Expert Report Said Tabulating Machines Were 'Improperly Calibrated', But Only Examination of Ballots Can Explain Mysterious Appearance of 439 Ballots During Recount of LD20 Race!
By John Gideon on 2/1/2006, 4:39pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

As we reported in January the Maricopa County, AZ elections officials and county attorney have done all they can do to keep anyone from looking at the ballots from the Nov. 2004 District 20 race. As you may recall, the matter came into question after a recount in a Republican Primary race revealed 439 ballots magically appearing and which resulted in the final results of the election being changed. The county has even gone to the lengths of refusing subpoenas from a State Senate committee to provide the ballots, even after an expert was brought in to examine the voting machinery and found the optical scan counters completely out of calibration. The expert said that examination of the ballots was the only way to determine what had actually happened.

Today The Arizona Republic announced that the FBI has now stepped in and provided a court ordered subpoena for those ballots.

The paper reports:

County Treasurer David Schweikert refused to release them, saying he needed a valid court order before he would relinquish control.

On Tuesday, he got one.

"We were just elated," Schweikert said of the moment his secretary called him to say that there were FBI agents waiting for him in his office. "I know it sounds odd to be elated to receive a subpoena, but it was what we'd all been asking for."

It seems odd that Schweikert would refuse to obey a subpoena from the state legislature and then be delighted when he got a subpoena for the same thing from the FBI. We are just going to have to continue to watch this extraordinary case and see where the twisted road continues to lead us.