Tensions high after armed individuals reportedly watch ballot box in Mesa
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Multiple incidents of possible voter intimidation have been reported this week, and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors released a statement saying they will do anything to ensure a fair election.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to an incident Friday night at a ballot box in Mesa and said two individuals wearing tactical gear were armed. The Sheriff’s office said the individuals were standing outside the 75 limit at the Maricopa County Juvenile Court Building and told Arizona’s Family they weren’t breaking any laws.
On Saturday night, there was a group of four people watching the ballot box in Mesa, and two were armed with concealed handguns. There was a confrontation that resulted from the group being there.
Arizona’s Family spoke to an activist in a nun outfit who said she went out to the location to watch the watchers and ensure voter intimidation wasn’t happening. She said they were covering their license plates with pieces of cloth, and when she tried to take a picture of the license plates, she was grabbed and chased by one of the group members.
She said, “I just felt fair is fair, they’re video taping voter’s license plates, so I didn’t think it was really a big deal to photograph theirs.” The activist said she felt like the group was trying to keep people away from the ballot box.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, chairman Bill Gates and recorder Stephen Richer said in a statement:
Both Gates and Richer said they would do anything to protect voters, election workers, and fair elections. The watchers Saturday night ended up leaving.
Maricopa County has 12 Vote Centers and 16 drop boxes inside city and town facilities. These locations are staffed by election workers or city and town employees. Voters also have the option to return an early ballot by mail. The last recommended day to drop a ballot in the mail is Nov. 1, before election day on Nov. 8.
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