MAGA/QAnon super psycho senator Wendy Rogers is conspiring to interfere with election officers to illegally disrupt the November election in pursuit of her Big Lie election denier conspiracy theories about early voting.
The Relevant law is 16-1004. Interference with or corruption of election officer; interference with voting equipment; violation; classification
A. A person who at any election knowingly interferes in any manner with an officer of such election in the discharge of the officer’s duty, or who induces an officer of an election or officer whose duty it is to ascertain, announce or declare the result of such election, to violate or refuse to comply with the officer’s duty or any law regulating the election, is guilty of a class 5 felony.
Also relevant, 13-2907.01. False reporting to law enforcement agencies; classification
A. It is unlawful for a person to knowingly make to a law enforcement agency of either this state or a political subdivision of this state a false, fraudulent or unfounded report or statement or to knowingly misrepresent a fact for the purpose of interfering with the orderly operation of a law enforcement agency or misleading a peace officer.
B. Violation of this section is a class 1 misdemeanor.
The Payson Roundup reports, Senator urges listeners to set up identity theft claims at the polls:
State Senator Wendy Rogers at a closed-door session of the Payson Tea Party last week urged listeners to file identity theft claims to discredit mail-in voting.
The senator insisted the Tea Party exclude a Payson Roundup reporter from the meeting. However, the Roundup obtained a recording of her remarks, on which this report is based.
Rogers suggested her listeners stick their sealed mail-in ballots in their pockets, go to a polling place on election day and ask for a provisional ballot. They could then call the sheriff to come to the polling place so they could file an identity theft claim.
Here’s a transcription of the audible portion of her remark:
“You’re going to get a vote in the mail like I will. About 83% vote by mail. Keep it sealed. Put it in your pocket. Wait until election day. Then go in and say, ‘Hi, I’m Nancy Cox.’ They’ll say, ‘oh, you’ve voted already.’ You say, ‘I haven’t voted. I’ll take a provisional ballot.’ And Nancy Cox votes. Then you call the sheriff’s office. Call and say, ‘I have an identity theft problem. Please come up and document it.’ Why do this? This just shuts down one of the avenues of deceit. Are they going to steal this election? Oh yeah — they’re going to try to steal it.”
Rogers has insisted that the 2020 presidential election in Arizona was “stolen” from Donald Trump as a result of hundreds of thousands of fake ballots.
Audits have uncovered only a routine handful of miscast votes — usually either someone registered both in Arizona and out-of-state or someone turning in another person’s ballot — sometimes a dead family member. A $6 million, hand-recount of the Maricopa County presidential ballots found no evidence of fraud — although the hand count produced about 300 more votes for Joe Biden than the original machine count. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors had already audited the vote results.
Rogers spent much of her talk urging people to support the Republican statewide candidates for governor, secretary of state and U.S. Senate — as well as Congressional District 2 candidate Eli Crane.
Rogers said Democrats and liberals would do their best to steal the 2022 statewide election.
“They’re scared to death of Kari Lake. They’re even more scared of Abe Hamadeh,” who is running for Arizona Attorney General.
Rogers introduced bills to transform election law in Arizona — most of which have died in the Republican-run Senate. She has opposed mail-in voting and the use of vote-counting machines.
Gila County Elections Director Eric Mariscal was mystified by Rogers’ apparent effort to convince people to file identity fraud claims.
He also noted that eliminating mail-in balloting and requiring hand counts of ballots would result in a far slower, much more expensive, less accurate vote count.
Mariscal said the overwhelming majority of voters in Gila County rely on mail-in voting systems.
If a person who had received an early ballot came to the polls, they could ask for a provisional ballot. The poll workers would check the system to see whether the mail-in ballot had been returned. The voter could request a provisional ballot whether or not the system showed a ballot had already been received. The voter would have to provide legal identification and a signature. That information would then be checked against any mail-in ballot received. If both signatures matched — only the first-submitted ballot would count, said Mariscal. The system would prevent double voting — but still allow people to vote on election day.
However, the voter could potentially face charges of voter fraud if he or she deliberately voted twice.
“That’s rather odd,” said Mariscal of Sen. Rogers’ suggestion to her listeners. “If they go that route, the poll workers are going to look them up, request identification and find out if they’re a registered voter. That ballot goes into the provisional envelope and the Recorder’s Office checks the information. I’m not sure where they get identity theft from that. Not too sure what that would accomplish. If anything, the sheriff’s office wouldn’t have anything to say about it.”
He noted that people who have already sent in their mail-in ballot sometimes show up at the polls and seek to vote again — but it’s generally an honest mistake.
“Whether it’s forgetfulness or what,” he said. He recalled one voter with Alzheimer’s disease who was genuinely confused. The voter received a provisional ballot — but only the mail-in ballot was counted.
“Now, if there’s someone trying to impersonate you — I guess that’s identity theft,” Mariscal added. “That’s a whole other level of criminality. But just because you have an early ballot sent to you and you forgot you sent it in — that’s not necessarily identity theft. So I’m not sure where (Rogers) is coming from.”
Dude, she is psycho nuts!
Mariscal said that the wild claims of voter fraud have made election workers’ job more stressful — but despite the claims, actual cases of voter fraud remain rare.
The county relies on poll workers to check identification for every voter at the polling place. Other specially trained workers check the signatures on the outside of every mail-in ballot against the signatures on file when a voter registers.
The machines at each polling place print out ballots after voters mark them, which saves the county a lot of money when it comes to printing blank ballots. Voters can then make sure the machine recorded their vote correctly before they turn them in. Those polling place machines don’t count the ballots. Instead, the paper ballots are driven to the counting office in Globe. The ballots are run through a counting machine under the watchful eye of poll watchers from each party. Those machines are never connected to the internet and only brand-new, single-use memory sticks are ever placed in the machine to download the counts. Those memory sticks are then archived and never again put in any other machine.
“The counting machine does not need internet access and should not need internet access. It never has been connected and never will,” said Mariscal.
Audits have shown that the machine count is not only much faster and cheaper — it’s much more accurate than hand counts, said Mariscal.
“I really haven’t seen massive fraud — really any kind of fraud. After the last election, we did have the attorney general’s office ask me to find a ballot affidavit envelope (for a provisional ballot). This person had not only voted in Arizona — but had voted in another state. But that doesn’t happen very often. None in 2020 and like one in 2022.”
In the 2020 election, the elections department reviewed a total of 356 provisional ballots. Of those, 179 were rejected — mostly because people weren’t registered to vote at all. Sometimes, the voter was registered in a different county or state. In the 2022 primary, the county had just 36 provisional ballots.
A very small percentage of mail-in ballots are also rejected, mostly for lack of a signature. In 2020, of the 12,068 mail-in ballots received, just 31 were rejected. Half of those had no signature at all and in about 16 cases, the signature didn’t match the one on file. All of those voters were notified that they could come down and provide identification and a matching signature so their ballots would be counted.
Despite the absence of actual fraud, the claims of fraud by politicians like Rogers have generated a lot of stress and even threats for election workers.
Mariscal noted that last week when Arizona Corporation Commissioner Jim O’Connor said the state should outlaw all vote-counting machines, it generated a flood of hate mail to election officials throughout the state.
“I came in on Monday with like 200 emails sent from an organization called ACT America all basically word for word from the letter that Jim O’Connor sent out that we should abandon machines and go to paper hand counts. They were all from people not in the county — and not in the state for all I know.”
O’Connor tried unsuccessfully to convince fellow Republican commissioners to take up the issue of voting machines, after attending a seminar in Missouri where MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell claimed voting machines could result in fraudulent voting through internet connections — even though in places like Gila County the machines are never connected to the internet.
So Arizona Corporation Commissioner Jim O’Connor is also psycho nuts!
Mariscal added, “we get some minor threats. Nothing serious. Nothing that scares. On the other hand, I’m still highly aware of things when I walk around. It’s not like Maricopa — not like that level of animosity — people following us and taking pictures. We’re lucky in that we’re smaller communities and more people know each other. People ask me questions and I explain and they say, ‘oh, that makes sense.’ Most people in Gila County are level-headed and do a little more thinking on their own. Of course, there are a couple out there dedicated to whatever bent they’re on. I really don’t think too much about that.”
Well now you should. Wendy Rogers is hoping to disrupt your poll workers on election day with baseless claims of identity theft. Anyone who follows through with her conspiracy should be charged, and Wendy Rogers should be charged as a co-conspirator.
And for the love of God, voters in LD 7, vote for Kyle Nitschke and rid us of this meddlesome threat to democracy.