The Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Republican Party of Arizona (RPAZ) filed a series of lawsuits earlier this week alleging that Maricopa County is violating state law by refusing to forfeit public records regarding its failure to hire an equal number of Republican and Democrat poll workers, as well as placing “burdensome requirements” on county election workers.
In the first lawsuit, the RNC and RPAZ claim that they have “repeatedly requested from [Maricopa County] the production of public records relating to the staffing and composition of polling place Election Boards, Special Election Boards, and Central Counting Boards,” but that the locality has “failed to produce or make such records available for inspection promptly, thereby disregarding their statutory obligations under the [Arizona Public Records Act].”
“The substantive integrity and perceived legitimacy of our electoral system requires that it be open and accessible to both political parties on fair and equal terms,” the lawsuit reads. “For this reason, Arizona law requires every county to ensure partisan balance in positions charged with conducting elections.”
Following Arizona’s recent August primary elections, Breitbart reported that Maricopa County had purportedly violated state law by hiring 857 Democrat poll workers and only 712 Republicans. According to the report, 10 GOP and 58 Democrat poll workers ended up working in the “receiving/inspection boards,” which “would violate the state’s election procedures manual” that mandates each central board to be “comprised of two members of different political parties.”
In the second lawsuit filed by the RNC and RPAZ, the two groups contend that Maricopa election officials have approved policies that make it more difficult to ensure equal political representation among poll workers in elections, such as “adopting onerous minimum hours requirements that deter nearly all citizens who would be willing to participate in the administration of elections under reasonable requirements” and “maintaining inhospitable working conditions” that resulted in “‘well over 500’ board appointees” resigning over a “relatively short period of time.”
“After several weeks of negotiations, Maricopa County left us no choice but to sue because Arizonans who want to be poll workers shouldn’t be shut out of the process,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and RPAZ Chairwoman Kelli Ward in a statement. “With midterms just 34 days away, Arizonans deserve basic transparency about how their elections will be conducted. This legal offensive is the latest step in Republicans’ ongoing efforts to promote free, fair, and transparent elections in Arizona.”
Both lawsuits were filed in the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County.