Election-denying “patriots” converged outside the Maricopa County Elections office on Saturday to show their support for ultra-MAGA gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake in what feels like deja-vu. complete with flags and signs reminiscent of January 6th, 2020.
Protesters echoed Lake’s unsubstantiated claim that if she loses the race it had to be “rigged.” It’s not actually a shocking development considering that the Trump-endorsed former Fox anchor has spread her idol’s lies of mass voter fraud throughout her campaign.
A group of people are rallying outside the Maricopa County Elections office right now. An Arizona lawmaker tweeted about this “Patriots Rise Up to Rally” yesterday.
— Elenee Dao (@Elenee_Dao) November 12, 2022
Carrying signs and flags bearing Lake’s name, roughly two dozen people showed up at the Phoenix location, squaring off with police on the scene. Bullhorn in hand, one protester yelled “you deprive people and citizens of their natural unalienable right. How are you gonna keep the peace?”
According to Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, the protest peaked with approximately 150 people before dispersing.
“They were peaceful,” he said. “They had an objective, they stayed within that scope and they left in a reasonable amount of time,” the sheriff said.
Lake is in a tight race with current Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. A promoter of Trump’s big lie, the former local Fox anchor wasted no time spreading her own falsities and sowing seeds of doubt in case the election didn’t go her way.
A key battleground state, Arizona has been at the center of election controversy since November 2020. Who can forget the infamous Cyber Ninja “audit” – or “fraudit” as it was popularly called – that failed to produce any evidence of mass voter fraud?
What it did do, however, is add a couple of hundred votes to Biden’s win column. Several Republicans in the state have been implicated in a scheme to send fake electors to D.C. – including Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward.
Tensions are high as counting continues. According to AZ Central, an estimated 370,000 ballots have yet to be counted.
Though much less volatile than the crowd that gathered outside of the Phoenix office in November 2020, it should be taken no less seriously. With political violence on the rise, this country has seen firsthand the damage that misinformation and disinformation have when used to weaponize and radicalize the populous.
— Gadi Schwartz (@GadiNBC) November 5, 2020
Maricopa County has pushed back on the right’s unsubstantiated accusations that the election was somehow “compromised,” assuring voters and candidates that the elections office was doing its part to ensure the results are accurate, free, and fair.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOTS: Your disapproval is duly noted but your upvotes and retweets will not be part of this year’s totals. This is not meant as an affront to your robot overlords, it’s just not allowed for in Arizona law.
— Maricopa County (@maricopacounty) November 12, 2022
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick