Kris Mayes is investigating Trump’s ‘fake electors,’ focusing on threats to election workers

 Attorney General Kris Mayes in January 2023. Photo by Gage Skidmore (modified) | Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0


While her predecessor used a dedicated election crimes division to investigate hundreds of bogus election fraud claims, Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes says she will redirect the unit’s focus to prosecute election-related threats and protect voting rights. 

“We are almost at a crisis situation in our state, in the sense that we now have a third of our counties experiencing the loss, or should I say the resignation, of a high-level election official due to death threats and harassment. That is unacceptable,” Mayes said in an interview with the Arizona Mirror. 

Former AG Mark Brnovich, the Republican who Mayes replaced this year, persuaded the state legislature to create the Election Integrity Unit so his office could have a dedicated team to investigate election fraud claims. But Brnovich buried what was arguably its most important work, a 10,000-hour investigation debunking hundreds of fraud claims related to the 2020 election. Mayes released the results of that investigation earlier this month. 

And the Election Integrity Unit is also investigating a much larger effort to undermine the will of the voters — one that is also under a federal investigation and has been in the spotlight of investigators in Washington, D.C. 

“I’m not certain that my predecessor did an investigation into the fake electors,” Mayes said when asked about investigating schemes by Republicans to send fraudulent slates of electors for former President Donald Trump to Congress on Jan. 6 using the state’s seal. While she was secretary of state, Gov. Katie Hobbs requested Brnovich investigate the use of the state seal on non-official documents, but Brnovich largely remained silent on the issue. 


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