Republicans in Arizona were suspicious after elections that seemed won by the GOP on election night slowly shifted to Democrat victories in the days after the election.
Now, it appears that an internal election audit commissioned by the Arizona Republican Party, released Thursday, may offer some answers on what happened in the state’s closest election in recent memory.
The 228-page memo details several suspect and concerning practices employed by County Recorder Adrian Fontes, a Democrat. Fontes has already earned a reputation for controversy among election integrity advocates in Arizona, for a series of incidents including telling a candidate for the state legislature to “go f— yourself” on Facebook.
The audit, announced shortly after the election, was overseen by Stephen Richer, a Phoenix-area attorney with considerable experience in auditing major public and private organizations.
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It accuses Fontes of privately coordinating the location of “emergency voting centers” with Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema (who went on to win the state’s U.S Senate election). Apparently, staffers with the Sinema campaign were well aware of the location of said voting centers before the general public, which are reserved for the use of voters who are unable to cast an early ballot because of a supposed emergency.
The campaign of RepublicanMartha McSally, was left in the dark on the matter, while Sinema campaign staffers worked with local Democratic voters to guide them to an emergency voting center. The audit describes the Sinema campaign as even going so far as to perform literature drops in neighborhoods surrounding emergency voting centers.
All five emergency voting centers opened by the County Recorder’s office were placed in Democratic-trending areas by voting registration, despite Maricopa County having more registered Republicans by population.
Perhaps most concerning is the sworn affidavit documented in the audit in which an Arizona voter describes seeing ballots pre-marked for Sinema and Democrat candidate Greg Stanton on election day.
Can the people of Arizona trust the partisan Democrat with a known tendency of discrepancies to oversee elections?