PHOENIX (HPD) — The Phoenix metro police chief said Monday that he has tightened security around polling places due to a series of incidents of people standing guard around them and taking video of voters, after they were apparently inspired by fraud lies in the 2020 election.
Agents responded Friday to reports that two armed people wearing face coverings and bulletproof vests showed up at a polling place in Mesa, a Phoenix suburb. The secretary of state noted that her office has referred six cases of possible voter intimidation to the state attorney general and the federal Department of Justice, as well as a threatening email addressed to the entity’s electoral director.
The people who monitor the mailboxes and the voters who appear to vote have covered the license plates of their vehicles, according to photographs circulating on social networks.
“Every day I am devoting a significant amount of resources just to give people the confidence that they can vote safely, and this is absurd,” Maricopa County Police Chief Paul Penzone said during a press conference. press. Penzone said his department has referred two incidents to county prosecutors for possible criminal charges.
Due to false accusations by former President Donald Trump of fraud in the 2020 elections and the discredited movie “2,000 Mules”, the electoral mailboxes have become a hotbed of conspiracy theories that accuse without evidence that some people illegally collected and deposited votes in these sites.
Election security experts and officials from Trump’s homeland security and Justice Department said there was no fraud on a scale large enough to alter the results of the 2020 election. Dozens of lawsuits filed after the election were thrown out, many of them them by judges appointed by Trump.
Arizona, the state with the narrowest margin of victory for President Joe Biden two years ago, now has some of the most significant races heading into the nation’s midterm elections, including one in the Senate that could tip the balance. of power in Congress.
“These non-uniformed gunmen outside polling places in Maricopa County are not increasing election integrity,” County Recorder Stephen Richer and County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates said in a joint statement released today. weekend. “Instead, they are sparking lawsuits for voter intimidation.”