➡ The speaker discusses their fiery passion for American politics, expressing faith in the country’s potential and emphasizing the concept of “America first”. They voice their enthusiasm for reelecting President Donald Trump and advocate for investing, rebuilding, and educating America. Additionally, they assert the importance of helping Mississippi veterans and uplift small-town beliefs and values. Subsequently, they describe running for office, tackle alleged election fraud issues, and expose an incident where they were reportedly bribed to withdraw from politics.
➡ The discussion revolves around the understanding of whether ’16 168 F’ applies to affidavit signatures in context with voter registration records and early ballot affidavits. The argument suggests that the voter registration records should include early ballot affidavits for them not to violate equal protection rights, despite the complexity of the law and differences in administering elections.
➡ The text is a thorough recap of a court hearing about a statute interpreted by the Department of Corrections, focusing on issues of voter privacy and concerns over potential harassment should early ballot details be made public. It includes discussions on testimonies of different witnesses sharing their experiences and fears, testimony from Recorder Stephen Richer about the handling of ballot affidavit envelopes and threats he personally received, and overarching arguments about the potential impact on voter participation due to potential harassment.
➡ The text presents a Supreme Court decision discussion about the concern of releasing early ballot affidavit envelopes, potentially leading to voter harassment, fraud, and complications in the signature verification process. Despite these concerns, others argue there are no statutes governing the inclusion of affidavit envelope signatures, highlighting the differences between early ballot in-person and mail-in voting processes. The debate raises questions about the interpretation of pertinent statutes and their application in protecting the voting process and the privacy of voters.
➡ The text discusses the privacy and confidentiality of voter registration records, focusing on the difference between personal identifying information and protected personal information. It delves into arguments on whether certain information, including signatures, should be kept confidential or not, and the possible legal and privacy implications concerning ballot affidavit envelopes. The argument also touches upon the best interest of the state concerning public record requests and the subject of privacy, with examples pertaining to various legal cases.
➡ The speaker argues that, even if individuals feel discomfort about their voting privacy, the public’s right to participate and oversee government operations is crucial. According to the speaker, this public right and ability to question government post-fact is a defining feature of being American and vital to preventing potential governmental abuse.
➡ The speaker explains their refusal to concede to requests to step back from politics, shares their commitment to keep fighting for their political ideals, and discusses ongoing legal procedures. They also delve into the issue of public data availability and privacy concerns around signatures.
➡ This text discusses the confidentiality of voter data and signatures, mentioning their availability to third party groups for electoral registration, and arguing their relevance in a public records request case. Concerns are raised about the sensitivity and potential misuse of this information, asserting that the data’s accessibility through other channels does not lessen its confidentiality. Topics of individual’s behavior at the legislature and the subpoena of political figures for testimonies are explored and ultimately deemed irrelevant to the legal proceeding at hand.
➡ The text discusses a case hearing regarding access to voter signatures and possible election misconduct. The argument revolves around the concerns of witness testimonies, confidentiality of signatures, and a public records request. A witness, Bonnie Eckard, shares her unsettling experience of being questioned about her voting history by strangers at her doorstep.
➡ Ms. Eckard expressed concern over public access to signatures on property deeds and ballot affidavit envelopes, recounting a disturbing incident involving unknown canvassers at her door. She notes that the potential public exposure of private voting details could force her to reconsider the way she votes, and fears how it could impact elderly voters like her 88-year-old husband. The latter part of the text involves questioning about Ms. Eckard’s knowledge and involvement in government processes, and a debate about accessing signatures on public forums.
➡ The text describes a tense exchange over voter integrity. An individual faces aggressive questioning about her voting record from canvassers. She feels threatened and believes the canvassers are spreading conspiracy theories about dead people voting. The witness later discloses her dislike for Trump, implying a political motivation behind the canvassing. The court hearing concludes with her testimony being acknowledged, and the next witness is called up.
➡ Christy Pasarelli, a former Election Services and Tabulation Assistant Director for Maricopa County, has seen a recent change in people’s conduct towards elections which has become more negative and hostile. After accusations of fraud related to election equipment preparation on social media, she and others experienced threats and harassment which led to her leaving her position. The threats and harassment could extend to voters if their contact details are known and they are perceived to have voted contrary to someone’s preference. The ballot affidavit envelope, which she is familiar with, might contain a phone number if the voter provides it but it is not mandatory. The possibility of personal data being disseminated and used for harassment remains a concern.
➡ The testimony discusses roles and responsibilities regarding election data and public videos from the Maricopa County Technical Center. Videos and potentially threatening messages were sent to security personnel. Regarding the witness’s professional transition, she confirmed receiving a pay increase when moving from the Maricopa County Elections Department to being the city clerk for the City of Surprise.
➡ The text details a court proceeding discussing the legality and confidentiality of certain election materials in Maricopa County. The key issue involves ballot affidavit envelopes which may contain party affiliation. Other topics include cases of violence or threats to election officials, measures to protect voter info, taking into consideration special circumstances as in domestic violence. The court also discusses implications of making exceptions on voter registration records confidentiality.
We’ve got your back as you start your day. America’s small towns with big convictions. Real America isn’t Wall Street. Greed and DC lies. America ain’t big cities and big tech. It’s the construction worker focused on building a better tomorrow. And it’s the farmer who works all year to provide for a nation. It’s the teacher that leaves politics and policy out of the classroom. It’s the soldier ready to lay down his life to defend our flag.
We have not forgotten real America. This is real America, where we put our faith in God, in our families. First you send a message. We play to win. Wow. Oh, my gosh. Hello. What? Thank you so much. Oh, my gosh. CPAC. I love you so much. This crowd is amazing. Something tells me you’re here to see somebody who’s coming up a little bit later on, but that’s okay.
I’m happy you’re here right now. I love you, too. I love you, too. Every time I stand on the CPAC stage, I realize what a miracle this all is. I mean, I am standing here as proof that every single American can make a difference in this fight that we’re up against. I kind of got into this as a fed up mom. Maybe you’ve heard a little bit about my story.
I decided to run for office. I was sick of the status quo. I walked away from the fake news and walked away from my career and said, I don’t want to do that anymore. Oh, boy. Best decision I ever made, by the way. Like you and like the people of Arizona, I’d grown sick of the open borders of the wide open borders of the cartels running the show of fentanyl pouring across our border, killing our young people.
This isn’t drug overdoses that we’re seeing. This is a poisoning of our youth. And if you don’t think that China and Mexico can bring down an entire civilization with drugs, then you need to study the Opium Wars, because that’s how they did it, and they’re trying to kill our young people. But as a mom, I got sick of that. Why weren’t our elected officials doing something about it? Why were these politicians more interested in dealing and helping Ukraine than helping their own citizens? And so I stepped into the fray.
Boy, I had no idea what was about to happen. I jumped in. I decided to run. And we started a movement. I thought we were alone at first. We started a movement of Moms and Dads of grandmas and grandpas, of students, even the little ones, were with us. It was really quite amazing. And we led this movement on the precipice of making Arizona great again. And they knew that that was dangerous.
They knew that was dangerous. They couldn’t have someone like me in office who’s going to shut down the cartels at the border. They were so afraid of me and so afraid of we, the people, that they stopped us by any means necessary. And they did that on November eigth on election day. Did you all hear about what happened in Arizona? They stole an election in broad daylight right in front of us, and then they dared us to do something about it.
They dared us to do something. Here’s what happened on election day when all of our people were showing up. They printed intentionally the wrong image on the ballot so that you would put your ballot into the tabulator and it would be spit out. A quarter of a million ballots were rejected on election day across Maricopa County. And let me remind you, this was happening in the Republican areas to vote.
It was so bad. I told my team, I don’t want to vote in the Republican area. I’ve got to go find the most liberal part of town and vote there. And that’s what we did. We drove across town. I voted in the liberal part of town, got in and out, no problem. Machines were working. Everything was fine. But in over 60% of the polling locations, primarily in all of the Republican areas, they were printing the wrong ballots.
The machines weren’t working. They were being spit out. And the Republicans in Arizona were disenfranchised. 75% of them voting that day were Republicans. They did this intentionally. And they thought can you imagine this? They thought that we would roll over and go quietly into the night. No. She just said it. She said, no. Hell no. They messed with the wrong mama bear. They messed with the wrong mama bear.
And this mama bear is going to tear them to shreds that they would think they can steal another election. So what we’re doing is we have the strongest election lawsuit this country’s ever seen, and we just filed it at the Arizona Supreme Court this week. Great. And we are exposing these criminals who are stealing our elections, and we’re exposing them every single day. We want to know who they are, and we want to make sure we drive them out of office.
And we’re going to continue to do that. We’re going to continue to do that. Now, here’s the thing. I don’t know what’s going to happen with our case. I’m not a justice on the Supreme Court. I hope they do the right thing and apply the law. We have an exceptional case. We have the proof right there. But I’m going to be really honest with you. This is in God’s hands.
I wish it were in my hands solely because I would do everything I could. But I’d rather it be in God’s hands. And you know what else is in God’s hands? US staying in the game. As President Ronald Reagan once said, when you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat. And they may think that they won, but I know they’re feeling the heat. We’ve got them in the frying pan right now.
This is true, and I’m going to tell you why now. I can’t believe this actually happened, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to share it here at CPAC. I wonder if the fake news will even cover this. Something happened to me this week before I left for CPAC, and it shows how desperate these people are to stop me and to silence you. I decided to share this.
It’s a little bit controversial, but I’m going to put this out. Somebody showed up at my door this week. They called me before and said, I got to talk to you in person. This can’t be done over the phone. Which is always kind of like, uhoh, what’s that going to be about? They came to my door and they tried to bribe me out of getting out of politics.
This really happened. I’m telling you this because this is how disgusting politics is. A mom who runs for office, and they’re afraid of me. They tried to bribe me with a job title, with a huge salary, a position on a board. This is how they do it. And I said, Are you kidding me? I walked away from a big job and a big salary. I’m not motivated by that stuff, guys.
Not so this person standing before me was sent at the request of some powerful people back east. They want me out of politics. But wait a minute. I thought they already stopped us. Why are they so afraid? I thought they already stopped our movement. So well, you I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know. I’m just on God’s time right now. And when I said no to this person, they didn’t take no for an answer.
They said, well, what will it take? What is your price? How do we keep you out? Name your price. This really happened this week. Name your price. All we’re asking for you to do is to get out of politics for two years. Okay? CPAC. I got to ask you, do you think I should sit out for two years? Should we put our movement on ice for two years? I didn’t think so.
Or should we double down and stay in this double down? Now, I’m going to be honest. At that very moment, I wanted to stick my dog on him, but I have a pug, and it wasn’t going to happen. So I said, you let your handlers back east know that I can’t name a price, because there is no price. That I would sell out my country for not a million dollars, not $10 million, not $100 million.
I love you right back. But I’ll tell you, this tells me that they do not want my name on a ballot again. And I have a message. I’m not going anywhere. I’m not going anywhere. And so that got me very fired up. I was packing for CPAC, and this happened. And I’m like, I’m so fired up. And then after this weekend at CPAC, CPAC has a way of firing up us again, right? So I just want you to know, as we leave here, they may act and they’re gaslighting us, and they may act like they’re in control.
We, the people, are in control. We are in control. And I have complete faith and I have complete confidence that this country can and will get things back on track 100%. Because America first is not over yet. The world is just about to see what great things can happen when we invest in America, when we rebuild America, when we educate America, and when we finally come together as Americans, proudly, we can do great things.
So I say that we spend I don’t know about you, but I say we spend every single day from here, going forward striving to make America great again. And that starts with re electing President Donald J. Trump. Let’s do it. CPAC. I love you, America. I love you. God bless America. Thank you so much. Hi, I’m Peter Griffin, the vice president of Fisquad. We’re a nonprofit veterans charity dedicated to helping Mississippi veterans in need.
We provide immediate life sustaining assistance to Mississippi veterans through our many business partnerships. One of them being artillery tea. Artillery Tea donates a portion of all their sales to veteran and first responder. Nonprofit organizations buy Artillery Tea handcrafted tea blends for the American patriot. Use promo code Rav for 10% off. We’ve got your back as you start your day. America’s small towns with big convictions. Real America isn’t Wall Street.
Greed and DC lies. America ain’t big cities and big tech. It’s the construction worker focused on building a better tomorrow. And it’s the farmer who works all year to provide for a nation. It’s the teacher that leaves politics and policy out of the classroom. It’s the soldier ready to lay down his life to defend our flag. We have not forgotten real America. This is real America, where we put our faith in God, in our families.
First you send a message. We play to win. Oh, my gosh. Hello. Thank you so much. Oh, my gosh. CPAC. I love you so much. This crowd is amazing. Something tells me you’re here to see somebody who’s coming up a little bit later on, but that’s okay. I’m happy you’re here right now. I love you, too. I love you, too. Every time I stand on the CPAC stage, I realize what a miracle this all is.
I mean, I am standing here as proof that every single American can make a difference in this fight that we’re up against. I kind of got into this as a fed up mom. Maybe you’ve heard a little bit about my story. I decided to run for office. I was sick of the status quo. I walked away from the fake news and walked away from my career and said, I don’t want to do that anymore.
Oh, boy. Best decision I ever made, by the way. Like you and like the people of Arizona, I’d grown sick of the open borders, of the wide open borders of the cartels running the show of fentanyl pouring across our border, killing our young people. This isn’t drug overdoses that we’re seeing. This is a poisoning of our youth. And if you don’t think that China and Mexico can bring down an entire civilization with drugs, then you need to study the opium wars, because that’s how they did it, and they’re trying to kill our young people.
But as a mom, I got sick of that. Why weren’t our elected officials doing something about it? Why were these politicians more interested in dealing and helping Ukraine than helping their own citizens? And so I stepped into the fray. Boy, I had no idea what was about to happen. I jumped in. I decided to run. And we started a movement. I thought we were alone at first. We started a movement of moms and dads, of Grandmas and grandpas, of students.
Even the little ones were with us. It was really quite amazing. And we led this movement on the precipice of making Arizona great again. And they knew that that was dangerous. They knew that was dangerous. They couldn’t have someone like me in office who’s going to shut down the cartels at the border. They were so afraid of me and so afraid of we the People, that they stopped us by any means necessary.
And they did that on November eigth on election day. Did you all hear about what happened in Arizona? They stole an election in broad daylight, right in front of us, and then they dared us to do something about it. They dared us to do something. Here’s what happened on election day when all of our people were showing up. They printed intentionally the wrong image on the ballot so that you would put your ballot into the tabulator and it would be spit out.
A quarter of a million ballots were rejected on election day across Maricopa County. And let me remind you, this was happening in the Republican areas to vote. It was so bad, I told my team, I don’t want to vote in a Republican area. I’ve got to go find the most liberal part of town and vote there. And that’s what we did. We drove across town. I voted in the liberal part of town, got in and out, no problem.
Machines were working. Everything was fine. But in over 60% of the polling locations, primarily in all of the Republican areas. They were printing the wrong ballots. The machines weren’t working. They were being spit out. And the Republicans in Arizona were disenfranchised. 75% of them voting that day were Republicans. They did this intentionally. And they thought can you imagine this? They thought that we would roll over and go quietly into the night.
No. She just said it. She said, no. Hell no. They messed with the wrong mama bear. They messed with the wrong mama bear. And this mama bear is going to tear them to shreds. That they would think they can steal another election. So what we’re doing is we have the strongest election lawsuit this country’s ever seen, and we just filed it at the Arizona Supreme Court this week.
Great. And we are exposing these criminals who are stealing our elections, and we’re exposing them every single day. We want to know who they are, and we want to make sure we drive them out of office. And we’re going to continue to do that. We’re going to continue to do that. Now, here’s the thing. I don’t know what’s going to happen with our case. I’m not a justice on the Supreme Court.
I hope they do the right thing and apply the law. We have an exceptional case. We have the proof right there. But I’m going to be really honest with you. This is in God’s hands. I wish it were in my hands solely because I would do everything I could, but I’d rather it be in God’s hands. And you know what else is in God’s hands? US staying in the game.
As President Ronald Reagan once said, when you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat. And they may think that they won, but I know they’re feeling the heat. We’ve got them in the frying pan right now. This is true. And I’m going to tell you why now. I can’t believe this actually happened. And I wasn’t sure if I was going to share it here at CPAC.
I wonder if the fake news will even cover this. Something happened to me this week before I left for CPAC, and it shows how desperate these people are to stop me. And to silence you, I decided to share this. It’s a little bit controversial, but I’m going to put this out. Somebody showed up at my door this week. They called me before and said, I got to talk to you in person.
This can’t be done over the phone. Which is always kind of like, uhoh, what’s that going to be about? They came to my door and they tried to bribe me out of getting out of politics. This really happened. I’m telling you this because this is how disgusting politics is. A mom who runs for office, and they’re afraid of me. They tried to bribe me with a job title, with a huge salary, a position on a board.
This is how they do it. And I said, are you kidding me? I walked away from a big job and a big salary. I’m not motivated by that stuff, guys. Not so this person standing before me was sent at the request of some powerful people back east. They want me out of politics. But wait a minute. I thought they already stopped us. Why are they so afraid? I thought they already stopped our movement.
So well, I don’t know. I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know. I’m just on God’s time right now. And when I said no to this person, they didn’t take no for an answer. They said, well, what will it take? What is your price? How do we keep you out? Name your price. This really happened this week. Name your price. All we’re asking for you to do is to get out of politics for two years.
Okay? CPAC, I got to ask you, do you think I should sit out for two years? Should we put our movement on ice for two years? I didn’t think so. Or should we double down and stay in this double down? Now, I’m going to be honest. At that very moment, I wanted to stick my dog on him, but I have a pug, and it wasn’t going to happen.
So I said, you let your handlers back east know that I can’t name a price because there is no price that I would sell out my country for, not a million dollars, not $10 million, not $100 million. I love you right back. But I’ll tell you, this tells me that they do not want my name on a ballot again. And I have a message. I’m not going anywhere.
I’m not going anywhere. And so that got me very fired up. I was packing for CPAC and this happened. And I’m like, I’m so fired up. And then after this weekend at CPAC, CPAC has a way of firing up us again, right? So I just want you to know, as we leave here, they may act and they’re gaslighting us and they may act like they’re in control. We the people are in control.
We are in control. And I have complete faith and I have complete confidence that this country can and will get things back on track 100%. Because America first is not over yet. The world is just about to see what great things can happen when we invest in America, when we rebuild America, when we educate America, and when we finally come together as Americans proudly, we can do great things.
So I say that we spend I don’t know about you, but I say we spend every single day from here going forward striving to make America great again. And that starts with re electing President Donald J. Trump. Let’s do it. CPAC. I love you, America. I love you. God bless America. Thank you so much. Versus Kamo CV 2021. 6626 appearances, please. Yeah, this is David Keys, and it’s for the defendants.
Okay. As I understand it, the plaintiff’s attorney is not present. Have you had any contact with him recently? Not recently, Your Honor. What’s the status of the case? Best I can tell, we’re ready to proceed to trial. We had a settlement conference and we’re unable to reach an agreement, so I believe we’re in a good position to set a trial. Any lingering issues, I suspect we can resolve before a final trial date.
Okay, well, this is not your fault, but I’d rather do it with plaintiffs counsel present so we don’t set a date and then have to revise it to fit his schedule. I completely understand. So I think what I’m going to do is set this off for a week or so, and then we’ll try to reach opposing counsel and get him here so that we can go ahead and find a date for this october 11 at 845.
October 11, 845. That works for me, Your Honor. All right, very good. We’ll talk to you then. And hopefully we can get Mr. Sorenson here, too, and get your trial date. All right. Thank you, Your Honor. All right. Thank you. It it it. That’s it. Thank you. Actually, yes. This there’s, which you put it down. Oh, did I? I just picked this up looking for the capital Times.
It’s 32. That’s not in there. 32. That’s not in there’s. 33 back there’s. Please be seated. Right. We are back on the record in Lake versus Richer, CV 2002 351480. Counsel for both sides are here. Neither Ms. Lake nor Mr. Richard is present this morning. This is the time set for continuing trial. Where we left off was the county had a couple more witnesses to present. Is there anything that we need to take up before we do that, Your Honor? I’m not sure if the court wanted me to give them notice.
Well, tell us what you have in mind. Okay, let’s be before the attorney for the county gets up and objects, let me have a couple of minutes of explanation of what these witnesses would be expected to say and what the relevance is. Your Honor, there was a lot of testimony about MAGA pro trump violence at the legislature, including, Your Honor, testimony about guns sliding across the courtyard and protesters yelling at children.
And so Senator Kern, Your Honor, as you well know, is the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He spends a great deal of time at the Arizona State Legislature and can testify as to what takes place at the legislature with respect to protests both on, I suppose we could say, Your Honor, the left and the right. Furthermore, Your Honor, one of their witnesses, Miss Rodriguez, invoked Senator Kern’s name at yesterday’s hearing, Your Honor, when she testified that he held her before his committee and would not allow her to leave until she answered a specific question.
And so, with respect to what’s taking place at the legislature and the violence, senator Kern is going to offer testimony in that regard, Your Honor, with respect to how he runs his committee and whether or not he holds witnesses until they answer questions, he’s expected to testify about that as well, Your Honor. With respect to Shelby Bush, Your Honor, I intend to offer her to discuss what was Recorder Richard’s testimony, Your Honor.
And so there are a number of areas she has explicit knowledge in, and those are the availability one of those are the availability of signature, Your Honor, on, for example, verifying and validating signature petitions, Your Honor. So she’s got a lot of knowledge and experience in that regard. She’s got a lot of knowledge and experience with respect to documents such as the VM 34, which hold on, one thing at a time, so I can get it straight in my head.
The first thing would be that she is familiar with and presumably has participated in the process of verifying signatures on initiative petitions, candidate petitions, that kind of thing. Is that what you’re saying? Availability of signatures, right. Okay. All right. And another area would be with respect to the VM 34 and what data is actually sent to a private company known as Runbeck, Your Honor. And these are all relevant because Richard, recorder Richard gave testimony yesterday, your Honor, know the data that’s placed onto the ballot affidavit envelope.
You know, she will testify with respect to her knowledge of Runbeck County policies, with respect to the distribution of voter data to anybody in the world who wants it, Your Honor. And the fact that Runbeck does not get any private, protected information from Maricopa County, which I believe there’s been testimony to that in a recent hearing as well, Your Honor, but those hang on a second. Tell me the name of the record again.
You said it’s 34, Your Honor. The VM 34. VM. 34. Okay. So that’s made available to a private company the data that’s made available to Runbeck Election Services, which is a private company, file transfer protocols it to them for every election cycle so that Runbeck can print these ballot affidavit envelopes and distribute them to all the voters. Right. There’s testimony yesterday about the barcode that was on it and what data it contains, and Ms.
Bush, Your Honor, has knowledge with regards to both of those issues, Your Honor. Well, what I’m still trying to understand, though, is how is that relevant to our case? It’s relevant to our case, Your Honor, because all the data that Maricopa County gives to Runbeck and therefore that my client would have access to, Your Honor, is readily available to anybody who simply wants to go down and buy it, with the exception of the signature, Your Honor.
So it comes down to the signature and whether that signature is protected. And so all of that data can be purchased by someone in New Zealand or Tanzania. All they got to do is a formal records request, and Recorder Richard testified to that fact yesterday, Your Honor, although I don’t think I specifically used Tanzania or Samples, but the point being the same. Okay, so availability of signatures for petition verification purposes, the availability of the VM 34, which I mean, I assume distribution to the election vendor and purchase as for commercial purposes are two different things.
Understood, Your Honor, but A, my client is not seeking them for a commercial purpose. Neither any citizen can get the data, Your Honor. Yeah, but I’m still trying to figure out how that are you saying that it’s available to this company, so therefore it’s not private? No, Your Honor. What I’m saying is they give it to this private company, and therefore it’s not private, but at the same time, it contains no more data than you can find in a VM 34 file, which anybody in the world can do a public records request for Maricopa County.
And they will give them that data if this person pays a fee. So this data is publicly available? Your Honor, I’m not sure I see Mr. LaSota shaking his I don’t think he’s Mr. Stipulate to that. I’m pretty sure he’s not Mr. LaSota. About whether he wants to be referred to as Mr. Lasoto. I’m sorry. I think that’s Mr. Lasote. Okay, so there’s those things. Anything else? Yes, Your Honor, with respect to again, and this gets to the availability of voter data and voter signatures to private third party groups.
Now, there’s a program run by the Secretary of State that gives private third party organizations the right to register voters and upload that data right into their system. And that includes, Your Honor, they have access to all of these voters, their personal information that they get when they register them to vote, as well as their signatures, Your Honor. And so these third party registration groups have access to all of this data okay, all right.
In their possession. Anything else? Well, I guess it really depends on where their next two witnesses go, Your Honor. Okay, fair enough. Based on what we have so far. Based on what we have so far, Your Honor, that’s all. Okay. Your Honor, very briefly, there was testimony about the VM 34 at the hearing on Thursday. The recorder testified about it. I’m not super familiar with that particular file.
It’s something that the Elections Department uses. It makes it available to the political parties. It also makes it available to anybody in the world, as Mr. Blem said, who makes a public records request and pays the applicable fee set by statute. That isn’t a fee that the recorder willy nilly assesses. And Mr. Blem didn’t suggest that it was. But I just want the court to know that fee is set by ars 16 168.
I believe it’s subpart E, but it’s in 16 168 in. Any event, the VM. 34 file contains certain information the voter’s name, the voter’s political party, the voter’s address. It does not contain the voter’s signature. And the voter’s signature is what we’re here about, Your Honor. The signature on the affidavit, the early ballot affidavit envelopes, that’s not part of the VM. 34. And unless Ms. Bush is going to come to the witness stand and say that it is, and then I suppose we’ll have to get a copy of the VM.
34 down here for the court to examine. But I’m representing to the court it’s not part of the VM. 34 and it has no relevance to this proceeding with regard to what is given to Runbeck. Runbeck does perform important services for the county, mr. Blem and his client, Ms. Lake, and also his other client, we the People are currently litigating two separate I’m sorry, that’s incorrect, Your Honor.
It’s. We the people. It’s not ms. Lake is litigating an action against Runbeck right now. But what Runbeck does has nothing to do with this proceeding. In front of your honor today. Again, this is about the early ballot affidavit signatures. I didn’t hear anything that Ms. Bush is expected to testify about that I personally consider to be relevant. However, if Your Honor would like to allow her to testify and we can go line of questioning by line of questioning and make objections that way, that’s fine with me.
As for Senator Anthony Kern, if he takes time out of his busy schedule to be here today, we certainly appreciate that. We did put into evidence testimony about what took place at one of his hearings. If he wants to appear to, from his perspective, clarify or even, from his perspective, refute the testimony that our witness offered, your Honor, I think that is acceptable. I don’t think it’s really relevant to the issue at hand, but we will not object to that if he feels the need to set the record straight from his perspective as to what happens at committee hearings that he chairs.
We have great respect for the members of our legislature, and we would not want to stand in the way of that if that’s what he feels he needs to do. Thank you, Your Honor. Okay, the first, as to Senator Kearn, I do have respect for the members of the legislature and what they do. And if he is here today, then he presumably feels strongly about what was said about what happened in his committee.
And I can identify that with that. If somebody said something about what happened in my courtroom and I thought it didn’t portray me fairly, I want to respond to. But the frankly, what happened in his committee really has nothing to do with what we’re deciding today. And Mr. Leroux said that I was that testimony was given. I heard it, but I was not intending to rely on it in any way because what happened, I don’t know how to say it anymore directly.
What happened between a legislator and a lobbyist in a committee hearing truly has nothing to do with whether the ballot affidavit envelopes are public records or not. And what happens in the community is one thing. What happens in the legislature is something else entirely. So so I don’t think, and it’s up to me at the end of the day, whether to hear testimony, particular testimony, especially at a bench trial.
So I just do not find that that’s relevant. And I think it would be, frankly, a waste of his time to give that testimony. He would be better off going back to the legislature, and if he wants to make a public statement about how he runs his committee, that’s perfectly fine with me. That might be a better way for him to use his time. No, let me finish here.
What Mr. Blam referred to as the MAGA pro Trump activity at the legislature. I talked about that the other day. I referred to it during the testimony. I am simply not going to find or suggest or make any even attempt to explore whether some particular group of people are prone to misbehaving in a way that’s violent or undemocratic or however you want to put it. I’m not going there.
The reason that I think that some of the testimony I heard is important is because it tells me that passions are running high. But even that’s not really the point. I know that I’m not oblivious to the world around me. The question in my mind really, is how the release of this information is going to affect people in that world. And that’s a non denominational, nonpartisan, not one side or the other kind of analysis.
So I will take as a given, frankly, that that what’s happened at the legislature in terms of how whether somebody was was unpleasant to a child on a particular day or whether somebody had a firearm legally outside the legislature. I’ll accept that those things are said, that I said the opposite. I’ll accept whatever Senator Kern would say about those things, but it’s not going to affect what I do.
So for those reasons, the motion to call or the request to call Senator Kern is denied. As far as Ms. Bush, I have not said this, but the availability of the signatures elsewhere is absolutely not relevant. That is absolutely not part of the calculation on a public records request. And maybe you have the case at the tip of your tongue. Is it the KPNX case? It’s the case.
It’s the Scottsdale case. It’s the case about the birth dates? What’s the name of the case? Somebody help me here, because I don’t appear to have a copy out of it in front of me. Your Honor, I will find the citation. We just refer to it as the Scottsdale Unified School District case. That’s the one. But that case involved a request by a news organization for teachers birth dates because they were investigating whether the district had adequately vetted the teachers for histories of misconduct before they hired them.
And the news organization argued that birth dates aren’t really private. You can get birth dates from all kinds of sources and therefore the confidentiality best interest therefore the confidentiality best interest of the state should be discounted because you can get that information anywhere and the case holds and it’s on what a lawyer would say it’s on all fours with this case that that doesn’t matter. That what matters is whether the people whose information as at issue have a privacy confidentiality expectation and the court said people do have that in their birth dates.
This is exactly the same thing. So the availability of signatures to verify candidate and signature petitions, I’m not sure that it’s even enough to say it’s not relevant, it’s not a reason. It is a zero in the analysis. The that goes, I think, for everything that Council described Ms. Bush as intending to say, it is also true that the VM 34 is different because it doesn’t have signatures.
I would also add that it doesn’t have phone numbers, which most of the ballot affidavit envelopes do. So it’s really the presence of that information together with the name and address information that really creates the issue here and again, whether that’s available through some other process, it doesn’t matter. Whether it’s available to a third party election vendor doesn’t matter. An election vendor also is not similarly situated because presumably they’re under contractual obligations to treat the information the same way the recorder would have to treat it, although I don’t know that.
And the same goes for, well, the private third party records. The other issue is access by private third parties who register voters. I guess all I can say about that is that’s just different. The statute specific typically authorizes that the I don’t know what the limitations on that are. I don’t know if signatures those aren’t the signatures we’re talking those aren’t even the signatures we’re talking about. We’re talking about signatures that they collect as part of the voter, the registration of the voter.
So that’s the signature on the other end of the process. It’s the baseline, the comparison signature. It’s not the ballot affidavit envelope signature. So it’s not even the same thing. The we are also when we talk about that now, we’re starting to get back into the world of why somebody thinks that there might be some misconduct or going on in connection with elections or election identity theft. And as I have repeatedly said during this hearing, we’re not going there at all, period.
So that took more words than I expected. But the bottom line is the request to call those witnesses is denied. Provided something this morning that those witnesses or anybody wanting to give in response to. I’ll consider that. Your Honor, may I just have a few minutes so I can make sure I have a record. With respect to Senator Kern, Your Honor, the entire premise of their argument is that people should not get access to these signatures because there might be violence or these valid affidavit envelopes, not just the signatures you’re on, but because people might reap violence on other people.
That was the entire premise of their argument as they sat here and gave their testimony before the Associated Press yesterday that was beaming their testimony live across the world, Your Honor. And so Senator Kern can rebut that testimony with his own with respect to Ms. Bush and her testimony regarding the availability of signatures, Your Honor, in both the political process, I suppose, and in the real world process in which we live every day, your Honor, signatures are widely available.
Birth dates are not. When my waiter comes to me in a restaurant and says, sign your credit card bill, he doesn’t ask me for my birth date. A birth date is an entirely different thing, Your Honor. And Shelby Bush would testify that she can actually send an email to the Secretary of State through their portal and that the Secretary of State will send her an entire set of petitions with signatures on it so that those signatures can be challenged, your Honor.
And anybody can do this. Anybody. Because they’re signatures. And signatures are how people identify themselves in the real world and with respect to our elections. Thank you, Your Honor. Okay. The only addition that I will make in response to that is that as to the premise of the county’s position, I understand the county’s position to be that when you put names and addresses of voters out there with their phone numbers and their signatures that that is going to invite responses from people who question whether both a it’s going to invite questions from people who question whether those are valid signatures and B it comes ready made with a phone number where you can just call that person up and say, hey, is this your signature? Like the one witness testified about the other day, about the people coming to their door.
That’s what I understand their position to be about. So anyway, Your Honor, if I may, you are correct, but there’s a bit more if I can clarify very quickly. Maybe then maybe there’s something I should think about a little more. So go ahead. Yes, Your Honor stated our position with regard to best interest of the state, with regard to Ars 16 168 F, which is the statute that we’ve argued make these signatures confidential.
There is an exception written in the statute that says for signature verification on petitions and candidate filings, that’s Ars 16 168 F. So to the extent that Ms. Bush would testify that she has been able to get signatures for candidate filings or initiative petitions, she’s correct? That’s what the law says, and the recorder follows the law, your Honor, thank you. Okay. Those aren’t public records requests, though. That’s correct, Your Honor.
It’s a statutory request for those who are conducting signature review for candidate challenges and whatnot. And there is a confidentiality provision put into effect to make certain that those signature as certain as we can to make certain that the signatures remain confidential. That’s what I figured, but no, we’re burning daylight. I want to go ahead and hear from the witnesses, but I figured there was a confidentiality piece to that.
But there again, we’re too far afield, because what we’re talking about here is a public records request and the application of the public records and whatever other authority there might be for obtaining this information other than the public records law. That is what it is. I don’t read frankly 16 168 as an authorization to get information at all. It’s a limitation on obtaining information. The authorization to get the information is the public records law, so that’s what we need to focus on.
All right, let’s have the county call his next witness. I’ve got a senator with important business to tend to. You want to go recess so that I could go let him know that he will not be allowed to test? I don’t mind. Let’s not take a recess. Why don’t you just go talk to him and then come on back and we’ll go from there’s? Thank you. I’m sorry.
Come on up here before you sit down. Let’s get you sworn in. Okay. Bonnie. B-O-N-N-I-E. Last name Eckard. E-C-K-A-R. Dal may swear the testimony you’re about to hear will be the truth and nothing but the truth? I do. Please have seat. Yes, you yeah. Okay. Just finish. Oh, we still don’t have Mr. Blem. Okay. Thank you for the time, Your Honor. Welcome. All right, the county may proceed.
Yes, your honor. We’d like to call Bonnie Eckard. She’s already on the stand. I’m sorry. Bonnie or Connie? Bonnie. Bonnie with a B. Okay. All right. Very good. Go ahead. Good morning, Ms. Eckard. Thank you for being here today. Good morning. Please state your full name again for the record. Bonnie Eckard. Ms. Eckard, did you vote in the 2020 general election? Yes. And did you vote in the 2022 general election? Yes.
What method did you choose? Each time I voted early mail. Okay. Did you have an experience where a couple of individuals came to your home and asked you questions about your ballot and your voting history? Yes. When did this occur? It was August 21, 2021. Can you describe what happened that day? Yes. It was a very hot day. It was afternoon. The doorbell rang. My dog barked, and I took the dog into the front office with Bob, and I answered the door, and there were two people at the door.
I asked them if I could help them. There was a man and a woman, probably late 30s early forty s. And they immediately began to pepper me with questions that they seemed to already have the answer to. Did Bonnie Eckard live here? Did Bob Fine live here? Did we vote Democratic? Did we vote by mail? Did anybody else vote from this house? Did we receive extra ballots? And I stopped them and said, who are you? Why are you here? And they were very evasive about who they were or who had sent them.
I believe I remember they said something about election integrity. And I asked them, so why are you here? Why are you asking me these questions and what are you going to do with the information? And the woman started talking about hundreds of people who were dead, who had voted and persisted that votes ballots may have come from my house, from the neighborhood. And when I objected to that and I said, well, who are you and shouldn’t this be solved in the courts and not at my door? She became extremely aggressive with me.
She spoke very loudly. She pointed her finger in my face, she talked over me, she interrupted me. And at that point I just asked them to leave my property. How did you feel about this interaction? I was shaking, quite frankly, and I immediately called a neighbor because they were still on the street and she was able to ascertain who had sent them and who they were. Bob and I were extremely agitated by this event.
And I have to share that my father, who is World War II veteran now passed. But he always instilled in my sister and I the importance, the kind of value of living in this country, of living in a democracy, of having the opportunity and the responsibility to vote, to believe that our vote counted. And the certainty and the venom that these people expressed to me, really, it shook me.
And I’m still very upset about the fragility of our democracy. I wrote about it in my journal. I talked to a number of people about it. And I did make a formal complaint too. Actually, I wrote to Bronovich, who was the Attorney General, and I also wrote to the woman who I discovered had sent those people to our door. Thank you, Ms. Eckard. Now I’d like to pivot a bit to talk about property deeds.
Yes. Have you ever owned property in Air? Yes. Prior to this case, were you aware that if you signed a property deed, the signature on that deed is public now? I know. I didn’t know before. Okay. Even now, knowing that your signature is public in that way, would you be concerned if you knew that the signatures on ballot affidavit envelopes could be given out to just anyone who requests them? I would be concerned about that.
Okay. Would making the signatures on ballot affidavit envelopes public to anyone who requests them? Would that make you reconsider the method that you used to vote I would reconsider. Why is that? Well, I think I said before, I have always believed voting is a highly symbolic and reverent act, that it involves thoughtfulness and, in fact, privacy. I don’t share information about who I vote for, and I keep it an important part of my life.
The signature on the ballot would make me rethink how I vote. And I guess what really concerns me is Bob is 88 years old. We talked about it last night. Would he vote by mail if he knew his signature could be obtained, like all the other information that was obtained when they came to my door? And he doesn’t know, but if he didn’t vote by early mail, voting in person on voting day would be impossible for him, and he spent 50 years in the classroom teaching American history.
It would break his heart not to be able to vote at the end of his life. Thank you, Ms. Eckard. I have no further questions. Okay. Ms. Eckard, this incident you relate about canvassers coming to your door. Have you ever canvassed? You’re going to have to speak louder. I apologize. I’m sorry. Have you ever engaged in canvassing? I have not. Personally, I’ve not gone door to door, but people have come door to door to me.
Okay. It’s fairly routine in our system of government. Yes. I’ve invited people in my home. All right. And do you object to canvassing? No. Okay. Well, and I apologize if some individuals were rude to you, but do you know if they have anything to do with my client or anybody affiliated with my client? I don’t know. Well, you said that they wouldn’t tell you who they were with.
They were evasive. Right. They were very evasive. I believe and this is the year 2021, I believe they said something about election integrity. When I called my neighbor, she was able to ascertain who they were. How did she do that? She asked them persistently who sent them, and they disclosed to her. Yeah. So they told her. Why wouldn’t they tell you if they were willing to tell you? I think she was the woman.
There was a man and a woman there. The woman was in rather the heat of the moment, and she was unproved conspiracy point of view. And so at that point, she wasn’t answering where they were, who had sent them or anything, so I just asked them, Get off my property. My neighbor was able to question them further. Okay, and so she didn’t necessarily kick them off her property, correct.
No. In fact, they were on our street, and she went and talked to them. Right. All right. Did you know that your address and all of that stuff can be obtained from the county pretty readily? I guess I do now. I mean, at the time, it was pretty startling that they were bombarding me with information that they seemed to know, and I didn’t know who they were. I mean, I assumed well, is that what caught you off guard, that you didn’t know who they were and they seemed to know more about you than that.
Caught me off guard, yes. Might that have been what led to some of the hostility? Did you get defensive? Well, they immediately started talking about dead people voting. Okay. And that dead people voting was what provoked the concern on my part, that these were unproven conspiracy theories that someone was either trying to convince me about or frighten me with. When was this? It was August 21, 2021, in the afternoon.
It was really hot out. What was taking place at that time, do you know? Because you keep saying unproven conspiracy theory. Yeah. Well, the audit was going on, I believe the ninja, whatever it is. Okay. Did you support the audit? No. You were opposed were you pretty publicly vocally opposed to the audit? No, I just felt it was sloppy. That was just all over the press. And so with respect to these people canvassing, would you stop people from getting access to voter information? No.
I believe, as I understand it, our Social Security numbers and our signatures are protected, and I would like to keep that, although certainly if people worked hard enough, they could find that. Right. And I’m sitting here looking at how many pages is it? And I haven’t entered any of these into this honorable court’s record yet. But with respect to deeds and other financial documents that you’ve executed I’m sorry.
Please. I’m sorry. Wait a minute. Are we talking about his Eckards records? That’s correct, Your Honor. I said, Your Honor, I haven’t added any into this record because I have no need to put people’s personal information out there. No, but you’re threatening to. I’m not threatening to. I’m asking counsel. Excuse me, counsel. Your Honor, I would object to that. Lake’s Counsel disclosed this information as rebuttal evidence. There’s nothing to rebut.
She admitted on direct that she has signed a property deed and that she was not aware prior to this that her signature would be made public. So I do not think it’s appropriate for him to introduce that. That’s sustained. Let’s move on. No, I don’t want to hear about it. Well, I didn’t introduce it as an exhibit, Your Honor. I was setting the stage for a further question.
I don’t want to hear about it. All right. With respect to your participation in our form of government, do you sign petitions and initiatives and things of that nature? Yes. Were you aware that anybody can go through the Secretary of State’s portal and get all of those petition signatures to verify them? I don’t know exactly the details of that. Have you ever participated in verifying signatures? No. Do you participate in political campaigns or anything along those lines? Yes.
I was actually a poll watcher in 2022. Okay. Poll watcher? What is that? Well, I watched at my local precinct. I watched the process and made sure everyone had voted. And I also came downtown here after the election and watched I did watch the signature verification. I was quite impressed. Okay. I didn’t know how it worked before, so I learned a lot. And thank you for your participation in that.
You testified that if your signature was on the ballot, it would make you think twice about voting yes, not about voting about how I voted. Okay, and so were you speaking about the ballot? Because nobody’s asking for that to happen. Nobody’s asking for what to happen? For people to have to find their ballot. For people to have to I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question. You had testified that if your signature was on your ballot, it would make you think twice about voting no.
If the signature was on my ballot and that was made public to everybody to get it, I would have to think twice about whether I would submit my ballot by mail. And I just want to make sure the record is clear. You say ballot and we’re here talking about ballot affidavit envelopes. Okay, so you’re not talking about the green envelope? I’m talking about the green envelope. The ballot is what you vote.
Okay, sorry, I was not clear. If I had to sign the green envelope and that signature became public to anybody who wanted it, that might change how I voted. Okay, so you might decide to vote differently. I might decide. I had to vote in person. And so now, knowing that people can access your signature on initiatives and petition, will that stop you from signing initiatives and petition? Yeah, sorry, I’m going to have to have you speak into the microphone.
All right, now that you know that the public can access petition and initiative signatures to verify those signatures, will that stop you from signing petitions and initiative hold on, ma’am. That’s actually misstating what happens. Campaign committees and people who are in the authorized practice of verifying signatures can do that. I haven’t heard anybody say that they’re available to the public. Your Honor, the expert I want to have testify today has done it not as part of any campaign committee or any organization that’s otherwise representing a campaign committee.
They have requested campaign or petition signatures from the Secretary of State, and they have obtained them on their own so that they can verify signatures and challenge petitions for candidates and initiatives. Your Honor, and they’re not affiliated with the campaign. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. Let’s just move on. Rephrase the question. Well, I’m not sure how I know how to rephrase that question, Your Honor. If I were to circulate a petition to you today, would you be willing to sign it for a particular candidate if you like? That candidate, yes.
Okay, so it wouldn’t change your behavior in that regard, right, if you were to go buy a new house tomorrow, would you still want to go buy that new house tomorrow? Yes. Even though you know your signature is going to be on public record? Yes. So it wouldn’t alter your behavior? No. And so you know our ballots are secret, correct? Yes. All right. And so we have these secret ballots, and you’re aware that nobody’s here trying to get rid of the secret ballot? You know why question I’m sorry.
Am I aware that we’re not trying to get rid of the secret ballot? That’s not why we’re here. I see. Yeah. Explaining to her what you’re doing, that’s not helpful. Let’s move on. Okay. When you ask these canvassers to leave your property, did they leave? Yes. Okay. And how long were they there in total? I was trying to remember. It was for sure under ten minutes. It may have been seven, eight minutes.
Okay, and so you didn’t feel threatened or the need to call law enforcement? No, I felt intimidated. Okay. I felt the aggression was present. I did not feel physically threatened, but I felt emotionally and psychically abused. Okay. All right. Was that because they were canvassing asking about dead voters? It was the tone and the body language and the interrupting. I mean, it was very frightening and aggressive to me.
Okay, and so how long was it after this incident? Do you remember the date of the incident? Yes, august 21. August 21. How long after that? Was it before you called the I believe it was the AG. I wrote to Bronovich on the website they had there, and I also wrote to the woman who had organized these people. And when did you do that? The next day. The very next day.
So on August 22? I believe so. Or maybe have been the same day, but in my journal, I believe it was the next day. Did you get a response back from Bernie? No. All right. I have no further questions, Your Honor. Before you redirect, let me just ask you one or two. You said that these folks, your word was barraged you with questions. Tell me as much as you can about what specifically they asked you.
The one that struck my ear is they asked you who you voted for. They asked me if I voted Democratic. Okay. What else? But it was phrased lots of question. You voted Democratic. Right. So everything question that they asked about my name, my voting record, everything was rather they knew the answer and there may have been a right at the end of it. Okay. What else did they ask you? Yeah, I can remember specifically.
Let me tell you how I think they ask it. You’re Bonnie Eckard, right? Bob Fine lives here, right. Does anybody else live here? Did you receive any other ballots? Did you vote early by mail? Did you vote Democratic? Are there people here? And that’s when it kind of veered into the dead people because I stopped them. I questioned them, and then their justification was the dead people. Are there any dead people here? And what was humorous to me is they didn’t say ballots from dead people.
They said dead people were voting. I had this image of these zombies, but no, there were no dead people voting for my house. Anything else that sticks in your mind that they asked you? I think other really broad based, unfounded conspiracy theories were voiced to me. If you asked me to be specific about that, I can’t recall exactly what they are, only that they seemed like outrageous and scary.
Thank you, Council. Nothing further. Okay, thank you very much, ma’am. Yes, you can go. Thank you very much for being here. Your Honor, may I follow your questioning up with yeah, briefly. You can hold on, ma’am. I guess you’re not quite done. Thank you, Your Honor. You recalled some of these questions they ask if you voted in the Mic, please. Sorry about that. They asked if you voted Democratic, correct? Yes.
And did you respond that’s a yes or no question? If I’m not sure, though. I think I did. Yes. I’m going to say yes. Okay. And so zombies? Sticks in my mind, yeah. Is it your impression they were looking for zombies or they were wanting to clean the voter rolls? I got the impression that they were spreading conspiracy theories, that people had submitted dead ballots from dead people.
That’s what I believed. And they said hundreds of them. And you keep saying you’ve testified a few times, though, to these broad based, unfounded conspiracy theories, correct? Are you anti Trump? No, we’re not going to start talking about people’s. I don’t think that unless you can tell me that there’s a reason to cross examine this citizen about her political views, I’m not inclined to allow that. But I’ll let you be heard, your Honor.
There are dog whistles and those are terms people using politics, Your Honor, to explain certain terms, or so. You know, it’s all over the news media, Your Honor, that former President Donald Trump is associated with these broad based, unfounded conspiracy theories relating to our election. And she keeps repeating that. And Your Honor, this whole premise here that we’re here for is that we have this fear that these signatures are going to get out online.
And I’ve got 20 pages of signatures with their documents sitting in front of me that I got off the line off their client’s website, Your Honor. And so this theory and it was the same theory yesterday that was presented with respect to what’s taking place at the Senate. As a matter of fact, the witness specifically testified to the name, I believe, Trump. Okay. And MAGA. Here’s what I’ll do.
I will let you ask the question, and I will let Ms. Eckert decide how she responds to it. If she wants to say what her political view is, that’s okay. If she doesn’t, I’m not going to compel her to do that. Understood, your honor. And I’m not asking her political view. What I’m asking is if she supports Donald Trump. Are you asking me? Yes. He’s not my cup of tea.
He’s not your cup of tea. And so is it your belief that it’s President Trump who is spreading these broad based, unfounded conspiracy theories? All I can tell you is about the people who came to my door and what they said. All right. And what they argued and how that made me feel. All right. And did you believe they were working on behalf of, or for or in support of any way President Trump? I knew and eventually discovered who they were working with and for.
So you knew who they were working with? Not at the time, but later, I discovered my neighbor found out who had organized them and who had sent them into my neighborhood. Okay. And so might your visceral reaction have been with respect to cleaning voter rolls that you believe that they were pro Trump individuals and that Trump’s not your cup of tea? It never came was nothing came up about Trump at the door? What came up primarily was the dead voters and then some other stealing the election kind of rhetoric that I don’t even know whether it was specific.
I don’t remember the specifics. Thank you. And, Your Honor, thank you for the latitude. I have no further questions. Thank you. Appreciate it. Anything else? Just a couple questions. Ms. Eckard, you testified earlier about the suggestion of a deadboat coming from your home. Right. How did that make you feel? Awful. It was frightening. It made me think that I was being accused and that I was being watched, that they had all this information about me, that they were willing to confront me with that and to ask those questions was very disconcerting.
Was that what concerned you about this interaction? That I was being watched? No, the suggestion the suggestion that, yes, in part. I mean, there was the finger pointing and the loud voice, but yes, in part, it was that there seemed to be an accusation that something was going on and that Bob and I were not the only ones living there. Okay. Thank you, Ms. Eckert. I have no further questions now.
You can stand down, and you’re free to go. Thank you very much for being here today. Let’s go ahead and get started with the next witness. We may not finish before the break, but let’s go ahead. We’d like to call Christy Pasarelli. Ma’am, come on up here’s. Before you sit down, we’ll get you sworn in. Please state and spell your first and last name. Christy. K-R-I-S-T-I hasarelli. P-A-S-S-A-R-E-L-L-I.
Good morning, Ms. Pasarelli. How are you today? Good morning. Fine, thank you. Good. Thank you so much for being here. Please state your full name again for the record. Christy Pasarelli. Where are you currently employed? I am the City Clerk for the City of Surprise. Where were you working before that? At the Maricopa County Elections Department. What was the last position that you held there? I was the Assistant Director of Election Services and Tabulation.
Could you describe your duties in that role? Sure. I oversaw all things related to the ballot, so from creation to Tabulation, our logic and accuracy testing on the election services side, it was the beginning, which was candidates and campaign finance. What were some of the other positions that you’ve held there? I was assistant director in general previous to that, and oversaw our warehouse, our polling site locations, our training, several different departments within the elections field.
And in total, how many years have you worked in elections for Maricopa County? In June. It was 31. Let me just break in with I think I know the answer to this, but let me just ask anyway. You didn’t work for the Recorder, correct? I was the elections Department as a whole, so when I first started, it was under the umbrella of the Recorder’s Office. Oh, when did that change? I hope I get this right.
I believe it was 2019. We had a different scope that came about. So co directors, it was the Elections Department during the 2020 election, how was it set up? We had the co directorship under the Recorder and the Board of Supervisors. So when you say co director, meaning you had a counterpart that reported directly to the Recorder? Well, I was an assistant director, but there are two directors above me, and one was reported to the Recorder.
Okay, go ahead. So, to clarify, did you report to both the Recorder and the Board of Supervisors? I did. Okay. In your experience working in elections for over 30 years, could you describe how people’s conduct towards elections has changed over time? I would just say that it’s a lot different. Maybe in the past ten years and more recently, it’s just become, I would say, a negative interpretation of elections and a bit more hostile.
Could you give some examples of the ways that has changed? I think that probably there’s just ways of when you have an election, you get to the end like the Super Bowl, you have your election day, and then it’s kind of over and you take everything down and shake hands and say, Good game and move on. But I feel as though that hasn’t happened in recent history. Thank you.
Ms. Pasarelli, I’d like to pivot a bit. Are you familiar with we the People Arizona Alliance’s website? Yes. And to the best of your knowledge, what is on their website? There’s different things, but I know that there are videos specifically related to a page titled Election Fraud. And did you see anything relevant to you on their website? Yes, all of the videos have pictures of myself and my staff doing our job.
Can you describe what you saw in a particular video? It’s different aspects of the preparation for the audit that occurred as a result, the Senate subpoenaed our election equipment, and we were preparing the equipment to be taken to the Senate as required, and most of the videos are during that time. It’s preparing our election server and all of the equipment that goes with that so that we could turn it over to the Senate.
Did you see a video, perhaps with your picture on it? Yes. There are multiple. Multiple. Was there any suggestion about your activities in the elections department? There are different captions. I don’t remember them all, but there’s several that are accusing us of committing fraud and deleting the election results from the server. What do you think was the purpose of those videos? I don’t know what the purpose would be.
She said she didn’t know, so the answer can stand. Following these types of accusations. You mentioned there was an accusation of deleting information. Were you the target of harassment and threats? Yes. When did that begin? My timing might be a little bit off, but it was all started around the time of preparing the equipment for the audit and continued. It would die down and then it would come back.
Was that in 2021, 2021, and 2022 as well. If you recall, could you give us some specific examples of the threats that you received? Sure. I had lots of different ways that my picture was being circulated around social media with several captions highlighting the word treason, several nasty phone calls and voicemails, emails, Facebook messages. Any way that someone could find a way to contact me, they did. How did you feel about these threats? I haven’t ever talked about it before, so it’s a little ripe for me right now, but it’s unnerving scary depending on the type of call or voicemail that I received.
But it’s definitely the most stressful part of doing my job. Thank you. Ms. Pastorelli, did you leave your position with Maricopa County elections as a result of the harassment and threats that you experienced? It was definitely an option that I considered when I decided to move. Now, without giving me any names, are you aware of other individuals who worked in Maricopa County elections that left as a result of this type of threats and harassment? Yes.
Okay. And based on your experiences in elections for over 30 years, do you think that in this current election climate, voters could be harassed the same way that you were? Yes. Why is that? I think if there’s contact information for any voter and the perception is that they didn’t vote the way someone wanted them to, that they’re subject to harassment. Thank you, Ms. Pasarelli. I have no further questions.
I’ll interject my question now so both sides can follow up. Was your personal contact information distributed on the Internet? I don’t know if my personal cell phone number was, but I know that they were able to get to me through Facebook and through social media, but I did not get a harassment call on my personal phone. When you said you got harassing phone calls and voicemails, were those on your professional office line at the recorder? The voicemails were on both my cell phone and my office phone, yes.
Okay, thank you. All right. Cross examiner. Good morning. Ms. Pasarelli, was it? You know what, I apologize, Mr. Blem, it’s 25 after ten. So rather than have you get started and then cut you off after a minute or two, let’s just take a 15 minutes recess right now, and then we’ll come back and you can do your examination and so and and that would be the same with the you’re familiar with the early ballot affidavit envelope, correct? Yes.
They don’t contain phone numbers. They do contain a phone number if the voter provides it. If the voter provides one, correct? Yes. They’re not obligated to correct. Okay, but if it’s the same as it’s in their VM 34 file, then any citizen can get it correct, can get the envelope, can get the VM 34 and the phone numbers for voters. The public record voter data file. Yes. Hold on.
Let’s define some terms here. Mr. Blem is using the term VM 34. You’re saying that’s not the file? That would be a public record. Could you clarify for me that’s correct. There is a Public Records Request file and it is not the VM 34. Okay. You mean when you say a Public Records Request file, what do you mean exactly? It’s the file that does not contain data, that is not public record under the law.
And what is in that file? It’d be racking my memory. Hopefully I get them correctly. I’m not the voter registration specialist, so it would be name, address, phone number, but not anything else that’s not required under the public record statute. Party affiliation? Party affiliation, yes. But not date of birth or Social Security or any of that protected information. Okay, and when you say if the phone number is there, why do you say if? Is that not it’s not a required piece to register to vote.
You don’t have to provide your phone number. Okay. All right. Thank you. You’re welcome. With respect to the VM 34, is the voter’s date of birth in that file? The year of birth is in that file, I believe. Again, not the voter registration specialist, so I don’t know all the data. You don’t really know, but in the VM 34, your date of birth is in that file. I believe so, yes.
And are you aware that Recorder Richard testified that the VM 34 is publicly available to anybody Do Not Records Request? I don’t know of any other testimony. Okay, all right, very good. And so if all that information is publicly available, then is there any additional information that you’re aware of on the ballot affidavit envelope, aside from the signature that a regular citizen can’t get? Repeat that for me, please.
How much familiarity do you have with the ballot affidavit envelope? I’m familiar. Okay, so you used to work in that area? Yes. How long ago? It’s part of the Elections department. So even in recent years okay, and I understand it’s part of the Elections Department, but your testimony was 2019. You sort of go to this dual system, correct? Correct. You have the statutory responsibilities of the recorder divided from the statutory responsibilities of the Board of Supervisors, correct? Correct.
And your responsibilities lie with the Board of Supervisors from 2019 on, correct? I reported to both the directors. Did you ever do any work preparing data files to send to a company called Runbeck? No, I did not prepare data files. You didn’t do that. Did you ever have any conversations about what data to send to Run Beck so that it could mail ballot affidavit envelopes to voters? Yes.
Okay, and what data was that? I think I’ve already ruled that that’s not relevant. Well, I thought you ruled by witnesses testimony. Yeah, it’s not relevant when the other witness is going to testify to it, it’s not relevant. When she testifies to it. It’s exactly the same. Okay. Well, I apologize, Your Honor. And the reason I’m asking, Your Honor, is that Your Honor made the statement when it was objecting to my or was denying my witnesses that most of these ballot affidavit envelopes have phone numbers on them which are protected.
And so this line of testimony gets to what information this third party company has that my client would get access to ruling stands. Thank you, Your Honor. All right, the telephone number then, if a voter is provided, the public can get correct? Correct. Along with their address, their voter registration, party affiliation, that stuff? Correct. All right. Their full name? Yes. Okay, and so that’s not something one group like we the People that you’re aware of is out there providing people illegally or anything like that? I don’t know anything about them.
All right. And you specifically testified with regards to we the People and videos, you’ve seen their videos, correct? Yes. Okay. Is the video that depicts you, do you know if that video was ever submitted to the Attorney General, the State of Arizona? I don’t know. You don’t recall? Does that video depict you allowing somebody with unauthorized access to access the server? It does not. Does not. Okay, and that would know for, I guess, somebody else to decide, not me.
But does the video depict you going into the server room with another now we’re catapulting the falsehoods, Your Honor. I’m not stop it. I’m not trying to catapult to stop it. Okay. Your Honor, she raised the issue of videos, and so I just stop it. Ms. Pesarelli, the we the People videos that they put online, do they blur individual spaces? No. No. Okay. She’s just specifically asked answered a question.
No, Your Honor. And I can go on YouTube and look at we the People videos right now and show blurred. Your question was something to the effect of were you deleting data or something? Move on, your Honor. My question was, when we the People puts out videos, do they blur faces? She just answered that one. I allowed that one and it was answered well, and she said no, Your Honor.
So next question. Okay. Is your face blurred in any of the we the People videos? Not the ones I’ve seen. Okay. How many have you seen? Just the ones that are on their website, and I know there was some that were circulating a few years ago on social media. Okay. How many of them are on their website specifically of you? I trying to recall three or four. Okay.
So it’s your testimony there are three or four videos of you on we the People website in which your face is not blurred. Correct. Okay. Do those videos say who you are? Yes. Okay. Do they give your private contact information? No. Okay. Where did we the People get these videos? I don’t know if it was part of a public records request, I’m assuming. So are there video cameras at MC Tech? Yes.
Okay. Why? We’re required by statute to put live stream videos for tabulation. Okay. You’re required by statute to have video at MC Tech, correct? Correct. Okay. Who has access to that video? It’s publicly available on our website. It’s publicly available to anybody in the world? Yes. And all they have to do is log into your website, correct. All right, and so people don’t even need a public records request to get access to video depicting you or others working in Maricopa County Technical Center? Correct.
It’s live video, so I don’t know if they had recorded video or not. Okay. All right. With respect with respect to these threats that have made against you, do you really quick, let me go back. All of the videos you have seen depicted of you, are all of those videos if I were to log on to Maricopa County website right now and go to the MC Tech video feed website, are all the videos you’re depicted in from inside Mctech? The videos that are on the website are from Mctech? Yes.
Okay. Every one of them? Yes. Okay, so every one of these is a public video, is that correct? It’s a video. I don’t know how they were received. Okay. But they’re all public? Correct. The live stream is public? Yes. Okay, and so is your testimony that these videos are about election fraud? No, that’s the highlighted title on that page. Okay. And did you ever have any discussions with the Attorney General Bernovich about deleted files from the Mctech server? No.
Okay, and so it’s your testimony there was no harassment until the audit I can’t recall the first time that my picture was circulated, but it was around that time, shortly after 2020. Shortly after 2020. Do you know when the audit was? 2021. 2021, okay. So what was taking place then might have been before the audit that was in 2020, is that correct, the harassment? Yeah. Not sure what your question is your face being circulated? It was all around the same time, yes.
Then do you have any of these Facebook messages? I don’t have them. I gave them to our security folks at that time. Okay. So Maricopa County would have those, correct? The Sheriff’s Department and Actic have them? I don’t know of that. Maricopa county has them. So those could have been brought to this court today, is that correct? If somebody has them, I guess. I don’t know. Okay, so you still have them? I don’t know if they’re still accessible through the Facebook messenger application where they were received.
All right. And phone calls. I believe you testified you’d never received any threatening phone calls on your cell phone. No, I did. Okay, but you didn’t receive any personally? They were all voicemails, is that correct? No, I had phone calls and voicemails on my work phone, not on my personal phone. All right. Do you have any of those that were left as messages? I gave those to the security folks as well.
Okay. Now, really quickly, with respect to the phone calls, did we, the people, put out any of your personal information? I don’t think so. Okay. You didn’t see any evidence of that, is that correct? That’s correct. All right. And so you currently work for, I believe, is it surprise now? Is it city Manager or something like that? I am the city clerk for the City of Surprise. Okay.
The city clerk. Okay. And I believe I saw a newspaper article about what was your salary when you left Maricopa County Elections Department? 121 20. Okay. And so now your salary for surprise is consistent? Your Honor, I object. This is not relevant to the issues before this court. She testified, Your Honor, that one of the reasons she left was the threats and the intimidation and the violence that’s going on in our society today.
Maybe there are other motivations. Did you get a raise? Yes, I did. How much? Okay, but that’s too much information might be highly relevant to her motivation to leave. I assume it was a good race. You’ve got a pretty substantial increase in your responsibility, too, correct? Managerial responsibility. It’s similar. Similar? Well, what was the title when you left maricopa county? Elections Department. Assistant Director. The assistant director. Or was it Co? Assistant Director? No, I was an Assistant Director of the entire elections department.
One of four. One of four, okay. The four, is that related to the division of responsibilities between MC or the Board of Supervisors and the all right. And so you were the assistant director? Elections director under Scott Jarrett. Correct. I reported to both Scott and to Ray. Okay, but you’re I’m sorry, ray Valenzuela, he’s your co director immediate chain of command was Scott Jared on that side of the fence? Correct.
For Tabulation. Okay. And so that’s quite a step up, isn’t it, from co assistant election director to recorder for the City of Surprise? Well, city clerk is an election officer, and it’s very similar to a director position. Yes, understood. But you’re running the recorder’s office, correct? It’s not a recorder’s office. Okay. City’s office. Okay. It’s the city’s office. Okay. All right. You testified that if what my client is seeking in the terms of public records is public and that somebody has a perception that somebody did not provide the right or vote the right way, that could lead to threats and intimidation.
Do you recall that? Yes. Okay. You’re aware that nobody can tell my client or anybody else who voted for whom except for the individual who cast the ballot, correct? Correct. All right. So you’re aware that my client is not here today seeking access to information that would divulge to anyone who voted for who? I would hope not. We have a secret ballot in this country, is that correct? That is correct.
And that applies to Maricopa County, correct. And so access then, to the ballot affidavit envelope doesn’t provide anybody any information, does it, about how or who someone voted for? Not a vote. But it has the party affiliation. Okay. Are you saying the absentee ballot return envelopes contain party affiliation? The affidavit envelope? Yes. It states party affiliation on the outside of the envelope. Isn’t that just for primaries? Yes, it is stated by party in the primary? Yes.
The return envelope that my client is seeking, is it your testimony, as you sit here today, being an elections expert with 30 some years election history with Maricopa County, that the outside of the ballot affidavit envelope for general elections, including the 2022 general election, contains party affiliation? No, it does not have a party affiliation. Okay. Thank you very much. And so if I look at the outside of that envelope in and of itself, I can’t tell a person’s individual vote, can I? Or how they may have voted? No.
I would have to know more, wouldn’t I? Yes. Could I tell that if I got a copy of that VM 34 or the other public document we were talking about? No. You don’t give up. That doesn’t include party affiliation. Party, yes. But you cannot tell someone’s vote. Understood that, but I could infer how they voted, correct? Correct. Which I cannot do if I look at the outside of a ballot affidavit envelope, correct? Correct.
Unless it’s yes. Even in a primary, though, correct? Sure. Yeah. Because the return envelopes in a primary do not or do they contain party affiliation in a primary, they have a party code. Okay. And that’s so you can properly sort them and put them in the right piles. I don’t know what you mean by that. Well, why would you include party affiliation on a primary return envelope? I’m not sure what you mean by that.
Okay. You testified that the return ballot affidavit envelope that’s signed by the voter in the primary has party affiliation. I believe that it does. You believe it does. Why primary? Why what’s the purpose of that? It’s the ballot style that goes in the envelope. Okay, well, there are tens of thousands of ballot styles in these envelopes, isn’t that correct? That’s correct. Okay. Why would you need to know party affiliation ballot style? It’s part of the checking that you do when you’re on a processing board, which is under the recorder and not my expertise.
Okay, so you don’t know then. Fair to say that I don’t know what? Whether or not they have party affiliation on the ballot affidavit envelope for primary. I said that I believe they did. You believe they did, but then you just said it’s not your expertise. I not oversee that department. Okay. Have you ever had any incidents of threats or violence, which, aside from when you were turning stuff over to the Maricopa County elections department, since you left Maricopa county, any threats of violence or any other incidents in which you had to engage law enforcement? No.
Okay, and so when was your last threat or incident? It was around the primary election for 2022 was the last week long? Ish. So back prior to the primary? Yeah. Things resurfaced, but I don’t know how long they were circulating. The pictures had resurfaced and the captions had resurfaced for a short amount of time. So nothing prior to the general? I believe it was between the primary and the general.
So during that time period? Yes. Okay, so it’s been a while then. Yes. All right. And no physical harm or anything like that? No. Do you know if other individuals get threats of violence? People maybe on the other side? I don’t know what you mean by the other side. Well, I guess you have elections directors, the elections staff, and then you have people who are doing public records requests because they want to check into issues like election integrity.
Do you know if they get threats? I don’t know. You don’t know? Okay. All right, well, then I believe let’s see here. Do you guys protect any individualized voter information from disclosure when you disclose documents? Yes. If a voter is address protected, their information is not released. Okay. And so there’s been testimony before this court about fears of an ex husband going and getting the private information for their wife in a domestic violence situation and using that information to cause them harm, and so you protect that information, isn’t that correct? If the person is registered under that provision, then they’re protected? Yes.
Okay, so Arizona has laws to protect the privacy of their address and. Telephone number, correct? Yes. Their record is protected. All right. And that applies to all of their pertinent government records, correct? Yes. All right, then I think I don’t have any further questions, Your Honor. Could you just talk a little bit about the address protection? Go ahead. Specifically, as it deals with domestic violence sure. That’s a provision under the recorder, so forgive me, that’s not my expertise, but there is a provision in law that allows for someone to ask for protection under the court, and so it is by court order that that person’s information is protected.
The person has to initiate that by filing a petition. That’s correct. All right, thank you. You’re welcome. Lakes Council suggested that you can infer the way that a person voted by their record. Do you know whether Republicans always vote Republican? No. What about Democrats? No. Okay. Lakes Council also suggested that the videos of you on we the People Arizona Alliance’s website are simply just public videos that are streamed.
Is that the case? I don’t believe so, no. The videos that are available are live streamed. So those videos were obtained and recorded. Are those videos coupled with accusations as well? Yes. Okay. No further questions, Your Honor. All right, thank you very much, ma’am. You can step down. Thank you for being here today. All right. Anything else? Your Honor, we have no further witnesses. We would like to make a closing argument, if it pleases the court.
Yes, I would like to hear that. Is there anything we need to take up before we do that? Well, all my witnesses have been struck into exhibits, Your Honor, so I guess whenever we’re ready to do closing arguments. All right, we’ll go ahead. And in keeping with the way we’ve been arranging this, since you all have acknowledged that you have the burden of proof, we’ll let you all go first.
Are you going to be using the screen? I will not, Your Honor. Okay. I want to begin my argument with the summation of why the early ballot affidavit envelopes signatures are made confidential by Ars 16 168 F. And then I want to summarize why it’s in the best interest of the state to protect those records from public disclosure. Now, this court could rule for the county under either of those theories, but I will ask the court to rule that these signatures are protected by Ars 16 168 F.
And as I will explain shortly, that ruling goes far beyond just the public records issue before this court today. And it’s important for the future of election administration in Arizona. Or stated differently, a ruling by this court that Ars 16 168 F does not apply would mean that the early ballot affidavits with their signatures are not part of the voter registration record, which Ars 16 168 F makes confidential.
And if they’re not part of the voter registration record, they cannot be used for future signature verification. Yes, Your Honor. Let me push back on that. Does voter registration record under 16 168 F necessarily mean the same as what it as under 16 550? Your Honor, the answer to your question is complicated, and I’m not trying to dodge it or play the lawyer with you. No, I think I agree with that.
Okay. It honestly depends on the ultimate court ruling on a question of law, and here’s why. To answer Your Honor’s question, the same phrase is used in both statutes, and our legislature, as sometimes happens, does not provide a clear definition in either statute of what voter registration record means. So Ars 16 550 A tells the 15 county recorders that when they do signature verification, they may use the signatures in the voter registration record.
ARF 16 168 F says signatures in the voter registration record, among other things, are confidential unless certain exceptions apply because the term is not defined. Your Honor, I don’t know how to answer Your Honor’s question definitively, I guess is the word that I’m looking for. I guess it would be fair to say there’s a risk that it could be interpreted that way. There absolutely is such a risk, Your Honor.
And when I say risk, I mean from your client’s point of view. Yes, Your Honor, from the recorder’s point of view. Well, I’ll leave it there. From the recorder’s point of view, yes, there is that concern. I understand that. I’m inclined to think that for a variety of reasons that the two don’t necessarily correlate, starting with the fact that it’s not a defined term anywhere. But I’m not sure I need to go into the details of that right here.
I’ll just let you continue your argument. Let me quickly explain to Your Honor why we believe that 16 168 F does apply and understanding what Your Honor just said about perhaps these two terms should be understood differently in the two statutes. But let me explain why we think 16 168 F on its face applies to affidavit signatures. And I’m going to do that, Your Honor, from two documents.
The court is familiar with the actually, three the court is familiar with the Elections Procedures Manual. I’ll cover that real quickly. The Elections Procedures Manual directs the county recorder on page 69 of the EPM to I’m sorry, Your Honor, I just scrolled my notes. Just one moment. I apologize. Here we go. It says on page 69, after verifying an in person early ballot, county recorder may update the signature in a voter’s record by scanning the voter’s affidavit signature and uploading the signature image to the voters record.
Now, at the motion to dismiss stage, Your Honor, I pointed this out, and the court asked a very good question. The court said something to the effect of, but doesn’t it say that’s the in person early ballot envelopes and I looked down at the EPM and the court was correct. It did say that, and that’s correct. And that’s a very good observation by the court. However, we think that it cannot be the case that only the in person early ballot affidavit envelopes are added to the voter registration record.
For this reason it could create equal protection problems. The majority of Arizona’s early voters vote by mail in early ballot. Both ballot signatures are verified and it’s only after verification that they can be added to the voter registration record. And so if the law is that only in person get added, not the mail vote by mail early ballots, that could create equal protection problems that would be difficult to resolve.
Your Honor has a question. Bush versus Gore Lives. Bush versus Gore does live. However, the Supreme Court cabin it to the facts before the court in that moment. I know they did. Just a little election law joke. Thank you, Your Honor. Let me give two other reasons, though, that we believe that the signatures are clearly added under the law to the voter registration record. First is an opinion letter from the Attorney General.
This opinion letter was issued in 2017. It is Exhibit D to our trial brief. And the attorney general concluded that state when he was discussing the voter registration record in the letter, the attorney general concluded that and I’m quoting state law requires Arizona’s voter registration database to include a number of different types. Of data not present on the basic voter registration form, including voting history peeval, which was the permanent early voting list, the forerunner to today’s active early voting list people participation, precinct number and any other record associated with a voter’s individual voting history.
We believe that that would include early ballot affidavits which are obviously associated with a voter’s voting history. The second thing that I would direct Your Honor to is the actual text of ars 16 168. Now, as I said earlier, we have great respect, as I know Your Honor does, for our state legislature. They do a very important job creating the laws for our state. Unfortunately, sometimes those laws are not the best example of clarity.
And 16 168 is such a law. It’s a very lengthy law and it’s difficult at times to parse. However, I want to attempt to parse it for Your Honor and show why we believe that it clearly requires the affidavits to be part of the voter registration record. 16 168 uses three terms to discuss three different records or lists. It talks about precinct registers, it talks about precinct lists and it mentions those in subparts C-D-E and F and in subparts Cde and F.
The statute tells what the precinct registers and the precinct lists may be used for. It talks about their purposes. Now Your Honor can read 16 168 from first word to last word. And never once will Your Honor find within that statute a description of what the voter registration record is to be used for, what its purpose is. And that, Your Honor, is the third term. I said there were three terms.
It’s precinct registers, precinct lists, and voter registration record. Purposes are given for the registers and the lists. No purpose is ever given for the voter registration record. Why does that matter? Well, it matters for this reason, Your Honor. Subpar after providing more direction in the first part about allowable uses or purposes of precinct registers and precinct lists, it says this Nothing in this section shall preclude public inspection of voter registration records at the office of the county recorder for the purposes prescribed by this section.
Voter registration records for the purposes prescribed by this section, except that the confidential information shall not be produced. Now, why this is important, Your Honor, is because, as I just said, the statute doesn’t provide any purposes at all for the voter registration record. Those purposes are given in other statutes, but 16 168 doesn’t provide any purposes for the voter registration record. So when the statute says nothing in this section shall preclude public inspection of voter registration records at the county recorder for the purposes prescribed by this section, it must be the case that the precinct lists and the precinct registers are part of the voter registration record.
Now, why does that matter? Well, it matters for this reason. 16 168 E provides the records that are part of the precinct lists and precinct registers. And subpart eleven of subpart E says all data relating to early voters, including ballot requests and ballot returns. And ballot returns, Your Honor, would be the affidavit envelopes what the ballots come back in, what they’re returned in those affidavit envelopes are part of the precinct lists pursuant to ars 16 168 e eleven.
And because 16 168 talks about purposes for precinct lists and it says nothing in the in subpart F, nothing in this section shall preclude public inspection of the voter registration record for any of the purposes under this statute. The voter registration record must contain the data that is included in the precinct lists, and that would include the early ballot affidavits that are uploaded into the registration record. Now, Your Honor, we highlight which would potentially support the idea that voter registration records within the meaning of this section is something different than it is elsewhere in title 16, your Honor thought, but I think what you’re saying is you have to analyze this statute to see what voter registration records means in this statute.
That’s exactly what I’m saying, Your Honor. Yes. And looking at what it means in this statute, it seems clear to us that it would include the early ballot affidavits because they are the ballot returns that are part of the precinct lists, and the precinct lists appear to be, on the plain terms of the statute, part of the voter registration record. Now, I acknowledge, Your Honor, the statute does not say it as neatly as what I just did.
But taking the statute as a whole and assuming the legislature meant what it said. That’s the implication. Your Honor, let me suggest another way of looking at it. I just want to run this by you. The testimony from Mr. Richard was clear that the ballot affidavit envelopes are, in fact, treated as part of the voter registration record, and that’s what they do. That’s correct, Your Honor. Whether that’s legally correct or not.
That’s what they do, in fact. And he also suggested that part of the reason that you don’t make all this information public is that it interferes with the verification process. That’s correct, John. So it strikes me that perhaps voter registration record in this statute, which is about confidentiality, not about how you administer an election, might mean what the recorder uses for that purpose. It could be defined by what the recorder actually does.
And what they’re saying is, we don’t want this stuff to get out there because the recorder needs to use it for a really important purpose. Am I missing something there, or is that a way you could look at this? Your Honor, we think that’s exactly the way that the court should look at it, yes. And that goes straight to the case that we cited in our trial brief, barry v.
State department of Corrections. It’s cited, I believe, on page 14 of our trial brief. And that was the case where the court gave significant deference to the department of Corrections interpretation of a statute governing confidentiality. The statute did not say it quite the way the department of corrections it did not say it as clearly as the department of corrections was arguing it to the court, but it was a reasonable interpretation of the statute.
And because the department of Corrections had interpreted the statute that way, the court gave great deference to the agency that has to actually live under the statute. That doesn’t mean that the agency always gets to win. Clearly, if the law doesn’t support it, the court shouldn’t rule in favor of the agency or hear the recorder. But I would submit to your honor that the recorder’s interpretation is a reasonable interpretation of 16 168 F, and so therefore, the court should find for the recorder on this.
Are you familiar with a case called primary Consultants versus Maricopa County Recorder? Your honor, I believe I’ve read the case, but I cannot recall it as I stand here in front of you. Okay, fair enough. I think it goes to that issue, too, but we’ll go ahead and move on. All right. Thank you, Your Honor. So let me quickly summarize the best interest of the state argument for the court.
I know that was the argument that the court was interested in hearing when it set the trial, and so we attempted to put on testimony that went directly to that question. So I want to summarize what the court heard. The court heard from Kathy Sigman. She testified that people came to her door asking her questions about her early ballot affidavit signature. She testified that this made her angry.
She expressed her concerns that if early ballots are made public, that could undermine confidence in elections. The court also heard from Hugo Polanco. He testified that he does not want to testified a number of things. But what’s really significant for the Court, in our view, is that he does not want his signature to be made public, and he has real concerns about his signature being made public. The court heard from Marilyn Rodriguez.
She also testified about a lot of things. But what is really significant for this case is the testimony that she provided concerning harassment that she received as a result of her political lobbying work. Now, that’s not because she voted. We’re not pretending it is. What we were using Ms. Rodriguez for was to underscore that passions are inflamed right now and know someone with a political opinion could be subject to harassment.
I believe that Ms. Lake’s counsel mentioned or asked Ms. Pasarelli a question as to whether this happens to and I think he said people on the other side as well. And I think he defined that as meaning to Democrats. We would readily agree if he was suggesting that it does happen, we would readily agree with that. It’s not just Republicans harassing Democrats. It might be Democrats harassing Republicans or people with no political view harassing those with a political view.
It’s just an inflamed, passionate time. And Ms. Rodriguez’s testimony went directly to that point. The court also heard from Bonnie Eckert. She testified today, Your Honor, about people coming to her door asking her questions about her early vote. She said that the conversation turned hostile, and that was the word that she used. She said one of the people began talking over her and pointing her finger in her face.
She testified that this interaction upset her, especially when the people began talking to her about dead people voting. She testified about her concerns if ballot affidavit envelopes are made public. And she testified that she would have to consider whether that would change how she votes in terms of whether she votes in person or early. And she clarified that under questioning, I believe, from Ms. Lakes council that she would still vote.
The question would be, how would she vote? The Court also heard from Recorder Stephen Richer, and he also testified about a number of things, but there are three that I want to draw the Court’s attention to. First, he provided testimony that Your Honor and I just discussed, that the affidavit side of the envelope is added by him to the voter registration record, that he understands the law to either allow him to do it or require him to do it.
I honestly don’t remember which word he used, but either way, he does it, and he testified about that. He also testified about threats and harassment. Let me ask you a question. It just comes up here. It’s kind of an obscure detail, but he testified about how he treats the ballot affidavit envelopes, given that they are, in his view, part of the voter registration record. And let me look at my notes here.
He said that they are they’re kept indefinitely. They’re well, they’re made part of the voter registration database after the signature is verified, then they store the image in a way that associates it with the voter’s initial registration. They keep it indefinitely and then they use it in subsequent elections. He also testified that the ballot affidavit envelopes that never get cured, they’re handled differently. And my recollection is that they store hard copies.
I have in my mind they put them in the treasure safe. It must have a huge safe. Puts them in the treasure safe and they’re used as historical their importance is historical, backward looking only. Do I have that right? Your Honor, you are asking me a question that I am going to answer, but I want to be clear as I answer it that some of what I’m about to say may not have been testified to by the recorder, to the record.
Okay. I will direct your honor then to ars 16 624. If it’s a legal question and not a factual question yeah, then you can go ahead. I will direct Your Honor to no. And I understand Your Honor. I understand, Your Honor. May I just ask a point of clarification whether we’re here for oral argument or whether we’re here for closing argument? Let’s be respectful here, Mr. Blim. Yes.
I’m trying to well, okay, go ahead. Your Honor, I do understand the difference, and so I will walk a very fine line here and not cross over it. Ars 16 624 is the statute that directs the recorder, or the officer in charge of election, to deposit the ballots in the treasurer’s vault following an election and to store them for two years. Two years? Two years. That’s what I thought.
Yes. The recorder, I believe, did testify that the recorder transfers the early ballot affidavits, including the unopened ones that were not signature verified, the hard copies and the paper copies, and the unopened ones that were not signature verified, to the treasurer’s vault with the ballots. The statute says that at the end of the two year period the ballots are to be destroyed. I would be going beyond what the recorder testified to tell you what they do with the envelopes.
Okay, fair enough. But the statute says the ballots are destroyed after two years. That is correct, Your Honor. Well, then I’m going to go with my recollection, which I can actually go and check, but okay. All right, you’ve answered my question. I understand where we are. Go back to where you were. You were talking about how Mr. Richards testimony addressed best interests of the state. So first, Your Honor, as I said, you heard that he testified they add these to the record.
The second thing, though, that he testified about was the threats and harassment that he personally has received for his work in elections. And he testified about attending the sentencing hearing for someone who had been arrested for making threats against him. And he provided, Your Honor, an example of the type of threat that was made by this person. The person said something to the effect of and the recorder, it’s in your notes, and it’s on the record.
I’m sure the recorder’s memory was perfect of this, but something to the effect of, I can’t wait for that Jew to burn in an oven and his kids, too. These are horrible, vile things, and I’m sure Ms. Lake would agree that that’s horrible and vile. But the point of bringing that to the court’s attention, again, is to underscore that we live in a time with extremely inflamed passions.
The reporter also testified that he’s aware of other elections officials who have received similar threats and harassment, and he gave some examples to the courts of that. That’s the first thing going to best interest of the state from the recorder’s testimony. There’s one more I’ll get to in a moment, but it’s not too much work to connect the dots, Your Honor. Passions are inflamed. People have been threatened if early ballot affidavits are made public with the voter’s signature and the voter’s address and the voter’s phone number all right there.
And with knowing that we have a track record of people going canvassing door to door to ask people about their early ballot and who they voted for or whether that was their signature or a dead person’s signature, I mean, whatever the case may be, that creates a risk that voters will be harassed. And if voters are harassed again, it doesn’t take much to connect the dots that this could lead to a decrease in voting participation and this could ultimately disenfranchise voters because voters become fearful that if we vote, we may get accosted about, you know, Justice Scalia, years ago, in a Supreme Court decision, said that people need a backbone.
And that’s true to some extent, Your Honor. We do need a backbone when we do our civic duty, and voting is a civic duty. And so we maybe can expect that if we get into a conversation about politics, somebody may say something that we don’t like, or they may criticize our candidate or say that we voted for the wrong candidate. Those things happen. This is different when we’re putting in people’s hands what they need to go door to door and ask people about their vote and whether their signature is real or fraudulent.
It’s just a difference of quality. Your Honor, the third thing that the recorder talked about was what his personal concerns were about releasing the early ballot affidavit envelopes, the possible harassment of voters, but also some other things that he mentioned. He mentioned the possibility of voter fraud because of signatures being out there, the actual voter signature. Not signatures off a property deed that might have been signed years ago, but a recent signature that was used in voting.
But he said that isn’t his top concern. He also said that he didn’t think that even though it increased the risk of fraud, he didn’t think it increased it that much. That was the recorder’s testimony. He said what he was more concerned about is the possibility that this could make it more difficult for them to do their job for signature verification. It could lead to voters not signing their early ballot affidavits and creating a backlog of envelopes that need to be cured.
The legislature has wisely provided a curing statute that says if early ballot affidavits come in that aren’t signed, the recorder is to attempt to contact those voters and let the voter know, you didn’t sign your early ballot. And if the voter says, oh yeah, I did vote by early ballot, but I didn’t sign, they’re supposed to cure that. And it’s only if the signature is cured that that ballot envelope can be opened and the ballot counted.
And the recorder testified that he was concerned that making these envelopes public might lead to voters not putting their signature on, or it might lead to voters not putting their phone number on. Ms. Pasarelli testified that the voter’s phone number is not something that is asked for when a voter registers to vote. So the only way that the Elections Department has that phone number is if the voter gave it when they registered to vote, and it’s the same phone number as when they registered to vote, or if they write it on the early ballot affidavit envelope.
And that’s important, Your Honor, because that phone number is the best way to contact that voter in a short time period, because remember, missing signatures, pursuant to law, must be cured by 07:00 P. m. On Election Day. Inconsistent signatures, signatures that are inconsistent with the signature and the voter registration record must be cured within five business days after the election. There’s a little bit more time, not a lot, and the phone number is the best way to reach that voter quickly.
And the recorder expressed his concern that voters might stop putting their phone number or they might stop signing their affidavit envelopes. Those were his concerns, Your Honor. Finally, the court heard from Christy Pasarelli. She testified just a few moments ago, and she testified about harassment she received after videos of her were posted online. These videos are created by the Maricopa County Orders Office in Maricopa County. They’re live stream videos of the election tabulation center.
She testified. And she testified that someone got those videos, and she wasn’t sure how. She didn’t know whether it was through capturing the live stream or whether it was making a public records request, but they got the videos, which they were perfectly entitled to get, and then they made accusations based on those videos. She testified Ms. Pasarelli. And after those accusations were posted online, accusing Miss Pasarelli of doing something nefarious, she received harassment and intimidating phone calls, messages left, Facebook messages, things of that sort.
Your Honor, all of this goes to the point that making these early ballot affidavit envelopes public is not in the best interest of the State. It can lead to voter harassment, can lead to voter disenfranchisement, and it makes the work of the recorder more difficult to do. Your Honor, we believe that the court should find that they are protected by Ars 16 168, F as well. But if the court does not agree with us on that, we ask the court to find that they are protected by the best interest of the state.
Thank you, Your Honor. Thank you. Mr. Blem, how long do you think you’re going to take? Not sure, Your Honor, but we’ll be done by noon. 1145 now? Yeah. Yes, sir. Think so. Go ahead. I might hold you to it. In fact, I will, because my staff looks hungry over here. I’ll give you a couple of minutes, Leeway, but let’s try to keep it close. Thank you. And I’ll be brief, Your Honor.
And really quickly, Your Honor, I want to simply start by saying there are absolutely no statutes governing or allowing the placement of ballot affidavit envelope signatures into the voters registration record. Your Honor, the only provisions that allow for this are found in the EPM. But really quickly, Your Honor, I want to turn to ARF 16 152, which is the registration form used to register a voter, Your Honor.
It contains very specific provisions as to what goes in that form, and none of them include a ballot affidavit envelope, Your Honor. Absolutely none of them. And so, if that form is, then what is scanned and becomes the registration record? The early ballot affidavit envelopes, Your Honor, cannot constitute part of that record because they’re not on that form. Now, the EPM, Your Honor, does allow and does have provisions for the addition of some early ballot affidavit envelopes into the voters record.
What does that provision say? Your Honor, that provision states that after verifying an in person early ballot, a counter recorder may update the signature in a voter’s record by scanning the voter’s affidavit signature and uploading the signature image to the voter’s record. Now, if Your Honor recalls the distinction between green and white ballot affidavits that were testified to by Recorder Richer, this court is very well aware that the white ballot affidavit envelopes denote those individuals who voted early and in public.
And this is why, Your Honor, I will argue that Maricopa County’s allegations with respect to equal protection issues are without merit. And the reason for this is, Your Honor, is that early ballot in person affidavit envelopes were executed by an individual who appeared at a polling location, showed their identification was given their ballot. And envelope, and when they voted that ballot, they signed it. There’s no equal protection issue, Your Honor, because the difference between them and those, as the record clearly shows, who receive and vote by green affidavit envelope is that those who vote a green affidavit envelope, Your Honor, do not have to show their identity.
Let me ask you the same question I asked them. Why does the term voter registration record in 168 F necessarily mean the same as that term in one and 150 or 152? And why or why not? Does it mean the same thing as what the law says shall become the registration record, as in the form is scanned and becomes that voter’s registration record? Yeah. The two statutes use the same term, or all three statutes use the same term voter registration record.
Does it necessarily mean the same thing in the statute where we’re talking about confidentiality as in the statute where we’re talking about the election voter identification process? I would presume, Your Honor, that the legislature, if it seeks to use a term in one place that has a different meaning in another, that it would so define that term for purpose used in a different statute, and so they’re using the term registration record.
And that’s why we’ve asked this court, Your Honor, to take judicial notice of the Yavapai County matter that was issued. And if you’re using the term registration record throughout these election related statutes, I presume the legislature knows what that means and they know what they’re doing, Your Honor. Well, the statutes weren’t created at the same time. Understood, Your Honor, but those people creating the newer statutes or amending those statutes are aware of the other statutes, because all these bills are promulgated initially in the elections committees anyway.
What about their argument about what the term has to mean within the context of 168 F, when you parse it all out? Well, within the context of 168 F, I mean, 168 F is pretty clear. It says the registration record, but it also says precinct lists, precinct register, which are not within what I would think of as a common definition of a registration record. Well, there are precinct lists and precinct registers that contain some information from different voters.
It’s just like the VM 34 file, Your Honor, or the files that are public record that Ms. Pasarelli testified about. They get much of this information from the voter registration record, Your Honor, because they’re registered voters. And so that’s where a lot of this information comes about. And I would suggest, Your Honor, the differences between what the law would consider personal identifying information versus personally protected information. As Ms.
Presarelli testified, there are statutes governing personally protected information. If somebody’s using the term PII personally identifying information, Your Honor, that could include my tattoo. It could include my name, and when I’m in a bathing suit, my tattoo is publicly visible. Don’t even go there. I look pretty good in a bathing suit. I’ll let the record reflect that without you making it part of the record, the now I’d lost now I’ve lost my train of thought.
I’m going to say too late anyway. Okay, go ahead. It’ll come back to me in a second. All right. And so again, Your Honor, the only provision allowing for the inquiry okay, now I know what it was. Why would the legislature you’re carving out the term you’re talking about the term voter registration record and focusing on that and arguing that the ballot affidavit envelopes are not part of the voter registration record, whereas the voter registration colleges are part of the voter registration record.
The voter registration form, Your Honor, is what, by statute, the one we just discussed is scanned and made part of the voter it’s made the voter registration record. It says it is the voter registration record. Okay, well, hear me out here. 16, 168 F makes specific information non public, and one of those pieces of information is the signatures. Why would the legislature make the signatures nondisclosable and private on one piece of paper but not on another piece of paper? How does that make any sense in terms of protecting the privacy of voters? Assuming, as I think I have to, because it’s what the statute says, that the legislature thought that the signatures had a privacy interest and should be protected well with respect to a voter registration record, Your Honor, and that’s where we get to this huge debate, is they’re adding additional signatures to the voter registration record.
That signature that the voter signs, that registration form, Your Honor, that is that voter. And so when you go register to vote, Your Honor, you show an ID. I understand that you’re talking about the election administration process. I’m talking about what’s confidential. Why would they say that one set of signatures is confidential, but another set of signatures is not? Because that’s the implication of your argument. Well, I presume the legislature is wise enough to know what the voter registration is and that there is confidentiality for that voter registration record minus the exceptions.
And I’ll point out that includes the media, Your Honor, which is a pretty broad exception. And so the voter registration’s signature itself, as part of that protection can still be accessed by a whole host of people. And as I made clear in my opening statement, Your Honor, it can be accessed by somebody who’s not even a reporter. They can simply work for a radio station. That’s how broad this exclusion is, Your Honor.
But that’s what they said. That’s what the legislature said. That’s my starting place. Well, I understood, and I can’t infer from that. Well, it’s awfully broad. So they didn’t really mean what they said, and that’s sort of what you’re arguing. That’s not what I’m arguing. And then the place I’m going is this, Your Honor, it’s the legislature that passed the laws making for early voting. They’re well aware that when they’re passing these laws because they’re writing them, that they’re requiring signatures, right? And not once in any of these statutes they can’t point to a single statute aside from 168 F, Your Honor, that makes any of these signatures or a ballot affidavit envelope private.
In fact, the ballot affidavit envelopes are required to have an oath or affirmation that specifically are used in courts routinely, Your Honor. And it’s oath or affirmation that is all over the Maricopa County Recorders website. And so when they’re passing these laws, they know what’s restricted and what’s not, and they chose not to restrict ballot affidavit envelopes when they were passing these statutes. Okay, well, I’ll just bring this discussion to a close in my own mind, which is that I’ve got to figure out how all this stuff fits together and an interpretation that says, well, you can’t have it here, but here you go over there.
I’m trying to think of trying to think of how everything fits together better than that. But go ahead. You see the point. I’ve heard your argument. Go ahead. Thank you, Your Honor. Now I have to remember where I was. I think where I was was their equal protection argument. If I have to go into a polls and show my ID, right, and then I have to sign the envelope, and then the second requirement before that can go in the voter registration record, Your Honor, is that they have to verify my signature.
Okay. And so that doesn’t take place with the green people who vote by mail affidavit envelopes. The only ID for those individuals, Your Honor, is their signature. And so there are absolutely zero statutory or other legal, like the EPM that allow them to add those ballot affidavit envelopes to the voter registration. So one might ask this question differently, Your Honor. If those people, the three executives, the governor, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of State, if they chose to put that in the EPM, they chose to distinguish between the White and the green affidavit envelopes, Your Honor, they knew what they were doing and they did that for a purpose.
And again, the purpose is that they show ID and they’re signature verified. You’re arguing 16 150. Whether I can draw guidance from that statute is one thing. What Judge Napper decides is that’s a different case. Understood. I’m not deciding that case, and I can tell you right now, I’m not going to try. All right, Your Honor. And so with respect to 168 F, Your Honor, this is why we do not believe it applies.
And if it does apply, my client has an ongoing election challenge, I believe the second longest to date in Arizona history and may soon be the third or the first. But with respect to 168 F, Your Honor, it’s our position that it simply doesn’t apply. And that the only basis in which this court can deny our public records request is on the best interest of this state. And so, with respect to the best interest of the state, Your Honor, I just want to touch on a few things that Mr.
Leroux had mentioned. He believed that passions are extreme. They’re high. I would agree with that, Your Honor, that they are extreme, and there are inflamed passions, and there have been for quite some time. But then one thing he, I believe, very specifically said was that I said it was Republicans harassing Democrats, and there very well could be Democrats harassing Republicans. And I never said that, Your Honor, because I try to stay away from using those affiliations.
And the way I couched it with Miss Pasarelli, specifically, Your Honor, was elections officials being harassed by people, as well as those people in what I will refer to the election integrity industry, your Honor, also being harassed by people. And so that was the division I was drawing as opposed to this partisan divide. But with respect to the best interest of the state, really, all Maricopa County has brought to this court is passions and inflamed passions.
But what they haven’t brought to this court is a justification, because I can get the exact same data and more as a public citizen. Someone from the country of Jordan or Chile can do a public records request to Maricopa County, Your Honor, and get more data, absent the signature, than is contained on the ballot affidavit envelope. Okay. The case that I was struggling to come up with when Mr.
Le. Roux and I were talking about it earlier. Is Scottsdale Unified School District versus KPNX. And it’s 91 Arizona 297. And it holds that the birth dates of teachers in the school district’s records are subject to the best interest of the state exception, even though one could go out and find all those birth dates somewhere else. Why is that not applicable to this case? Well, birth dates are significantly different, Your Honor, than the case didn’t turn on the fact that they were birth dates.
They turned on the fact that birth dates are argue birth dates, on the one hand, were given to the district with the expectation of privacy by their employees, but that did not make them an automatic disclosure under the public records law. Well understood, Your Honor. And I think Your Honor just may have made my point when Your Honor said expectation of privacy. And so when I go and give my personal information to my employer, I may have an expectation of privacy that they’re not just going to willy nilly be given it up.
The difference between that and a ballot affidavit envelope, Your Honor, is that people sign these ballot affidavit envelopes, then they deposit them into the mail, they put them into the stream of commerce. They sign on the outside of the envelope and not on the inside. And so if there was an expectation of privacy issue your Honor, then I would anticipate the legislature would change the law such that they sign a form that they put inside the ballot affidavit envelope on a different flap on the outside or something along those lines.
But it’s really your Honor no different. We do the same thing in criminal law, Your Honor. We do the same things in a lot of areas of law. I mean, if I throw something in my trash, do I have an expectation of privacy? And the answer to that question is no. This isn’t a Fourth Amendment case. It’s different. It’s analogous, your Honor, it’s analogous in that signatures are significantly different than birth dates because, as I made clear in my opening statement, Your Honor, we use these for everything, and we do so beginning at a very early age when we’re signing yearbooks in high school or even middle school, if they do that anymore.
We do this all the time, Your Honor. Signatures are everywhere. We give them to strangers all the time. We don’t do that with our birth dates, your Honor. You don’t go into the quick trip, use your credit card, and have to sign with your birth date. Your birth date is protected information and the signature is not because we so readily give them out with the exception of the registration record, Your Honor, which is the signature that the voter gave when they signed that form.
And so with respect to the signature, Your Honor, that’s what this comes down to. And this is in essence, a privacy case you had not the last, the second to the last witness sitting on the stand, Your Honor, she said, well, if I know people might be able to get my ballot affidavit envelope, I might change the way I vote. She might change the way she votes. But what she testified, she will not do, Your Honor.
She will not stop signing petitions for candidates and for initiatives, even though the public can get those. All that tells me is you have to look at the context. She will not stop signing mortgages even though she can get those. And so with respect to the know, Your Honor, mr. Leroux said something about people being afraid that people come by and canvass and do we stop canvassing, Your Honor, because what do I do about what these witnesses said? Should I not believe them when they say that they were frightened and offended that people came around after the election, not canvassing came around after the election questioning them about their votes.
Your Honor, we have a 200 plus year history of doing this type of activity, Your Honor, type of activity? Canvassing, going and talking to voters, going door to door before the election. Before the election, your Honor, as soon as one election stops, the next one starts about the next election. Where do we have a history of going door to door and talking to people about a past election about how they voted in the last election and whether there were extra people here.
Well, there are people going to clean up the voter rolls, your Honor. There are people out canvassing to try to clean up the voter rolls, and this is something we have historically done forever, your Honor, as a people. There’s a reason the people have a right to this voter data. And the only all right, we’re talking about how people feel about it. We’re not going to go back into why it’s important for people to do it, because I’ve already ruled that that’s not relevant.
So to the extent that I brought it up, my apologies, I will drop it. Well, Your Honor, how people feel about it how people feel about it is he said it himself. Well, Mr. Leroux, if I’m asking you a question, I forgot what term it was. No, you can’t ask it was a former Supreme Court justice that said, I don’t know, Your Honor. I don’t know what the expression there or something like that.
Get a backbone. Get a backbone. It was a little less crude than that. My apologies for being crude, Your Honor, but get a backbone. This is what we do in this country. This is called politics, Your Honor. People go door to door. They ask people, hey, are you voting specifically for my candidate? That happens. And this woman gave testimony that, yep, president Trump is not her cup of tea.
So they found a couple of witnesses who don’t like people canvassing them when one of them specifically testified, Your Honor. Oh, yeah, we canvass with respect to the two lobbyists, Your Honor, that’s what they’re doing here. They’re lobbying the court. And they gave very highly inflammatory testimony about a very specific group of people. And so the one common thread running, Your Honor, between the defense witnesses was this anti Trumpism, this new McCarthyism, I suppose, that’s raised but with respect yes, Your Honor, go ahead.
With respect to whether or not they have met their burden, your Honor, they haven’t met their burden because this is what we do in this country. Okay, it’s a few minutes, ten minutes after twelve, so if you could wrap up that oh, ten after twelve. Yes. All right. And so even if all of their complaints and their feelings, Your Honor, are true and I believe their feelings are true, but even with that, Your Honor, the people’s right to participate in their government, to oversee its operations, is one of the most important rights we, as a free people, have.
And one thing that differentiates America from the rest of the world, Your Honor, is Americans have always been able to ask questions after the fact. We have always been able to challenge our elections and our elected leaders. And there are some of us doing that on behalf of Carrie Lake with respect to her election, Your Honor. And there are those who are offended by that, but this is what we do.
The very purpose, Your Honor, of the Public Records Act is to ensure that the people can serve as a check on the activities of government, because a government, absent those checks, Your Honor, can lend itself to abuse, secure in the knowledge that those activities will never be brought to light. And with that, Your Honor, I close. I’ll give you a couple of minutes to rebut. Sure, Your Honor.
I’ll be very brief. One of my colleagues came to me after I stepped down and said it was possible I misunderstood a question that Your Honor asked. I’m not sure if I did or not, but just so that there won’t be any confusion, if Your Honor was asking whether the digital images of envelopes are kept forever, the testimony that the recorder gave is that they are. I thought Your Honor was asking about what happens to the paper copies of the envelopes, and that was the way I directed my answer.
Are the digital images of the non cured envelopes kept forever? Your Honor, the recorder testified that those are never digitized. If they’re non cured, they’re set aside. All right. Then we’re okay. Yeah. And I don’t think that there’s anything else that I need to get into. No further rebuttal, Your Honor. Thank you. All right, well, I’m going to take this under advisement and get out a decision as quickly as possible.
We’re recessed for now. Thank you. Thank you. Your Honor, it you’re not allowed any witnesses. We’re down here, but I already have a pre. Nice to meet you. Or see you. It’s a statement. Hi, Janice, Shelby, it’s you get through guys sorry I just got rid of really bad I got. .