Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Brad Astrowsky conducted a hearing Wednesday regarding Maricopa County and Runbeck Election Systems’ motions to dismiss a lawsuit filed by We the People AZ Alliance (WPAA). WPAA requested video surveillance from Runbeck showing ballots being transferred to and from Runbeck on Election Day and the day after the 2022 general election. Runbeck refused to turn them over, claiming it was not subject to public records requests as a private entity, so WPAA sued the company.
Astrowsky began the hearing by stating that if there is a factual dispute, he may schedule a trial and discovery to get to the bottom of it before getting into the legal part of the motion to dismiss. He acknowledged that the court can consider matters outside of the pleadings, such as public records, noting that the contract between the county and Runbeck is a public record. He added that the county’s election policies are also public records.
WPAA’s attorney, Bryan Blehm, who is also representing Kari Lake in her election contest, responded and said there is a factual issue. He cited the testimony of Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer at Lake’s election contest trial in December when Richer said that the county doesn’t count the ballot affidavit packets that come into the county from the different vote centers and drop boxes on Election Day since “in essence there are too many of them.” Blehm said Richer admitted “they truck them over to Runbeck and use Runbeck’s equipment with their employees.”
Blehm added, “They make a big deal about the fact their employees are in charge those two days.”
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