An Arizona county party official said he saw a man stuffing "hundreds" of ballots into the ballot box and later told a local news outlet the entire incident was caught on surveillance video.
"A person wearing a Citizens for a Better Arizona T-shirt dropped a large box of hundreds of early ballots on the table and started stuffing the ballot box as I watched in amazement," said A.J. LaFaro, chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party.
The Maricopa County GOP chairman provided the Arizona Daily Independent with the following account of what happened during the Aug. 26 primary election cycle:
Guy: "What's your problem?"
LaFaro: "I don't have a problem."
Guy: "Stop watching me. You're annoying me."
LaFaro: "One of your ballots isn't sealed."
Guy: "It's none of your business. What's your name?"
LaFaro: "I'm the chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party. What's yours?"
Guy: "Go f*** yourself. I don't have to tell you who I am."
LaFaro said he later submitted a public information request and obtained this surveillance video from 12:30- 1:30 on Aug. 25 (audio unavailable):
LaFaro said it all happened as he was working with the elections staff during early ballots processing. The team in charge of processing the ballots got "way ahead" so the information systems coordinator convened an extended lunch period from 11:30- 1:00 p.m.
It was between 12:54 and 1:04 that LaFaro said he was seated at one of the cubicles, heard a loud thud and turned around to see the man who he claims was caught on tape stuffing "hundreds" of ballots. LaFaro described the man as a "vulgar, disrespectful, violent thug" with "no respect for our laws." He said he would have followed the man to his car to get his tag number but "feared for [his] life."
"America used to be a nation of laws where one person had one vote," LaFaro said, the Daily Independent reported. "I'm sad to say not anymore."
On its website, Citizens for a Better Arizona says it is an "outgrowth of the grassroots movement that led to the historic recall of former [Republican] President of the Senate Russell Pearce." The group is "committed to improving the quality of life of all Arizonans – better schools, better health care, better jobs, better government and a better, more civil tone of respect and decency."
Yvonne Reed, spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Elections Department, said the event occurred at an "operations center," and "there's no investigation. There's nothing wrong with that."
"People can bring in someone else's ballot if those people are willing to trust that individual," Reed said. "There's no law against bringing in ballots and placing them in the receptacle for early ballots."
Editors note: This post has been updated with comments from Yvonne Reed.
(H/T: Arizona Daily Independent)
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