Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Michael Kemp has questioned the assertion that voters should not have the right to know who was funding the audit of the Maricopa County vote tally in the 2020 presidential election, according to The Washington Examiner.
The Arizona judge questioned Kory Langhofer who is an attorney for Senate President Karen Fann (R) who has been staunchly against releasing the names of donors to the public.
Among the issues raised Kemp noted Fann hired an outside firm, Cyber Ninjas, to conduct the audit where fraud from the inside was suspected, saying that this audit is an “important constitutional duty.”
“Isn’t the public entitled to know who’s paying for this, besides the $150,000 the Senate has already appropriated?” the judge asked Langhofer at a hearing in Phoenix.
“That’s a great political argument,” Langhofer said. “They should talk to the Legislature about it.” The attorney went on to say that the donation records are not in Fann’s possession, or that of anyone in the Senate but that the outside firm themselves held the list of donors who wished to support the recount. That, according to Langhofer, puts it outside the scope of public record.
“The public has a right to know the information that’s covered by the Public Records Act, but doesn’t have a right to know all the information it deems important,” Langhofer told the Washington Examiner on Friday, adding, “particularly if that information is not in the custody of the government.”
The assessment of the election process was championed by the Republican state Senate who are attempting to ascertain whether the state’s electoral votes were given erroneously to President Joe Biden.
Funding for the effort in the previously “red” state has been undisclosed, up to this point, and that lack of transparency on the part of the audit has led to harsh criticism.
Of the unknown total cost of funding, the Arizona Senate footing part of the bill, spending $150,000. The rest comes from donors, part of which is from a nonprofit group, Voices and Votes.