AG’s Office set to receive $500k for ‘election integrity’ investigators

Attorney General Mark Brnovich /Photo by Gage Skidmore / Flickr

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

Attorney General Mark Brnovich wants the legislature to fund a new voter fraud unit, with an eye toward refuting the baseless claims of voter fraud that swirled in some political circles after the 2018 election.

The budget agreement reached by Gov. Doug Ducey and Republican legislative leadership includes $530,000 for an elections integrity unit that would have four full-time employees. Ryan Anderson, a spokesman for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, said Brnovich, a Republican, asked for the funding in response to Republican lawmakers who raised questions about fraud in last year’s election.

But rather than seeking to find alleged fraud, Anderson said part of the point is shoot down the allegations. He said the Attorney General’s Office has received a number of complaints, but subsequent investigations haven’t found any actual fraud.

“The notion that there is fraud, pervasive fraud, in our elections is damaging to the collective confidence of the public in our elections and in our public institutions,” Anderson said. “So, what we have said, if there is in fact fraud, don’t you want to know? And if there isn’t fraud, and that is what the ultimate determination is on a yearly basis, isn’t that good to know, as well?”

Anderson said the purpose of the elections integrity unit, as it would be called, is to “promote and to ensure open, honest and lawful elections.”

After post-Election Day vote counting erased early GOP leads and resulted in several big Democratic wins in November, some Republicans alleged foul play and made baseless claims of electoral fraud. Even President Donald Trump tweeted about “election corruption” in Arizona.

No evidence has ever lent any truth to the claims.

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