Election-denying Arizona GOP Sheriff Mark Lamb has reached out to sheriffs nationwide, encouraging like-minded law enforcement officials to increase patrols at ballot boxes ahead of the 2022 midterm election. Teamed up with Richard Mack, the founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, and disgraced group True the Vote, Lamb has urged sheriffs to “investigate” suspected accounts of voter fraud.
“Here’s how YOU can enforce election integrity,” an email from Lamb exhorts his fellow sheriffs.
In the emails, his group recommends sheriffs increase “patrol activity around drop box locations” and engage in “video surveillance” with “access points directly on Sheriff Department computers.”
These partnerships highlight the uniquely aggressive role of sheriffs in efforts to police the vote leading up to the 2022 and 2024 elections. Politicians with badges and guns, sheriffs have extensive powers to launch criminal investigations, seize evidence, and even threaten violence or jail to force compliance — making them uniquely potent as compared to judges, prosecutors, or legislators, the Arizona Mirror reported.
As reports of voter intimidation rise in Arizona, Lamb’s comments add to the skepticism surrounding the integrity of the country’s elections, sowing seeds of doubt around baseless and debunked claims of widespread voter fraud.
The Pinal County sheriff claims to have seen “so much fraud” in the 2020 election, aligning himself with the most extreme of Arizona’s Republican Party.
In the key battleground state of Pennsylvania, commissioners voted to allow deputies to question voters at the drop box.
In September, local TV station WFMZ reported:
“The Berks County commissioners, during their election board meeting on Thursday, voted unanimously to revise the county policy on mail-in drop boxes to require a deputy sheriff to question voters about whether they are depositing their own ballot in a drop box.”
“‘When a person comes into the election office and they have a single ballot, they are asked “Is this your ballot?” And if they say no, they’re told that they have to get an affirmation form signed or have the individual that has that ballot bring that in. I became aware that our sheriff’s deputies do not ask that question, and I believe they need to ask that question,'” WFMZ reported Berks County commissioner Christian Y. Leinbach as saying.
Human and civil rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University Law Center, believe that an increased law enforcement official presence “sends this broader message that our elections aren’t secure, that there’s widespread fraud … and what’s really abhorrent about this is, it’s based on a lie, it’s based on disinformation,” according to CNN.
There are no more quiet parts when it comes to the GOP.
The Constitutional Sheriff’s movement is an alarming societal phenomenon that should be taken seriously.
The anti-democratic wagons are circling, and it’s time to pay heed.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick