Maricopa County withholding subpoenaed hardware from election audit, citing alleged 'security risk'
Surrendering the materials could "put the lives of law enforcement personnel at risk."
Officials in Arizona's Maricopa County are withholding materials subpoenaed by the state legislature as part of its audit of the county's 2020 election, claiming that surrendering them would constitute a security risk for both law enforcement and federal agencies.
A Monday letter sent from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office to Ken Bennett, the former Arizona secretary of state and the liaison between the state Senate and the auditors, said the county had elected not to turn over "several routers" requested by the legislature due to an alleged "significant security risk to law enforcement data utilized by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office as well as numerous federal agencies."
"We had previously believed that the risk would be eliminated by redacting the law enforcement data on the routers and not producing it," the letter states. "But we were informed that redaction did not eliminate the risk."
Bennett told Just the News that the state Senate's subpoena had requested "access or control of all routers and tabulators ... used in connection with the administration of the 2020 election" as well as "the public IP of the [routers]."
"I don't know why the routers in a tabulation and election center have anything to do with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office or numerous federal agencies," Bennett said, noting that "the sheriff's department and the Maricopa County tabulation and election center aren't even in the same building."
Maricopa County spokesman Fields Moseley on Thursday afternoon said the county had "determined the information contained in Maricopa County's routers can be used as blueprints to intercept sensitive county data."
"Maricopa County has more than 50 different county departments, and the routers the Senate subpoena commanded the County produce support all of these departments, not just elections operations," Moseley said. "This includes critical law enforcement data that, by law, cannot be disclosed, as well as Maricopa County residents' protected health information and full social security numbers."
"By providing the routers, or even virtual images of routers, sensitive data and the lives of law enforcement personnel could be endangered," he added, stating that the routers "remain in the county's custody for the time being."