Arizona Corporation Commissioner Disputes Kris Mayes’ Claims During Arizona Attorney General Debate of ‘Prosecuting’ While a Commissioner

Arizona Corporation Commissioner Disputes Kris Mayes’ Claims During Arizona Attorney General Debate of ‘Prosecuting’ While a Commissioner

The first debate between Trump-endorsed Republican Abraham Hamadeh and Democratic candidate Kris Mayes for Arizona Attorney General (AGO) took place Wednesday evening on Arizona PBS, sponsored by the Clean Elections Commission. The two candidates sparred for much of time over whether the other was qualified for the position. The moderators’ questions focused primarily on the candidates’ willingness to prosecute abortion laws and voter fraud from the 2020 presidential election, where there were stark differences. 

In Mayes’ opening statement, she touted her seven and a half years serving on the Arizona Corporation Commission, and said she’d been a member of the Arizona State Bar for 15 years. She claimed she had experience prosecuting consumer fraud, and pledge to protect reproductive rights and democracy if elected. 

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Kari Lake Leads Katie Hobbs with Millions in Ads from GOP Governors Association and Superior Independent Support

Kari Lake Leads Katie Hobbs with Millions in Ads from GOP Governors Association and Superior Independent Support

As the heated Arizona gubernatorial campaign between Trump-endorsed Kari Lake and Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs continues, Lake is pulling ahead with spending related to her campaign. Through a funding maneuver, Republicans figured out how to adjust their TV ad buys in order to get better purchasing power, allowing them to obtain more than double the spots Democrats had purchased. At the same time, independent expenditures (IEs) in the race greatly favor Lake over Hobbs by over four to one.

The Republican Governors Association (RGA) has spent over $4 million on ads attacking Hobbs. That strategy is shifting, as the RGA has decided to coordinate with the Yuma Republican Party in order to get more out of their money. Since candidates and their local political parties get better airtime rates than outside groups, the RGA will fund the Yuma GOP $6.5 million to buy a total of $7.1 million in ads through election day on Nov. 8. State law allows political parties to coordinate with candidates, not out-of-state independent expenditure (IE) organizations. The first ad attacked Hobbs on border security and the second ad on taxes and spending.

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As Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward Alleges Maricopa County Broke the Law in the 2022 Primary Election, Groups Launch Drop Box-Watching Operations

As Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward Alleges Maricopa County Broke the Law in the 2022 Primary Election, Groups Launch Drop Box-Watching Operations

The Arizona Legislature was unable to get a bill passed this year clearly banning unmonitored absentee ballot drop boxes, so local activists are organizing schedules of volunteers to watch them, concerned after reports of unusual activity during the primary election this year. Existing law, A.R.S. 16-1005(E), prohibits absentee ballot drop boxes operated by entities other than the government, but legal disputes remain over how much the government is required to monitor them.

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Arizonans Flood Maricopa County Recorder with Requests for ‘Cast Vote Records’ from 2020 Election

Arizonans Flood Maricopa County Recorder with Requests for ‘Cast Vote Records’ from 2020 Election

Election officials around the country, including the Maricopa County Recorder, saw a flurry of public records requests at the end of August asking for the “cast vote record” (CVR) from the 2020 presidential election. The requests came after My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, who is actively investigating election discrepancies in 2020, urged attendees at his Moment of Truth Summit in August to request them. The CVR reveals the type of ballot used by each voter and how they cast their votes, without exposing their identity.

Walter C. Daugherity, who has a background in computers and engineering, two degrees from Harvard University, and experience in artificial intelligence and quantum computing, submitted a declaration about his analysis of CVRs in a lawsuit filed by Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Trump-endorsed candidate for State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State. Their complaint aims to stop the use of electronic voting machine readers in the Nov. 8 election. 

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Arizona’s School Choice Expansion Very Likely to Be Halted as Signatures Mount for ESA Blockage

Arizona’s School Choice Expansion Very Likely to Be Halted as Signatures Mount for ESA Blockage

Arizona’s historic legislation expanding school choice to every child in the state appears likely to be placed on hold right now, as a ballot measure aimed at stopping the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) expansion will probably make the 2024 ballot. Save Our Schools Arizona (SOSAZ) said its signature collectors turned in 141,714 signatures for “Stop Voucher Expansion” to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office on Friday. Only 118,823 valid signatures were required by Sept. 24, leaving plenty of room for error with bad signatures.

Jenny Clark, the founder of Arizona-based Love Your School and a new appointee to the Arizona State Board of Education whose children participate in the ESAs, told The Arizona Sun Times, “Today 11,000 Arizona students had the opportunity of an ESA put on hold. Every day that a child struggles in a school that’s not working for them is detrimental. But this is far from over. We will be monitoring the signature verification process, and continuing to walk alongside Arizona families and their children.”

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Group Sounds Alarm on Arizona Voting Machine Readers Lacking Accreditation

Group Sounds Alarm on Arizona Voting Machine Readers Lacking Accreditation

For the last year and a half, three Arizona activists have been investigating the lack of accreditation of voting machine readers used in Arizona. Concerned that the machines are susceptible to fraud — not just fully electronic voting machines but also electronic voting machine readers that are used with paper ballots here in Arizona — the trio has made several unsuccessful attempts legally to halt their use in the elections this year, as well as calling upon elected officials in the state, executive, and legislative branches for assistance.

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Accusations Fly Between Finchem, Fontes During Arizona Secretary of State Debate Focused on Voter Fraud

Accusations Fly Between Finchem, Fontes During Arizona Secretary of State Debate Focused on Voter Fraud

Trump-endorsed State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) faced off against Democratic former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes in a debate Thursday evening hosted by Clean Elections on KAET PBS. Most of the lively exchange focused on the candidates’ stark differences regarding voter fraud, with Fontes more dismissive and Finchem stating election integrity is a priority. 

Finchem said in his opening statement that he is running due to what’s happened to the office under the current officeholder, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor. He said he wants to “restore honor, integrity, and security” to the position. “It’s not up to the secretary of state to make the law, they enforce the law that’s already laid down.” In addition to other controversies, Hobbs has been involved in a high-profile legal dispute with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich for making changes to the state’s Election Procedures Manual that Brnovich asserts are outside of her authority.

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Trump-Endorsed Mark Finchem Leads Adrian Fontes by over Six Points in Arizona Secretary of State Race: Poll

Trump-Endorsed Mark Finchem Leads Adrian Fontes by over Six Points in Arizona Secretary of State Race: Poll

A new poll from The Trafalgar Group shows Trump-endorsed State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona secretary of state, more than six points ahead of his opponent, Democratic former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes. Conducted between September 14 and 17, the survey of 1,080 likely voters by the Republican-aligned pollster found that 47.5 percent chose Finchem and 41.1 percent chose Fontes.

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New Super PAC-Funded Ads Arrive to Revive Blake Masters’ Campaign Against Senator Mark Kelly

New Super PAC-Funded Ads Arrive to Revive Blake Masters’ Campaign Against Senator Mark Kelly

As Blake Masters pulls to within striking distance of incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ), according to new polling by Trafalgar Group, the Frontiers of Freedom Action (FFA) Super PAC has jumped in to the Arizona media market to buy ads focused on opponent Kelly’s voting record.

The Arizona Sun Times asked Frontiers of Freedom President George Landrith, who also heads the FFA, why he thought the race was still winnable after Masters lost significant financial support. Landrith pointed to the gubernatorial race in New Jersey last year, where the Republican candidate, Jack Ciattarelli, was also a little-known newcomer like Masters, and written off by some in the Republican Party. Ciattarelli surprised everyone, losing by only 3.1 points in a very blue state.

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Maricopa County Hired 145 More Democratic Poll Workers than Republicans to Staff August Primary Election

Maricopa County Hired 145 More Democratic Poll Workers than Republicans to Staff August Primary Election

The Republican National Committee sent a letter to the Maricopa County Elections Department (MCED) demanding to know why MCED broke the law assigning significantly more Democrats than Republicans to poll worker positions for the August primary election. State law requires that each board handling the election must be “comprised of two members of different political parties,” but the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) discovered through public records requests that 857 Democrats were hired for those positions, while only 712 Republicans were. At 11 voting centers, there wasn’t a single Republican hired. 

Arizona Corporation Commissioner Jim O’Connor, who is leading an effort to stop the use of electronic voting machines in the Nov. 8 midterm election, expressed his concern to The Arizona Sun Times. “This makes no sense, considering there are far more registered Republicans than Democrats in Maricopa County, and Republicans are super eager to serve on these boards due to concerns about voter fraud,” he said. “There were significantly more Republican precinct committeemen compared to Democratic precinct committeemen hired, so it doesn’t pass the smell test that the county couldn’t get enough Republicans overall. Based on Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer’s constant snide remarks belittling Arizonans concerned about voter fraud, it’s like he’s doing it deliberately to stick it to us and raise tensions, at best. At worst…”

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Kari Lake and Mark Finchem Appeal Judge’s Decision to Dismiss Their Electronic Voting Machines Lawsuit

Kari Lake and Mark Finchem Appeal Judge’s Decision to Dismiss Their Electronic Voting Machines Lawsuit

Although the deadline for printing ballots for Arizona’s midterm election on Nov. 8 has passed, ending the time for litigation regarding items that must appear on the ballot, one lawsuit regarding the election continues to wind its way through the courts. After their lawsuit requesting the halting of electronic voting machines in the election was thrown out by an Obama-appointed trial court judge, U.S. District Judge John Tuchi, the attorneys for Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Trump-endorsed State Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, filed a notice of appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Tuchi stated in his order dismissing the case that “speculative allegations that voting machines may be hackable are insufficient to establish an injury in fact,” it was too close to the election to file, and the lawsuit should have been filed in state court, not federal court. 

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Grassroots Groups Pressure Arizona Officials to Follow 110 U.S. Counties and Not Use Voting Machines

Grassroots Groups Pressure Arizona Officials to Follow 110 U.S. Counties and Not Use Voting Machines

Voters concerned about election fraud are increasing the pressure on public officials to take additional steps during elections this year to provide additional security, including counting ballots by hand instead of using electronic voting machines for tabulation. Arizona Corporation Commissioner Jim O’Connor sent all Arizona county election officials and sheriffs a letter on August 30 urging the change, and now grassroots organizations are following up with their own campaign.

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Longtime Arizona Legislator, Husband, and Father: Rick Murphy Dies at Age 50

Longtime Arizona Legislator, Husband, and Father: Rick Murphy Dies at Age 50

Rick Murphy, who represented the areas around Glendale and Peoria in the Arizona Legislature from 2005 to 2014, passed away on September 8, leaving behind his wife, Penny Murphy, their five children, and many foster children. Born with hemophilia, he received a tainted blood transfusion as a child that led to hepatitis and finally liver disease, which ultimately took his life at age 50.

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Democratic Attorneys General Association Cuts Almost $500,000 from Candidate’s Campaign After PR Consultant’s Anti-Police Tweets Surface

Democratic Attorneys General Association Cuts Almost $500,000 from Candidate’s Campaign After PR Consultant’s Anti-Police Tweets Surface

The Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) slashed $474,280 from their Arizona ad buys after tweets surfaced from a public relations (PR) consultant for Arizona Democratic AG candidate Kris Mayes. The details of the spending cuts were independently confirmed by The Arizona Sun Times by sources familiar with the organization. 

In the past, Mayes’s PR consultant Stacey Champion made numerous tweets attacking law enforcement and white people. Champion is white.

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Democratic Attorneys General Association Cuts Almost $500,000 from Candidate’s Campaign After PR Consultant’s Anti-Police Tweets Surface

Democratic Attorneys General Association Cuts Almost $500,000 from Candidate’s Campaign After PR Consultant’s Anti-Police Tweets Surface

The Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) slashed $474,280 from their Arizona ad buys after tweets surfaced from a public relations (PR) consultant for Arizona Democratic AG candidate Kris Mayes. The details of the spending cuts were independently confirmed by The Arizona Sun Times by sources familiar with the organization. 

In the past, Mayes’s PR consultant Stacey Champion made numerous tweets attacking law enforcement and white people. Champion is white.

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More Headlines…

Arizona GOP Disputes Katie Hobbs’ Portrayal of Herself as a Moderate in Her New Border Security Ad

Arizona Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor, is pivoting her campaign ads to “clone herself as a ‘moderate,’” Arizona Republican Party Chair Jerimiah Cota contends. A new ad from Hobbs states that she will “keep our border secure,” but Cota said in a statement that “this is far from the truth.” 

He said, “This statement is absurd implying that the border was secure to begin with. On top of that, Katie cannot expect the people of Arizona to forget her atrocious record when it comes to border security. … She has actively worked against securing Arizona’s border her entire career. We view Hobbs and her team’s attempt to trick an entire state into forgetting her anti-border security history as an insult to the intelligence of Arizonans.” 

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Progressive Groups’ Aggressive Targeting of New Naturalized Citizens Helped Break Turnout Records in 2022 Primary Election

Arizona continues to have increasingly large numbers of registered voters participating in recent elections, with a record turnout of 34.92 percent of all registered voters casting a ballot in August’s primary election. Part of the reason for the high turnout may be due to the increase in naturalized citizens, whose population climbed by 63,857 new Arizonans between 2016 and 2020 alone, with many of them registered to vote by progressive advocacy groups.

Almost half – 28,864 – were born in Mexico.

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True the Vote Calls Out Arizona AG Criminal Division Over ‘Mishandling’ Its ‘2000 Mules’ Complaint, Unmasking Informants

After over a year of “good faith attempts to work together,” Texas-based election integrity nonprofit True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht and lead investigator Gregg Phillips of the OPSEC Group, an election intelligence company, say they no longer trust the intentions of the Arizona Attorney General Office’s Criminal Division.

The veteran grassroots organizer told The Arizona Sun Times the election integrity group turned over evidence to both the FBI and local law enforcement, including the Criminal Division of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO), and has met with AGO criminal investigators numerous times since first contacting them in the summer of 2021 – all to no effect.

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True the Vote Calls Out Arizona AG Criminal Division Over ‘Mishandling’ Its ‘2000 Mules’ Complaint, Unmasking Informants

After over a year of “good faith attempts to work together,” Texas-based election integrity nonprofit True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht and lead investigator Gregg Phillips of the OPSEC Group, an election intelligence company, say they no longer trust the intentions of the Arizona Attorney General Office’s Criminal Division.

The veteran grassroots organizer told The Arizona Sun Times the election integrity group turned over evidence to both the FBI and local law enforcement, including the Criminal Division of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO), and has met with AGO criminal investigators numerous times since first contacting them in the summer of 2021 – all to no effect.

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County Clerk Prosecuted After Exposing Election Discrepancies in Colorado Tells Arizona Republicans Her Story

Legislative District 10 Republicans and Michele Swinick of the Save My Freedom Movement put on an event Wednesday evening featuring the story of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, who says she believes she encountered programming discrepancies with the voting machines in her county in Colorado, and is now being prosecuted for election tampering.

The event included a screening of the documentary about her experience, “Selection Code,” and a Q & A session with both Peters and the documentary producers and directors, Matt and Joy Thayer. The title “Selection Code” refers to programming voting machines in order to choose certain candidates as winners.

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Mesa County Clerk Prosecuted After Exposing Electronic Voting Machine Discrepancies Tells Arizona Republicans Her Story

Legislative District 10 Republicans and Michele Swinick of the Save My Freedom Movement put on an event Wednesday evening featuring the story of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, who says she believes she encountered programming discrepancies with the voting machines in her county in Colorado, and is now being prosecuted for election tampering.

The event included a screening of the documentary about her experience, “Selection Code,” and a Q & A session with both Peters and the documentary producers and directors, Matt and Joy Thayer. The title “Selection Code” refers to programming voting machines in order to choose certain candidates as winners.

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Arizona Corporation Commissioner Urges County Officials to Nix Electronic Voting Machines for November Election

America First leaders and grassroots activists concerned about voter fraud in Arizona are taking steps to put as many security measures as possible for the November 8 election. Jim O’Connor, a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) and a leader in the grassroots community who brought patriots together to sign an “Arizona Election Integrity Declaration” demanding secure elections in May, is now taking his efforts a step further.

O’Connor sent a letter to all Arizona county supervisors, recorders, election directors and sheriffs on Aug. 30 requesting they refrain from using electronic voting machines to tabulate ballots. O’Conner alluded to his responsibilities on the ACC where the commissioners “find bad actors operating in our state causing harm to our state’s investors,” then “perform examinations and investigations, hold hearings, determine guilt,” and “refer criminal activity to our Attorney General’s office for prosecution. He urged, “I cite that judicial role as the basis for my strongest admonition and encouragement for all of our Counties to immediately cease use of all electronic voting machines for this November’s General Election and beyond.”

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GOP Support Swells for Arizona Democratic Senator Mark Kelly

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) has lined up numerous endorsements from prominent Arizona Republicans, announcing nearly 50 Republicans and independents behind him in July and over 40 more this month. As a Democrat in a traditionally red state, he is trying to portray himself as a moderate in the race against Trump-endorsed Republican candidate Blake Masters. 

Arizona political consultant Jason Rose told The Arizona Sun Times the endorsements may be very effective, pointing out how well they worked for a previous well-known Arizona Democratic politician and citing the endorsement of Mesa Mayor John Giles. “Former Governor Janet Napolitano reinvented effective Republican receptivity for Democrats,” he said. “Mark Kelly is now following that model. His ads along these lines are designed not for everyone but the narrow slice of swing voters that have and will determine such elections. Having them anchored by the Republican Mayor of one of the largest Republican cities in America is impressive, and will be effective. After all, where is Blake Masters’ Democrat group for him?”

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GOP Support Swells for Arizona Democratic Senator Mark Kelly

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) has lined up numerous endorsements from prominent Arizona Republicans, announcing nearly 50 Republicans and independents behind him in July and over 40 more this month. As a Democrat in a traditionally red state, he is trying to portray himself as a moderate in the race against Trump-endorsed Republican candidate Blake Masters. 

Arizona political consultant Jason Rose told The Arizona Sun Times the endorsements may be very effective, pointing out how well they worked for a previous well-known Arizona Democratic politician and citing the endorsement of Mesa Mayor John Giles. “Former Governor Janet Napolitano reinvented effective Republican receptivity for Democrats,” he said. “Mark Kelly is now following that model. His ads along these lines are designed not for everyone but the narrow slice of swing voters that have and will determine such elections. Having them anchored by the Republican Mayor of one of the largest Republican cities in America is impressive, and will be effective. After all, where is Blake Masters’ Democrat group for him?”

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Arizona Citizens Defense League’s Founding President and Chief Lobbyist Dave Kopp Has Died

Dave Kopp, the longtime lobbyist and founding president of the Arizona Citizens Defense League (AzCDL), a Second Amendment organization in Arizona, passed away at age 56.

Kopp fought cancer for 12 years but succumbed to the illness on August 24. Several people in the Arizona gun industry told The Arizona Sun Times Kopp was responsible for transforming Arizona into the top-ranked state for Second Amendment-friendly laws.

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Lawmakers Refer Propositions to the Ballot to Address the Initiative Process in Arizona, Raise the Bar for Tax Hikes

The Republican dominated Arizona Legislature referred three propositions to the Arizona ballot this year that aim to improve the initiative process. Proposition 128 would allow the legislature to fix citizen initiatives that have had legal problems, instead of requiring them to go back to the voters for tweaking. Proposition 129 would require initiatives to stick with one single subject, as propositions referred to the ballot by the legislature must do, so partisan interests can’t ram through massive amounts of new laws. Proposition 132 would change the threshold of approval for a tax increase initiative or referendum from a majority to 60 percent of voters. Progressives have turned to initiatives in Arizona increasingly in recent years, due to difficulty getting legislation passed in the Republican dominated legislature.

Prop. 128, named the Legislative Changes to Ballot Initiatives with Invalid Provisions Amendment, was sponsored by State Senator Vince Leach (R-Saddlebrooke) and passed along party lines. The Voter Protection Act currently prohibits the legislature from tinkering with initiatives, even when a court has struck down parts of one. Passed in 1998 as Prop. 105, it allows a narrow exception for changes that further the measure’s purpose and receive a three-fourths vote in each legislative chamber. 

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Arizona Supreme Court Knocks ‘Radical’ Elections Initiative Modeled After Federal HR 1 Off the Ballot

A voting initiative backed by progressive activists won’t be on the ballot this fall in Arizona after the Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that backers failed to provide a valid mailing address to receive certified mail.

The court remanded it to the trial court to determine how many signatures would be invalidated, and after a last-minute dispute between the two courts over how to count the signatures, the Arizona Supreme Court stated on Friday that Arizonans for Free and Fair Elections lacked the required amount of qualifying signatures.

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‘Bad’ Signatures Rejected 14 Times More Often During August Primary Election in Maricopa County than During 2020 General Election

In its final canvass report for the 2022 primary election, Maricopa County says it rejected 14 times more signatures than it did in the 2020 general election. This comes on the heels of Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s finding that the county’s standards for signature verification were “insufficient to guard against abuse.”

“Canvass Queen” Liz Harris, so named after conducting an 11-month long independent grassroots audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, told The Arizona Sun Times, “The entire voting system needs an entire overhaul. Period.”

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State Rep. Parker Blasts Ousted Arizona Speaker Bowers for Calling GOP ‘Fascist’

Republicans furious with Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa), mainly over denying election fraud and blocking election integrity bills, voted him out of office earlier this month, choosing a Trump-endorsed candidate instead. Bowers lost by almost 30 points to former legislator David Farnsworth, who he was running against for Senate (Bowers was term limited in the House). Bowers spoke out about his massive loss during an interview with The Guardian. 

He compared being voted out of office to “fascism.” He said, “The thought that if you don’t do what we like, then we will just get rid of you and march on and do it ourselves — that to me is fascism.” Bowers was referring to voters being upset about a multifaceted election integrity bill he killed using a technical maneuver. Among other things, HB 2596 would have given the legislature the power to reject election results, allowing an elector to call for a new election. 

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