Allegations of possible voter intimidation in a highly politicized Arizona county have been escalated to state and federal law enforcement authorities for potential prosecution, The Daily Beast has confirmed.

In an email, Sophia Solis, a spokeswoman for Arizona Secretary of State (SOS) Katie Hobbs, said Thursday that Hobbs’ office “has referred to the DOJ and AG a report from a voter that the voter was approached and followed by a group of individuals when the voter was trying to drop off their ballot at an early voting drop box on Monday.”

“The location was at the Juvenile Justice Court drop box location in Maricopa County,” the email added. “The SOS has talked to the voter, informed Maricopa County, and referred the report to the DOJ and AG’s offices for further investigation.”

Meanwhile, the QAnon-linked founder of an organization recently seen staking out drop boxes in Maricopa is distancing herself from the suspect, claiming she doesn’t “know who he is.”

Early voting for the 2022 midterm elections is underway in Arizona, where ballot drop boxes have been in use since 2020, when they were introduced by 40 U.S. states as a way to help people vote safely for president as the COVID pandemic raged. There have been no reported cases of fraud, vandalism, or anything else that could have affected the outcome of the election that elevated Joe Biden to the Oval Office two years ago, according to an Associated Press survey of state election officials on both sides of the aisle.

However, the right-wing continues to allege widespread election fraud due to drop boxes, a debunked claim first floated publicly by former President Donald Trump and amplified by people like conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza, whose discredited documentary 2,000 Mules put forth bogus claims that Democratic operatives had stuffed unmonitored ballot boxes with phony votes.

Since then, conservative extremist groups—as well as Trump-endorsed politicians running for elected office—have called on members and supporters to stake out drop boxes around the country, with Arizona having become a particular hotspot. Officials have raised concerns about the potential for voter intimidation, as box-watchers fan out nationwide.

Last Saturday, Clean Elections USA founder Melody Jennings, a minister who has namechecked QAnon during appearances on indicted Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s webcast, said she had volunteers “ready to go” not just in Arizona, but in 17 other states, as well.

“We’ve got people out there, on the ground and doing the work,” Jennings told Bannon, explaining that her “people” were stationed “around the box with iPhones, with, you know, Androids, with your own cameras, which is legal, by the way, we can video and we can take pictures.”

Clean Elections USA began watching drop boxes during the primaries this past summer, which Jennings, who goes by “TrumperMel” online, trumpeted on Truth Social, the floundering social network Trump backed after being banned from Twitter. This served as a sort of “dry run” for the midterms, Jennings said.

Jennings, in social media posts, has asked for “10 people in groups around every drop box! Not 2 people. That’s not a deterrent. Bring lights, food, lawn chairs, play cards, (no music) Video, take pics. Don’t talk to them. Abide by the laws.”

On Monday, Jennings took to Truth Social with an urgent request.

“All Arizona patriots get to either the Mesa box or the Phoenix box ...the only 2 that are outdoors... Right now,” she wrote. “There are mules getting there and doing their thing even with my people there.”

The next evening, Jennings posted a blurry photo of what she claimed was a “mule” caught in the act at a drop box in Mesa, which is part of Maricopa County.

“This guy. Drove in backwards to avoid plate detection,” she alleged. Got out showing his back. Pulled ballots out of his shirt. I need people there tonight to help my people. Lots of you!”

But Jennings insists that the drop box-watcher referred by Katie Hobbs to law enforcement authorities has nothing to do with her.

“The individual they speak of is not associated with Clean Elections USA in any way,” Jennings told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “Never was a member of Clean Elections USA. I don’t know who he is.”

Other drop box-watching groups in Arizona have reportedly changed their minds about the idea, such as the Lions of Liberty, a self-described “resolute nucleus of concerned, passionate conservative patriots who are determined to correct the course of our country which has been hijacked and undermined by global elites, communists, leftists, deep state bureaucrats, and fake news.”

They had dozens of observers in Yavapai County ready to mobilize last week for their “Operation Drop Box” initiative, but reportedly called things off after receiving a cease and desist letter from the nonprofit Protect Democracy, which alleged voter intimidation.

“We’re moving forward with it, in name and slight practice,” Lions of Liberty leader Luke Cilano told 3TV/CBS 5. “When I’m out and about driving around, I swing by and watch a box from a distance.”

Reports of potential voter intimidation by drop box-watchers in Arizona were first brought up at an Oct. 13 news conference by Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer. There are cameras monitoring Maricopa’s two drop boxes, according to Richer, who did not identify the offending group by name.

“Any attempt to deter, intimidate a lawful voter is unlawful, should be immediately reported, please to us, but also law enforcement,” Richer said.

Richer, a Republican, has received death threats for not going along with Donald Trump’s “Big Lie.” In August, a Missouri public school employee was indicted on federal charges for telling Richer in a 2021 voicemail, in part, “You need to do your fucking job right because other people from other states are watching your ass. You fucking renege on this deal or give them any more troubles, your ass will never make it to your next little board meeting.”

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Feds Alerted to Creepy Surveillance Attempt at Arizona Drop Box

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20.10.2022

Allegations of possible voter intimidation in a highly politicized Arizona county have been escalated to state and federal law enforcement authorities for potential prosecution, The Daily Beast has confirmed.

In an email, Sophia Solis, a spokeswoman for Arizona Secretary of State (SOS) Katie Hobbs, said Thursday that Hobbs’ office “has referred to the DOJ and AG a report from a voter that the voter was approached and followed by a group of individuals when the voter was trying to drop off their ballot at an early voting drop box on Monday.”

“The location was at the Juvenile Justice Court drop box location in Maricopa County,” the email added. “The SOS has talked to the voter, informed Maricopa County, and referred the report to the DOJ and AG’s offices for further investigation.”

Meanwhile, the QAnon-linked founder of an organization recently seen staking out drop boxes in Maricopa is distancing herself from the suspect, claiming she doesn’t “know who he is.”

Early voting for the 2022 midterm elections is underway in Arizona, where ballot drop boxes have been in use since 2020, when they were introduced by 40 U.S. states as a way to help people vote safely for president as the COVID pandemic raged. There have been no reported cases of fraud, vandalism, or anything else that could have affected the outcome of the election that elevated Joe Biden to the Oval Office two years ago, according to an Associated Press survey of state election officials on both sides of the aisle.

However, the........

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