The state Attorney General’s office has made an “informal” request that Pima County Treasurer turn over the ballots from the 2006 Regional Transportation Authority election.

An employee of the Attorney General’s office contacted the attorney for Beth Ford, Pima County Treasurer, to see if she would give him the ballots, said John Richardson, Ford’s attorney.

The ballots are the subject of a court hearing scheduled for Monday. Ford has asked Pima County Superior Court Judge Charles Harrington whether she should destroy the ballots, as called for in state law, or keep them as investigations and questions about the election continue.

Richardson said he would bring the new request to the judge’s attention Monday, and leave the decision up to him. Ford has not argued for the preservation or destruction of the ballots, she simply wants a court order either way, she has said. Richardson said the same is true of the latest request, he would alert the judge and leave the decision to Harrington.

“We have always thought that we need some sort of legal process to do anything with the ballots. We think the way the statutes are written, court direction is necessary,” Richardson said.

“I have no problem giving him the ballots, as long as he has the court order to do so, or a subpoena,” Ford said.

Others are happy about the request. In the past few weeks, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and the Pima County Democratic and Republican parties have sent letters to the Attorney General, asking that he take control of the ballots and count them if necessary.

Read more in tomorrow’s Arizona Daily Star.