2021 - 11:42am

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A judge in Arizona on Friday ordered a temporary halt to a major election audit of the state's Maricopa County, directing Democrats who had brought suit against the audit to put up a $1 million bond if they wish to maintain the halt for at least the next few days. 

But the Arizona Democratic Party on Friday evening chose not to post the $1 million bond required by the judge to implement the pause. The bond was intended to cover any expenses incurred because of the delay. 

According to azcentral, Maricopa County "Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury said during a hearing Friday that he wants to ensure the recount fully complies with Arizona law and asked the state Senate, as well as its contractors, to provide more information by Monday morning on their policies and procedures."

Coury ordered a pause on auditing activities from Friday evening to Monday afternoon, saying he wished to verify that the audit was proceeding legally before allowing it to continue. The state Senate has been working toward the audit for several months.

Roopali Desai, an attorney representing the audit's Democratic challengers, argued before the judge that the audit process had been "abdicated" to "rogue actors" who were "making a mockery ... of our election laws and our procedures."

Auditors were reportedly violating several regulations while proceeding with the audit, including using the wrong ink colors when counting ballots. 

Coury stressed that the halt is meant to be strictly temporary. 

Let me be very clear – the audit will proceed,” he said on Friday. “I am putting a very temporary halt to it.”

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