‘It’s a very sad day’: Across Arizona, elections officials leave office following harassment over 2020

Yavapai County, Recorder Leslie Hoffman is leaving July 22. The county’s elections director left earlier this month; the elections manager departed a month ago./Vimeo

By Mary Jo Pitzl |Arizona Republic

Just weeks before the Aug. 2 primary, elections officials across the state are calling it quits. Others are unsure if they’ll finish out their terms once they get past Election Day.

Continued voter anger and disbelief stemming from the 2020 presidential election — especially in counties where Donald Trump won — have worn down elections officials, making it easier to pursue an attractive job opportunity or to consider retirement.

“I remember getting an email here saying that I should be hung,” said Robyn Stallworth-Pouquette, a Republican who is leaving her job July 18 as Yuma County recorder after nearly 14 years. “Little things like that. When you read the hateful comments people send you, it’s very discouraging.”

Trump won Yuma County by 6.3 percentage points, but Stallworth-Pouquette’s office still gets complaints that it somehow cheated voters in its conduct of the 2020 election.

In bright red Yavapai County, Recorder Leslie Hoffman is leaving July 22. The county’s elections director left earlier this month; the elections manager departed a month ago.

In all, five of Arizona’s 15 counties have new elections directors this cycle. Their duties include running operations on Election Day and ballot design, an issue that is bedeviling Pinal County as voters get their early ballots. County recorders handle voter registration and early voting.

“It’s a very sad day,” Hoffman said of the departures. 

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