Enough with the election conspiracies. People’s lives are at stake

OP ED: Talk of mules, Sharpies and Cyber Ninjas may come across as just nonsensical political chatter, but it puts election workers’ safety at risk.

By Katie Hobbs opinion contributor

With the primary election just days away, Arizonans’ constitutional right to vote is facing the fiercest assault we’ve seen in decades.

Regardless of your political party, it should startle you that candidates running for governor and other offices have done everything in their power to cast our election processes in a disparaging light.

Talk of mules, Sharpies and Cyber Ninjas may come across as just nonsensical political chatter, but it’s a much graver offense when taking into account how dire – and deadly – these kinds of lies have proven before.

Don’t let disinformation silence your vote

Look no further than the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol that Donald Trump was instrumental in inciting. His election lies and incendiary language cost people their lives, and yet my opponents are increasingly using this same rhetoric to gin up their far-right base.

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Already we’re seeing reports of threats and intimidation against election officials such as Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer.

That’s why I cannot underscore how important it is to not let these scare tactics and disinformation silence our voice in our democracy. We need people in office who will stand up for our democracy, not actively seek to undermine it.

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The coordinated effort to undermine our democratic systems didn’t stop on Jan. 6. Trump’s “Big Lie” disinformation campaign led to a flurry of death threats targeted at election officials just doing their job, including myself.

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