Maricopa County Election Department
© Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images
A poll worker sorts ballots inside the Maricopa County Election Department in Phoenix, Arizona, on Nov. 5, 2020.
Maricopa County officials agreed Wednesday, on the day of President Joe Biden's inauguration, to turn over election data and ballots to Arizona Senate Republicans for an audit.

The agreement ended weeks of back-and-forth between the county and the state's legislative body, many of whom question how Biden won the once reliably Republican Arizona.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors had fought the senate's subpoenas because they believed the request to be out of bounds and could expose private voter information. GOP President Karen Fann had pressed ahead with her quest for an audit to ensure the county ran the election correctly and, in part, to help craft new legislation to address Republican concerns. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich also filed a brief in support of the senate's authority to issue subpoenas.

"Not only has the Board agreed to turn over all the relevant information we sought in our subpoenas so that we may perform an audit, but they also acknowledge that the Legislature is a sovereign power of the state and that the county is a political subdivision, and as such, the Legislature has the constitutional and statutory authority to issue subpoenas," Fann said in a statement.

Board Chairman Jack Sellers Sellers sent Fann a letter in which he acknowledged the county is a subdivision of the state and subject to its powers, one of 10 points outlined in the new agreement. Other items on the list include security arrangements and a provision that anyone who audits election machines or software is certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The deal includes a "logic and accuracy test" on election equipment, a review that was done before and after the election as required by state law.

Eight lawsuits alleging fraud in Maricopa County's election were tossed out by judges, including by the Arizona Supreme Court. To date, no evidence of fraud has been found in Arizona's elections. Fann and her colleagues hope that an audit will lay the matter to rest once and for all.

In an interview, Fann said she had no evidence that anything went wrong. But she insisted it was important that questions raised about the election be answered.

"We have said from Day One, we are not alleging fraud, we are not alleging anything," Fann said. "What we are saying is there are a lot of questions."

Some senate Republicans have also pushed for an audit of voting machines and the software used to count the ballots, despite numerous checks and hand-count audits done by county and state officials before and after the election.

Congress confirmed Biden's Electoral College victory on Jan. 6 after mobs supporting then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol. Biden assumed the office of the presidency Wednesday.