Maricopa County Election Worker Arrested for Allegedly Stealing Voting Machine Security Device


A temporary elections worker at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in downtown Phoenix was arrested Friday for allegedly taking a “security fob” used with voting equipment.

KTAR-FM reported Monday that authorities said 27-year-old Walter Ringfield was captured on surveillance footage taking the fob along with keys from a desk about 5 p.m. on Thursday.

“On the desk there was a red scrunchy wrist lanyard with a security fob and keys attached,” the probable cause statement for Ringfield’s arrest said, according to the report.

“Walter stops at the desk, grabs the lanyard with security fob and continues walking. Walter then puts the security fob and lanyard into the right pocket of his shorts,” it said.

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Detectives searched Ringfield’s home on Friday and found the security fob in his dresser and the wrist lanyard in his car, authorities said.

“The stolen item has been recovered, but to ensure the integrity of Maricopa County Elections, election workers are reprogramming and re-conducting logic and accuracy testing of all equipment,” said Jennifer Liewer, a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Elections Department.

KTAR explained that the fob is “used in conjunction with secure tablets at the elections center, according to the arrest report.”

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“A director at the facility stated that the estimated cost of the reprogramming would be greater than $19,000 dollars, and the secure operation of the facility is greatly impeded until the reprogramming is complete,” the probable cause statement said.

“Walter stated his reason for taking the fob was because he wanted to ‘clean up,’” it said. “Walter said the job was temporary and he was trying to make it permanent, so he wanted to clean up.”

The elections department released a statement addressing the incident, KNXV-TV in Phoenix reported.

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“Maricopa County Elections has referred a matter to law enforcement that involves an alleged theft of an item by a temporary election worker from the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center,” it said.

“On Friday morning, when completing a daily inventory, Maricopa County elections workers identified that an item was taken from the Ballot Tabulation Center on Thursday evening, and staff took immediate action to investigate the matter and contacted the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office,” the department continued.

“The stolen item has been recovered but to ensure the integrity of Maricopa County Elections, election workers are reprogramming and re-conducting logic and accuracy testing of all equipment.”

Maricopa County made national headlines during the 2022 midterm elections when voting machines malfunctioned countywide, leading to hours-long lines at some polling locations.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake sued the county, saying the Election Day chaos disproportionately impacted her candidacy since GOP voters tend to vote in higher numbers on that day.

This month, an Arizona appellate panel rejected Lake’s appeal.

She is a candidate for U.S. Senate.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith