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Maricopa County election officials respond to worker harassment

Maricopa County election officials respond to worker harassment

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Maricopa County officials say people are harassing election office workers. Bill Gates, the Republican chairman of the county’s board of supervisors, expressed concern with the election three weeks away.

“If these people really want to be involved in the process, if they want to know more about it, come and be a survey worker or a survey observer,” he said. “They are taking pictures of them. And regardless of the intent of those people taking pictures of our election workers, they are harassing people. They are not helping to increase the interest of democracy.”

The Arizona family visited the Maricopa County vote tabulation center and saw three people posted outside. Sometimes they were recording. Other times, they weren’t. Although a Maricopa County spokeswoman would not confirm who they were referring to, they are not the only Arizonans who are planning to control the ballot boxes and polling places in our state.

The conservative group, the Lions of Freedom, planned to launch Operation Drop Box last week, which involves dozens of volunteers taking turns standing near ballot boxes in Yavapai County. However, the group was suspended following a letter from the non-profit Protect Democracy, which described their operation as voter intimidation. Today, the Lions of Liberty, in an email, said they have now changed their mind.

“We’re moving forward, in name and in small practice,” said Lions of Liberty board member Luke Cilano. “When I’m outside and driving, I pass by and I see a box in the distance.” Cilano says he and his fellow board members are doing nothing wrong and are doing their part to make sure the vote is safe.

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In response, President Gates has this answer for anyone who questions the security of elections, including mail-in ballots. “If there are campaigns that accuse the province of not being transparent, I will reject it,” he said.

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