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Yavapai sheriff: Beware fraudulent 'election officials' knocking on doors

People who are falsely claiming to be county election officials are knocking on voters’ doors in Yavapai County and asking for information about their voting history, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office warned on Monday.

The sheriff’s office said it received reports of people, some of whom identify themselves as employees of the Yavapai County Recorder’s Office, canvassing homes and claiming they’re asking questions for a survey. The canvassers are asking people if they voted, who they voted for and who lives in their homes. When asked for identification that would prove they work for the county, the canvassers have been unable to provide it, the sheriff’s office said in a press statement.

The U.S. Department of Justice recently warned that plans to canvass voters in Maricopa County as part of a self-styled audit initiated by Senate President Karen Fann would likely constitute illegal voter intimidation under the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Sheriff David Rhodes’s office said it’s concerned that the canvassing “may be an attempt to gain personal information for fraudulent purposes.”

“Please be assured that the Recorder’s Office will never send anyone to a residence asking ‘survey questions,’ nor would they ask voters for personal information,” including who they voted for, the sheriff’s office said.

The reports from Yavapai County come as door-to-door canvassing related to the 2020 election has become an issue in the self-styled election audit that Fann, R-Prescott, ordered for Maricopa County.

Fann’s plans initially called for her audit team to knock on voters’ doors to investigate “voter registrations that did not make sense” and to review peoples’ voting history in precincts “with a high number of anomalies.” The audit team planned to ask people if they voted in the 2020 general election, though they weren’t to inquire about who people voted for.

The Department of Justice warned Fann that such canvassing would likely violate the Voting Rights Act. The Senate president responded by informing the DOJ that the canvassing plans had been called off, and she told the Arizona Mirror on Friday that those plans are still on hiatus.

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This report was first published by the Arizona Mirror.


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Jim Small/Arizona Mirror

When asked for identification that would prove they work for the county, the canvassers have been unable to provide it, the sheriff’s office said in a press statement.