Arizona Judge Rules Election Vendor Runbeck Not Subject to Public Records Law, Ignores Precedent Set in Cyber Ninjas Case

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Bradley Astrowsky issued a ruling Friday dismissing a complaint filed by We the People AZ Alliance (WPAA) that requested video surveillance from Runbeck Election Services. Although another judge ruled previously that the private company Cyber Ninjas was subject to public records requests due to conducting a partial audit for the Arizona Senate of the 2020 election, Astrowsky refused to apply the same reasoning to Runbeck, the vendor that processed all of Maricopa County’s mail-in ballots prior to signature verification.

The judge, appointed by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2012, has served on the bench for a little more than a decade. A court insider familiar with Judge Astrowsky’s decisions told The Arizona Sun Times he is well-known as a moderate in legal circles.

Abe Hamadeh’s War Room account posted their disappointment on X. Hamadeh is still appealing his election loss by 280 votes in the attorney general’s race, citing evidence of votes that were not counted which emerged after his trial. “A court ruled that Runbeck, a 3rd-party vendor, has no obligation to be transparent with Arizona voters,” the account said. “CD8 candidate & AZ Speaker of the House Ben Toma’s brothers serve on a board with Runbeck’s COO. These conflicts of interest are why Arizonans lost faith in their elections.”

The brother of Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria) purchased a majority stake in Runbeck on August 18. Election integrity activists have expressed concern that this creates a conflict of interest, and will result in no legislation getting passed to fix problems regarding Runbeck. Kari Lake’s election contest litigation has focused heavily on the strange appearance of about 35,000 ballots at Runbeck lacking any chain of custody. Violating chain of custody is a class 2 misdemeanor. WPAA wanted access to the security video to determine if it would reveal information about the 35,000 ballots.

Read the rest of the article at The Arizona Sun Times

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