The Arizona governor and Senate races will be crucial in determining which party has control after the 2022 midterm elections. However, in Maricopa County, officials say that election workers are getting harassed three weeks before people hit the polls, CBS 5 reports. At the voting tabulation center in Maricopa, three people were noted to be outside, sometimes recording. The Republican chairman of the county board of supervisor Bill Gates pointed out how concerned he was.
From CBS 5:
“If these people want to be involved in the process, want to learn more about it, come be a poll worker or be a poll observer,” he said. “They’re taking pictures of them. And regardless of what the intent is of these people who are taking pictures of our elections workers, they’re harassing people. They’re not helping further the interest of democracy.”
There are two factors to consider when considering how problematic this is. Arizona has two election deniers on their gubernatorial and Senate ballots with Republicans Blake Masters and Kari Lake. Also, the conservative group Lions of Liberty had planned an “Operation Drop Box initiative” where dozens of volunteers took shifts near ballot drop boxes in Yavapai County last week, as CBS 5 notes. Nonprofit Protect Democracy had sent a cease and desist letter to the group saying this is explicit voter intimidation. After briefly stopping, the group decided to go forward.
“We’re moving forward with it, in name and slight practice,” Lions of Liberty board member Luke Cilano said. “When I’m out and about driving around, I swing by and watch a box from a distance.”
Intimidation tactics in Arizona have not just been limited to election workers. The Arizona secretary of state’s office just referred an instance of voter intimidation to the Department of Justice, according to CNN. In the same county, an unidentified voter said they were approached by a group and followed as they dropped their ballot in an early voting drop box.
If you want to “restore honesty and integrity” in elections, make it fair for everyone. Don’t enact voting restrictions and resort to intimidation tactics to tip the scales in your favor because you lost.