Journalists’ Roundtable: 04-02-21: Audit firms raise questions, Senate panel OKs abortion ban

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This weeks Journalists’ Roundtable discusses the states raising concerns on the selected companies to audit Maricopa County’s November presidential election results, that and more topics. Guests include Jim Small of the Arizona Mirror and Andrew Oxford of the Arizona Republic.

This week’s Journalists’ Roundtable covered:

  • Audit Firms Raises Questions
  • Senate Panel OKs Abortion Ban
  • Finchem to Run for Secretary of State
  • Legislature Lifts Mask Requirement


Audit Firms Raises Questions

Jim Small: “Well what we found out was you know two months ago the senate announced they hired a company and we found out it was going to be this firm that was tied to all of the Pro-Trump stop the steal movement and had really started a lot of those lies and stories that were involved in that and helped disseminate them and the Senate backed off and said whoa we can’t do this because it looks bad basically and they turned it around this week and they hired another company that is directly tied to the stop the steal movement with an owner who spent months on social media talking about how the election was stolen from Donald Trump and how dominion voting machines flipped ballots and how there where are you know all of these phantom voters who showed up and how essentially Joe Biden won through fraud all of which has no evidence and there’s been nothing to prove them and any attempts to do that in the courts have all been kicked out and yet the Senate decided to move ahead and hire this firm and and even have the audacity to say that they took great pains to hire somebody who wasn’t connected to any of these movements and was truly going to be an independent auditor.”

Andrew Oxford:  “Well and even looking at the independent audit is it feasible to do the company as promising at all I mean if you look at the scope of work I think it talks about completing a hand count audit of you know know these are two point one million ballots in something like twenty days. I heard a lot about skepticism from election officials, political consultants who follow election processes that this is really even possible on that timeline and remember the budget the state says it’s paying hundred and fifty thousand dollars for this um now I’m sure a lot of people can think of a better use for hundred and fifty thousand dollars but I’m sure a lot of people will also be skeptical that you can do this massive undertaking for that budget, these can be fairly expensive processes.”

Senate Panel OKs Abortion Ban

Andrew Oxford:  “ with the newly cemented conservative majority on the US Supreme Court you see conservative lawmakers really confident this year that they can push forward with much more sweeping restrictions on abortion then courts have been willing to uphold in the past uh so for example we saw on Wednesday night the Senates appropriations Committee pass house bill 2140 which pretty much bans virtually all abortions after about 6-8 weeks it’s what’s called heartbeat bill the idea is that  a doctor couldn’t perform an abortion uh once a fetal heartbeat is detected and this would obviously go much further than The ban Arizona used to have in place on abortions after 20 weeks which was struck down in courts but I think it’s telling that, again even hearing that on Wednesday night that conservatives lawmakers very confident that courts will look on this very differently now than they did even just a few years ago um you also The House of Representatives uh pass a bill on Thursday uh Senate bill 1457 which bans abortions for genetic abnormality includes a number of other provisions as well including banning the delivery of medicated conducive abortions Those are also used to manage miscarriages and democrats raised concerns that would be a really cruel burden on women who need delivery medications for that kind of care uh but republicans cut off debate on that issue when democrats raised issue on miscarriages so you’re seeing this issue really uh kind of jump back to the fourth of the legislature of this session.”

Jim Small: “Yeah I really think that is what the idea is and it’s something these are ideas that have been percolating around the conservative movement for a long time and in recent years other states have taken to the forefront on this on trying to push these issues to the Supreme Court and it looks like uh I know like last year or the year before I know we did some reporting on that and a lot of the pro life groups in Arizona weren’t ready to take those steps but clearly you I think they look at the Supreme Court like Andrew said and they see the very solid majority conservative with justices that are expected to be on the court for decades as well and they feel the time is right to go ahead and jump in the Frey on that.”



Jim Small- Arizona Mirror
Andrew Oxford- Arizona Republic

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