The post-midterm election chaos in Arizona continues as members of the Arizona Freedom Caucus condemned Maricopa County election officials in a stinging news statement this week.
According to The Arizona Sun Times, AFC members published the statement on Monday. In it, the members accused Maricopa County election officials of breaking the law regarding how they managed the process of running the polling precincts and counting the results of the 2022 midterm elections and demanded the resignations of several county election officials.
“These officials in Maricopa County have utterly disgraced their office, destroyed all faith in our electoral process, and shown that the only true solution is for them to resign in shame,” the statement read.
The AFC members didn’t pull any punches in the statement, saying officials such as Maricopa Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates “failed” Arizona voters and questioning whether some were “criminals.”
“After taking an absurd and unnecessary amount of time to count ballots, we are now finding Maricopa County election officials may not merely be incompetent but may also be criminals,” the statement read, quoting State Rep. Jake Hoffman, the AFC chairman.
“The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, including Chairman Gates, and Recorder Richer have utterly, and embarrassingly, failed the people,” the statement added.
In response to alleged criminal activity by Maricopa County election officials, the Arizona Freedom Caucus has released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/x1UnzL9lh2
— Arizona Freedom Caucus (@AZFreedomCaucus) November 21, 2022
“They have not merely failed Maricopa County, they have failed the entire state of Arizona,” the statement continued.
The pointed statement came in the wake of a letter penned by Arizona Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Wright, which highlighted what she believes to be several instances of violations of election laws as it relates to the results of the 2022 midterms in Maricopa County.
Wright demanded accountability in the letter, especially for situations like the malfunctioning printers that reportedly prevented many voters from casting their vote on Election Day or, at the very least, made them feel disenfranchised and unsure if their votes counted.
“Arizonans deserve a full report and accounting of the myriad problems that occurred in relation to Maricopa County’s administration of the 2022 General Election,” Wright wrote in the letter.
Gates had responded to the letter in a statement of his own, promising to comply with the information that Wright demanded. The response was posted by the official Maricopa County Twitter account.
— Maricopa County (@maricopacounty) November 21, 2022
In the post-election aftermath, Chairman Gates has received intense backlash — both online and in person — for the many issues experienced during and after the election.
According to KSAZ-TV, deputies from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Sunday that the department is handling a security detail for Gates’ new, undisclosed location, where he has reportedly retreated for security purposes.
Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone held a news conference in which he slammed those who’ve threatened election officials or challenged the election results as anything but legitimate.
“We do not need interference from people outside the state to tell us how to run an election, or what elected officials are deserving to be in their positions,” Sheriff Penzone said. “We get to choose. You don’t. And you don’t get to threaten the people that lead this state. That’s not acceptable. And we’re not going to tolerate it.”
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