Voter Fraud Unit in Arizona Will Shift Focus to Voter Rights

Kris Mayes, the state’s new Democratic attorney general, is shifting gears on election issues in an office her Republican predecessor created. Gage Skidmore || Flickr

By Neil Vigdor || The New York Times

Arizona’s new Democratic attorney general, Kris Mayes, is redirecting an election integrity unit her Republican predecessor created, focusing its work instead on addressing voter suppression. The shift by Ms. Mayes is one of her first acts since she took office this month.

The unit’s former leader, Jennifer Wright, meanwhile, has joined a legal effort to invalidate Ms. Mayes’s narrow victory in the November election.

“Under my predecessor’s administration, the election integrity unit searched widely for voter fraud and found scant evidence of it occurring in Arizona,” Ms. Mayes said in a statement provided by her office on Monday. “That’s because instances of voter fraud are exceedingly rare.”

The former attorney general, Mark Brnovich, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate last year, created the office to investigate voter fraud complaints in Arizona, a battleground state. 

Ms. Mayes said in the statement that she did not share the priorities of Mr. Brnovich, whom she described as being preoccupied with voter fraud despite isolated cases. The office has five pending voter fraud investigations, as of late October, and a spokesman for Ms. Mayes said on Monday that there was no plan yet for how to proceed with them.


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January 2023