Arizona Republican Party warns of ‘destroyed or stolen’ ballots, but election officials tell different story

By Gregory Svirnovskiy and Sasha Hupka | Arizona Republic

Arizona’s Republican Party recently took to social media to issue a warning to voters that elections officials say isn’t warranted.

The party claims it has received reports that ballots all over the state are being “destroyed or stolen” from unsecured mailboxes, but elections officials in several counties were quick to throw cold water on the allegations.

“URGENT,” a tweet posted Sunday evening by the party read. An accompanying video featured Pam Kirby, the state GOP’s executive director, who said she was providing “an urgent election integrity alert.”

“If you do not have a locking mailbox, there is a very real possibility that your ballot may be stolen before you retrieve your mail or before your mail person arrives to pick up your ballot after you’ve completed it and placed it in your mailbox,” Kirby said.

At the Yavapai County Recorder’s Office in Prescott, Registrar of Voters Laurin Custis called any claims of such ballot impropriety “absolutely false.”

“I just went around and looked at every one of my staff in the eyeballs and said, ‘Have you gotten any calls of people complaining that their ballots have been destroyed, damaged or stolen from their mailbox,'” Custis said. “And all of them said no. And I have not spoken to anybody from the GOP. So this is news to us.”

Kristy Dohnel, director of communications with the Arizona Republican Party, said the party has also received reports of missing ballots in Pinal and Maricopa counties. Officials with both counties said their elections staff was unaware of any calls from voters about stolen ballots.

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