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Electors to meet as Senate holds hearing on election

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The 11 electors pledged to Joe Biden are set to cast their votes today even as yet another court hearing is set in a bid to invalidate what they are doing and lawmakers look to see how the election was conducted.

But what will be different this year is there won’t be any public spectacle or audience.

Murphy Hebert, aide to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, has asked the media not to disclose the location of the event due to security concerns. There has been heightened tension around the election, with supporters of President Trump engaged in multiple protests and even what some have suggested might be a call to violence.

In fact, Hebert said, the 11 electors — their names are public because they appeared on the ballot adjacent to that of Biden — have been asked to limit who they invite.

The public will, however, be able to watch a livestream of the event at “www.facebook.com/SecretaryHobbs/live/” beginning at 10 a.m.

It isn’t just Hobbs who is limiting attendance at an election-related event Monday.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee convene at 9 a.m. to hear testimony from Maricopa County election officials and members of the Elections Integrity Unit of the Attorney General’s Office.

But this event is taking place entirely online, at least in part amid concerns about COVID-19. In fact, both the House and Senate were entirely shuttered this past week after several lawmakers were exposed to presidential attorney Rudy Giuliani at a prior forum; Giuliani later tested positive for the virus.

The Judiciary Committee meeting also will be available online at “azleg.gov” by clicking on the link for the Senate, then the “live proceedings” button, and finally selecting Senate Hearing Room 1 from the available options.

Also today, Pinal County resident Staci Burk will be in court in her bid to mount her own challenge to the results of the Nov. 3 election.

Burk, representing herself, claims to have information proving fraud and misconduct in how the election was conducted.

She wants Pinal County Superior Court Judge Kevin White to invalidate the results, even if the court hearing is occurring after the electors actually cast their ballots. Burk contends, as have others who have so far been unsuccessful in voiding the results, that they can argue the case right up until Jan. 6 when Congress meets to tally the votes cast by electors from all the states.

On Friday, attorney Roopali Desai asked White to throw out the case entirely. She said that while Burk is alleging fraud “she fails to allege sufficient facts to support these vague conclusions, let alone that any alleged misconduct would affect the results or at least render it uncertain.”

Burk countered that she has witnesses and that she hopes to use at trial — if White doesn’t throw the case out — to get the evidence. But Desai told the judge she can’t legally do that.

“This is not a fishing expedition for her to learn more about whatever claims or grievances she has,” Desai said.

Burk, however, said she is entitled to the information.

“It’s not that I’m going on some wild fishing expedition,” she said. “I’m presenting some very concrete facts and truths to the court.”

And Burk expressed frustration about efforts by Roopali to limit the scope of the hearing.

“I don’t understand what the state’s problem is with trying to hide some very serious election issues,” she told the judge. “Doesn’t the state have a right to know what’s going on?”

White deferred any ruling on whether Burk gets to demand certain records and information.

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