Maricopa County election officials are under the microscope after another controversial election in Arizona.
Democrat Katie Hobbs was declared the winner of the state’s gubernatorial race on Monday after several days of ballot counting and widespread tabulation machine errors in Maricopa, Arizona’s most populous county.
According to the Post Millennial, the men charged with running elections in Maricopa, County Recorder Stephen Richer and Supervisor Bill Gates, founded a PAC last year to defeat candidates who do not “acknowledge the validity of the 2020 election.”
Hobbs’ opponent, Trump-backed Republican Kari Lake, has drawn attention to problems that plagued the 2020 election and called for election reform.
Meg Cunningham of the Kansas City Beacon tweeted about the launch of Richer and Gates’ PAC in November 2021.
Richer confirmed her report by retweeting it, stating, “Join me if you care about traditional Republican ‘stuff’ (free people, free markets, rule of law), but also don’t believe in conspiracies about the 2020 election or that Jan 6 was a tourist event,” according to the Post Millennial. His tweet appears to have been deleted.
The PAC, Pro-Democracy Republicans for Arizona, claims in its mission statement that it is “fighting to keep our democratic institutions alive.”
“The Arizona election wasn’t stolen. We Republicans simply had a presidential candidate who lost, while we had many other candidates who won. It’s time we Republicans accept and acknowledge that fact,” its website states.
In the summer of 2021, Richer challenged Republicans who were wary of his handling of the 2020 election in an open letter in which he doubled down on his innocence.
“Nobody stole Maricopa County’s election. Elections in Maricopa County aren’t rigged,” he wrote.
Needless to say, not everyone is convinced.
Twenty percent of tabulation machines at Maricopa polling locations malfunctioned on Election Day. Voters were told they could leave their ballots in a designated box to be counted later.
Lake has lambasted Hobbs, who as secretary of state is in charge of Arizona’s elections, as “incompetent,” the Post Millennial reported.
“Another election run by a bunch of clowns,” she said in an interview last week.
Lake and other Republicans have also argued that there was a major conflict of interest in the race after Hobbs refused to recuse herself and was allowed to oversee her own election.
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