Finchem Statement Addressing AG Mayes’ Threats and Abuse of Power

As the day of thankfulness passes – and there are many things to be thankful for – we must face the harsh reality that the “justice” system has been infiltrated by a power cartel that is intent on protecting the status quo and ensuring the retention of power which the cartel has seized from the people. The disingenuous outrage exhibited by Democrats now in the offices of Attorney General and Secretary of State begs the question of, why are they fighting so hard to prevent hand count of paper ballots? One can only surmise that they know what the people already suspect: the counts won’t match and there are people in office that did not receive enough legitimate votes to be in office.

This past Monday, the people of Mohave County – and indeed all of Arizona – witnessed the thuggish abuse of office and overreach of authority by Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes; this is the substance of tyranny. Never before, as far as we can tell, has an Executive Branch officer (which is what the Attorney General is) threatened the elected representatives of the People with felony prosecution for doing their job. The Mohave County Board of Supervisors is a legislative body, because they pass ordinances (laws) regulating civil conduct. The AG’s letter, which threatens the pursuit of criminal charges against elected officials, who are engaged in due diligence and in pursuit of compliance with a lawfully passed and Constitutionally based directive is, by any measure, an abuse of authority.

In a threatening letter to the Mohave County Board of Supervisors…

Mayes asserts, “I am concerned that this Board has received incorrect legal advice from bad-faith actors who are attempting to sow doubt in Arizona’s elections and ultimately undermine Arizona’s democratic process. Full hand counts are impracticable to perform within the time permitted to certify election results, less accurate than tabulating machines, and more importantly are illegal under Arizona law.”

Mayes goes on to threaten the Board of Supervisors, writing that if the board moves forward with a hand count, the state will “promptly sue and obtain a court order,” and added the court may hold board members who voted in favor to be liable for misconduct in the form of “various felony and misdemeanor criminal penalties” and “subject them to personal liability for any public funds used for this illegal purpose.” Read the full letter here.

This threat of personal liability by the AG is an illegal act. It is a criminal offense to threaten an elected body under color of authority. And, there is a claim for violation of the civil rights of the Supervisors and the People they represent under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

What is the Democrat Attorney General and Secretary of State so terrified of? Could it be that the machines do not accurately count votes? We will never know without a full hand count, compared side-by-side to the machine count. This would have been the ideal opportunity for government to restore confidence in the elections process, but instead we have witnessed an epic failure.

It is a gross misrepresentation by the AG and Deputy County Attorney Ryan Esplin to assert that the Board of Supervisors was acting illegally. Esplin is correct on one thing: nothing in the law authorized the county to do a hand count. At the same time, nothing in the law has forbidden a hand count for the election. Nothing. An election hand count is not the same as a re-count.

While Esplin said, “The legislature knows very well that they can put in a hand count, and they didn’t put it in there,” the Legislature also respects local control. Esplin’s assertion is disingenuous.

Esplin and Mayes artfully sidestep the specific action that they claim the Legislature did not take, or in their words “put in” – language that would by default allow a hand count of votes where no machines meet DoD cyber security standards. The Legislature did indeed give clear and concise direction to counties during the 2023 Regular Legislative Session, in the form of Senate Concurrent Resolution 1037 (SCR-1037), citing Article I, Sec. 4, Clause 1 of the Constitution of the United States concerning “time, place and manner,” requiring that electronic election tabulation equipment must meet or exceed Department of Defense cyber security standards as they are considered by the federal government to be “critical infrastructure.”

The clear language of SCR 1037 (2023) is unambiguous…

“No voting system or component or subcomponent of a voting system or component, including firmware software or hardware, assemblies and subassemblies with integrated circuits or on which any firmware or software operates, may be used or purchased as the primary method for casting, recording and tabulating ballots used in any election held in this state for federal office unless:
1. All components have been designed, manufactured, integrated and assembled in the United States from trusted suppliers, using trusted processes accredited by the Defense Microelectronics Activity as prescribed by the United States Department of Defense; and
2. The source code used in any computerized voting machine for federal elections is made available to the public; and
3. The ballot images and system log files from each tabulator are recorded on a secure write-once, read-many media with clear chain of custody and posted on the Secretary of State’s website free of charge to the public within twenty-four hours after the close of the polls;”

The Boards of Supervisors are directly responsible for conducting elections, not the state. That means local control matters, and if the Boards of Supervisors are to be confident in their certification of elections, they must have the latitude to conduct their due diligence. That means when there is evidence of machine error, a complete hand count for comparison before certification is warranted. Mayes asserts that machines are more accurate. We say, “prove it.” Pinal County elections officials recently witnessed a significant failure on ES&S machines with three different results on three different attempts.

What about government officials knowingly signing off on a fraudulent document?

One additional concern, which the AG left out, is that it is a felony in Arizona to certify by signing onto a document based in fraud. Both elected and appointed officials who sign an official document that they knew or should have known was rooted in fraud are criminally liable for the deception. In another related case, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors was threatened with similar prosecution for delaying their signoff on an election where they had serious misgivings about the accuracy of the machines and wanted to do a full hand count as part of their due diligence. Same AG, same threat, same situation, and there the County Attorney refused to support the Board of Supervisors, siding with the AG. We’re seeing a pattern here.

But wait, there’s more. The Pinal County Attorney, Kent Volkmer chimed in on the Mohave situation as well, and it wasn’t even his county. This is beginning to look a lot like a coordinated effort to crush the movement by the people to demand accountability in clearly flawed elections.

The threatening letter from AG Mayes must be immediately withdrawn!

The federal statute known as Section 1983 provide a pathway for people to sue certain government entities and their employees for violations of their civil rights (42 U.S.C. § 1983). A plaintiff – and there are many possible plaintiffs in the Mohave County matter – must allege that a specific right that arises from federal law (whether constitutional or statutory) has been violated.

Claims brought under Section 1983 can take many different forms, such as a claim of excessive force claim under the Fourth Amendment or the denial of substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.

All Section 1983 claims must allege the following:

  • a person subjected the plaintiff to conduct that occurred under color of state law, and
  • this conduct deprived the plaintiff of rights, privileges, or immunities guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution or federal law.

In the Mohave case, the AG acted “under the color of law” in her threatening. An action is “under the color of law” when the person is exercising the authority given to them by the government and the action is taken with the appearance that the government authorized it, even if they are abusing that authority.1

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors (BoS) acted in good faith by contemplating the compliance with SCR-1037 requirements for election machine cyber security. The BoS was in essence caught between compliance with the Supremacy Clause and compliance with an out-of-control political operative intent on depriving the public of transparency, in the form of the Arizona Attorney General. To reiterate, the AG makes the nonsense claim that a full hand count, compared to the machine count, is an attempt “[t]o sow doubt in Arizona’s elections and ultimately undermine Arizona’s democratic process.”

That claim is as absurd as it can be. Much like Nancy Pelosi’s claim that “audits undermine public confidence in elections,” the complete opposite is true.

So what can the people do? Action steps might include:

  • Demanding that the AG rescind the threatening letter.
  • Initiating a recall – under Arizona law this is an option.
  • Demanding the AG’s resignation, Phone: (602) 542-5025.
  • Becoming a plaintiff (if you are a Mohave County Arizona resident.
  • Protesting in person at the AG’s office, 2005 N Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004.
  1. ↩︎